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Traditional GreekKeys (deprecated)

What does "deprecated" mean?

In reference to software or computer languages and programming, "deprecated" means that something that may have been widely used has been found to have reached the end of its useful life, has been superseded by more advanced and capable equivalents, and already has conflicts with recent software or will gradually become less supported and then eventually become impossible to use.

Support for Traditional GreekKeys ended as of December 31, 2005. GreekKeys-encoded fonts are not compatible with cross-platform work, and even on the Macintosh do not work completely with some modern applications. As OS X has been upgraded, incompatibilities have become more numerous, and some of them can no longer be worked around in 10.5 or 10.6 or later.

Nobody should be creating new documents with traditional GreekKeys-encoded fonts (nor, for that matter, with any other of the inconsistent pre-Unicode encodings of polytonic Greek). For your documents to be capable of long-term survival and suitable for cross-platform use and easy access in an increasingly digital scholarly world, they should contain Unicode.

What is Traditional GreekKeys?

Traditional GreekKeys is the successor product to the customized Macintosh keyboard for polytonic Greek designed in 1984 by the late George Walsh. This keyboard is used in conjunction with a custom-encoded Roman font containing Greek characters instead of Roman characters. The GreekKeys encoding has been used in fonts such as Sparta (obsolete), Salamis (obsolete), Athenian, Attika, Kadmos, and Bosporos, and has also been used for browser display of Greek at important internet sites. But this customization has never been officially recognized by the computer industry, and it has become increasingly difficult to use with newer versions of the Mac OS and newer applications. There was a brief period in the 90s when it was possible to use GreekKeys in Windows, but that cross-platform compatibility was soon lost, and Windows was not supported.

For those Mac users who have old computers and old software, Traditional GreekKeys is still included in the GreekKeys 2008 package. This page is maintained to provide basic information about the use of Traditional GreekKeys.

Typing with Traditional GreekKeys

The Traditional GreekKeys keyboards map the Greek alphabet onto Roman keyboards. The plain Greek letters are arranged as on a modern Greek keyboard, except that upsilon is "u" and theta is "y". Most other equivalences are obvious, such as alpha at "a" and beta at "b." The less obvious items are final sigma at "w," psi at "c," xi at "j," and omega at "v."

Diacritics are entered as "deadkeys" (a term surviving from typewriters on which accent keys did not advance the patten): that is, they are typed before the vowel to which they belong. They all involve the option key or the option key together with the shift key.

The keyboards are of two varieties. Some are named GreekKeys, the original version in which the deadkeys were placed in sequence across the first row of alphabetic characters; others are named GreekKeys Universal, a version in which the numeric row is used instead (or the second alphabetic row in some non-US cases) so as to create fewer conflicts with other deadkeys used for characters in Roman fonts.

With Traditional GreekKeys the user can normally set the keyboard to GreekKeys and leave it there, simply shifting back and forth between a Roman font (like Times) and a GreekKeys-compatible font (like Athenian or Kadmos). It is necessary to revert to the normal keyboard (such as US) only when certain option-characters are needed, such as em-dash and section-sign.

The Traditional GreekKeys keyboards have the following names:

  • GreekKeys Universal(US)
  • GreekKeys(US)
  • GreekKeys(Den)
  • GreekKeys(Fin)
  • GreekKeys Universal(Fr)
  • GreekKeys(Fr)
  • GreekKeys Universal(Ger)
  • GreekKeys(Ger)
  • GreekKeys Universal(It)
  • GreekKeys Universal(Fr)
  • GreekKeys Universal(SwGer)
  • GreekKeys Universal(UK)

Traditional GreekKeys Fonts

Another part of Traditional GreekKeys is the group of fonts Athenian, Attika, SymbolAthenian, and Classical, which come in both TrueType and PostScript formats. Athenian and Attika provide the standard elements of polytonic Greek. SymbolAthenian contains metrical and epigraphic symbols and non-standard combinations like vowels with macron or breve and other diacritics. Classical is a Roman font including vowels with macron, which can be entered with the GreekKeys keys Universal keyboard. GreekKeys 2008 also contains the two PostScript fonts Kadmos and Bosporos, donated to the APA by Marc Cogan of Allotype Typographics.

Compatibility Issues

Traditional GreekKeys keyboards and fonts are in various degrees compatible with Mac OS 9, with Mac OS X version 10.2 or higher , and with the Classic environment run under OS X (only on PPC machines with system version no higher than 10.4.x). Incompatibilities become more severe the more recent your operating system and software is. For problems specific to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and Word 2008, see the discussion of this issue in the FAQ.

Traditional GreekKeys keyboards and fonts have many incompatibilities with the automatic features of Microsoft Word 98 and later, but these can be circumvented by turning those features off (see the FAQ for the details).

Traditional GreekKeys keyboards and fonts conflict with "smart quotes" (the properly curved quotation marks used in good typography), and it is necessary to turn off this feature when inputting Greek. With a little effort, it is still possible to have smart quotes in the Roman font (see the FAQ for the details).

Page layout programs (PageMaker, InDesign, Quark Xpress) have long refused to allow any character except a non-breaking white space at the code point that George Walsh chose for omega with smooth and acute. Now the latest browsers and Word 2004/2008 also enforce the use of this codepoint for the non-breaking space. This means that when you open an older document, you will see a space instead of omega with smooth and acute. The 2004 versions of Athenian, Attika,Kadmos, and Bosporos provide a way to work around this problem (by reentering omega with smooth and acute with the backslash key). The real solution is to stop using Traditional GreekKeys and start using Unicode instead.

Installation and Activation

GreekKeys 2008 contains a single Mac Installer. By choosing to customize the installation (instead of using the default Easy Install), you may select the installation of Traditional GreekKeys into your OS X system. If you are still able to run OS 9 in emulation, then you can manually install the needed keyboard resources (supplied in the GreekKeys 2008 package) in the Appearance folder inside the System Folder.

The fonts for use of Classic applications must be present in the Fonts folder inside the Classic System Folder. The fonts for use of OS X-native applications should be placed in the Fonts folder inside the top-level Library folder (or in the Fonts folder inside the home Library folder, restricting them to that user). NOTE: fonts in a Classic System Folder are generally available to OS X applications, so if Athenian and Attika are in the Classic Fonts folder, they are not strictly needed in the OS X Fonts folder; but it does no harm to have identical fonts installed in both locations. OS X fonts are NOT available to Classic applications.

After new keyboards are installed in Classic, you must restart Classic in order to activate the keyboard. After new keyboards are installed in OS X, you must log out and log back in (or simply restart) in order to activate and use them. After a font is installed, you need merely quit and relaunch any application in which you want the font to be available.

OS X inputs and keybaords are activated using the System Preference International: click on the Input Menu pane and scroll through the long list of inputs, checking the item(s) you want available. Classic keyboards are activated using the Keyboard Control Panel (which you can get to under the Classic Apple menu when running a Classic application).

Download Link for Athenian Font

The Traditional GreekKeys font Athenian has been made available to all for free for many years to enable Greek on web sites. But a modern web site should use Unicode Greek instead. Nevertheless, the download page for Athenian font is still available.

FAQ for Other Problems

Please see the separate page for the FAQ for Traditional GreekKeys.