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About GreekKeys Unicode 2008

November 11, 2015: sales of GreekKeys 2008 ceased on October 28. The updated product GreekKeys 2015 is now available at the web site of the Society for Classical Studies (free to SCS members, $20 for non-members, free or discounted for those who purchased GreekKeys 2008 on or after August 1, 2014). Click here for the new sales and support site.

GreekKeys 2008 is a keyboard and font package for polytonic Greek designed for the needs of scholars, teachers, and students. It is designed to work both for users of Mac OS X versions 10.3 and higher (both PowerPC and Intel systems) and for users of Windows XP and higher (including Windows 7 and 8). For both platforms, it is a system-level resource that can be used in any application that is written with modern multilingual capabilities: word processors, speadsheets, browsers, text editors, graphics programs, and page layout programs. In fact, if you find an application that can't use the GreekKeys keyboards, it is most likely an outdated or deliberately crippled product.

The keyboards input Greek that is encoded in accordance with the Unicode standard, and the fonts contain the accepted Unicode characters for polytonic Greek as well as many other characters needed by scholars, teachers, and students of the ancient Greek world. Users of the traditional GreekKeys Universal keyboard will find the arrangement to be the same in GreekKeys Unicode. New users will be able to learn the positions of characters and diacritics without difficulty.

The package contains version 3.2 of New Athena Unicode font, the most extensive APA font and the one that is also available for free to anyone; and version 1.2 of three other fonts that are now available only as part of GreekKeys 2008: AttikaU, KadmosU, and BosporosU. For more on the fonts, see the Fonts page.

System Requirements of GreekKeys 2008

The Windows keyboards work with Windows XP and higher (they may work partially or completely in some earlier versions, but this has not been tested and cannot be guaranteed). The Mac inputs work with OS X versions 10.3 and higher (10.4 and higher recommended).

What does GreekKeys 2008 include?

    • The four APA Unicode fonts containing an extensive range of characters for polytonic Greek and other specialized needs.
    • PDF of extensive User's Guide.
    • PDF of complete GreekKeys Licenses, also available on this site.
    • PDF document explaining how to archive your GreekKeys 2008 download to a CD readable on both Macs and Windows PCs.
    • A standard Mac OS X installer that installs a bundle of GreekKeys Unicode inputs for the following localized keyboard arrangements:
      • US
      • Danish (this works for Swedish keyboards as well)
      • Dutch
      • French
      • German
      • Italian
      • Italian Pro
      • Spanish
      • Spanish ISO
      • Swiss German
      • UK
      • US alternate (with positions of theta and upsilon reversed)
      • plus GreekKeysU Symbol input (for metrical, epigraphic and papyrological symbols; works on any localized keyboard)
      The installer also provides the option of installing the (deprecated) traditional GreekKeys keyboards for use in OS X or one or both of the experimental sets of inputs for inputting decomposed Unicode.
    • PDF keyboard charts showing the layout of the different inputs with the Unicode code point shown for each character.
    • PDF QuickStart document for users who are computer-savvy and have used specialized inputs before.
    • Deprecated traditional GreekKeys-encoded APA fonts Athenian, Attika, Kadmos, and Bosporos, as well as SymbolAthenian and Classical.
    • Deprecated OS9-Classic keyboard resources for users still able to run OS 9 in emulation mode or the Classics environment.
    • Separate standard Windows installers that install each version of GreekKeys Unicode keyboard for the following localized keyboard arrangements:
      • US
      • Danish
      • Dutch
      • French
      • French Swiss
      • German
      • Italian
      • Spanish
      • UK
      • GreekKeys Unicode Metrical and Papyrological Symbol keyboard (works on any localized keyboard)
      • GreekKeys Unicode Epigraphic Symbol keyboard (works on any localized keyboard)
    • PDF keyboard charts showing the layout of the different keyboards with the Unicode code point shown for each character.
    • PDF QuickStart document for users who are computer-savvy and have used specialized inputs before.
    • Deprecated Windows Athenian font for use in browsers only to view GreekKeys-encoded Greek on the internet.

Details about Revision B (Dec. 2009)

In Revision B of GreekKeys Unicode 2008, the documentation in the download has been updated and the current version of New Athena Unicode has replaced the version in Revision A.

  • The User's Guide has been updated to reflect the release of Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and Windows 7 and correct a few typographic errors.
  • Minor changes have been made to the QuickStart documents.
  • Version 3.61 of New Athena Unicode (of Nov. 2009) is now in the download, along with the new OpenFont License and new cmap document listing the characters.

Purchasers of GreekKeys 2008 who wish to take advantage of these changes should download the font from this site. The updated User's Guide can also be downloaded here.

Details about Revision A (May 2008)

In Revision A of GreekKeys Unicode 2008, the download has been updated in several respects:

  • The four Unicode fonts now provide precomposed glyphs for dotted Greek characters. These are accessible as OpenType ligatures in applications capable of displaying such features. Simply enter the combining dot below (U+0323) after a lowercase Greek character (including vowel with standard diacritics), and a ligature will be substituted with optimal placement of the underdot. In some cases, for display of the dot on the screen, you will need to adjust the line spacing (by adding a few points of "space after" with the Format Paragraph command in MS Word).
  • The Windows keyboards have been updated to allow direct input of the precomposed characters with diaeresis plus an accent over iota or upsilon. This brings more complete compatibility with the Mac inputs. The deadkeys for these combinations are shift-1 (diaeresis acute), shift-2 (diaeresis grave), shift-3 (diaeresis circumflex) when followed by iota or upsilon. These are the same deadkeys used for accent plus iota subscript with alpha, eta, and omega. Thanks to Joop Jagers for suggesting this solution.
  • Documentation has been updated to take account of these changes and to incorporate a few small corrections.

Purchasers of GreekKeys 2008 who wish to take advantage of these changes should use the URL in their original confirmation email to download again. If any problem arises, contact Donald Mastronarde for assistance.

For Mac users, how does GreekKeys 2008 differ from GreekKeys 2005?

If you use GreekKeys Unicode inputs from the GreekKeys 2005 version, there are only very minor changes in the standard inputs. (1) The input for iota with macron and circumflex produced the wrong character (iota with macron and acute) because of a typographic error; this is corrected in the 2008 version. (2) The 2005 version contained no terminator declarations in the keylayout file, which made no difference to basic operation but which prevented the Keyboard Viewer from showing the deadkeys. In the 2008 version, Keyboard Viewer correctly shows the deadkeys with orange background and the relevant diacritics.

GreekKeys 2008 includes some new items: the three fonts AttikaU, KadmosU, and BosporosU (and deprecated traditional GreekKeys-encoded Kadmos and Bosporos); and the two versions of experimental decomposed inputs for advanced users.

Therefore, if you have no use for the more advanced features, do not need the additional fonts, and do not have any Windows systems to install on, upgrading may not be compelling.

Typing with GreekKeys Unicode keyboards/inputs

For most ordinary polytonic Greek input, the Mac and Windows versions work very similarly. In both cases you need to change the chosen keyboard or input every time you make a transition from words in another language (English, French, German, etc.) to words in polytonic Greek or in the opposite direction. If you are typing in a modern Unicode font that has characters for several scripts, including polytonic Greek (note that many fonts have characters for monotonic Greek only and can't be used for the additional diacritic-enhanced characters of polytonic Greek), you do not have to change fonts with each change of language/keyboard. But it is often prudent to do so. Ensuring that your Greek and your non-Greek words are in two distinct fonts can be very important when preparing files for publication or sharing with other users.

On GreekKeys 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. The deadkeys are invoked slightly differently in Windows and in Mac OS X (as explained in the documentation that comes with the package), but the arrangement is the same in both cases. The diacritics are arranged across the top row of the keyboard, starting from the key on which the numeral 1 is located. The sequence is acute, grave, circumflex, smooth, rough, smooth acute, rough acute, smoth grave, rough grave, smooth circumflex, tough circumflex. On some non-US keyboards on which deadkeys are commonly used, there are additional locations for some diacritics to match what is familiar to users of those keyboards.

For advice on typing a multilingual text using multiple inputs or keyboards, see the Mac OS X FAQ or the Windows FAQ.

Compatible software

A separate page on compatibility collects information about which applications can be used with what features of GreekKeys 2008.

Installation and activation

Instructions about installation and activation are given in the QuickStart documents and in the User's Guide that come with the download, and similar information is provided on the installation page.