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GreekKeys Unicode Compatibility

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.

Lion (Mac OS X 10.7) Compatibility

GreekKeys 2008 is fully compatible with Mac. OS 10.7. There are, however, issues with 10.7 that justify caution in upgrading for anyone who does serious work with Greek fonts and word-processing. See details.

Office 2011 for Mac Compatibility

There is a bug in Word 2011 that may be troublesome to advanced users who frequently use keyboard shortcut commands in editing. See details.

Windows 7 and 8 Compatibility

GreekKeys 2008 is compatible with Windows 7 (see details) and Windows 8 (see details).

Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) Compatibility

GreekKeys 2008 is fully compatible with Mac. OS 10.6. There are, however, some changes in terminology that need to be taken into account in order to follow the instructions for activation. See details.

Software to use with GreekKeys 2005/2008

The following table lists the compatibility of GreekKeys 2005 and 2008 with various applications, so far as this is known, based on the software that I have had access to for at least brief tests. Please note that Microsoft products are produced in such a confusing multiplicity of versions that it is not possible to predict accurately what different users will actually experience with the version they happen to own. In general I have been able to test professional or academic versions of the products. Likewise, in at least some earlier versions of Adobe software, the Unicode capabilities of the US version were not the same as those of the non-US versions (that is, the non-US versions had better Unicode support). When support for OpenType ligature is marked as "partial," this normally means that ordinary polytonic characters can be entered with decomposed input, but complex combinations with macron and breve do not work.

Application and version Platform Polytonic Unicode with GKU 2005 Polytonic Unicode with GKU 2008 OpenType Ligature Support
MS Word X Mac OS X no no no
MS Word 2004 Mac OS X yes yes no
MS Word 2008 Mac OS X yes yes yes, but must be turned on in each document
MS Word 2011 (see FAQ) Mac OS X yes (but with a minor bug pertaining to command key) yes (but with a minor bug pertaining to command key) yes, but only when using .docx format, and must be turned on in each document
MS Word 2003 Windows XP and higher no yes yes
MS Word 2007 Windows XP and higher no yes yes
MS Excel X Mac OS X no no no
MS Excel 2004 Mac OS X yes yes no
MS Excel 2008 Mac OS X yes yes yes
MS PowerPoint X Mac OS X no no no
MS PowerPoint 2004 Mac OS X yes yes, but limited to default font no
MS PowerPoint 2008 Mac OS X yes yes yes
OpenOffice Writer Windows XP and higher no yes yes
Internet Explorer 7.x Windows XP and higher no yes yes
Safari 3.x for Windows Windows XP and higher no yes yes
Firebox 2.x Windows XP and higher no yes no
Firebox 3 beta 2 Windows XP and higher no yes yes
NeoOffice 2.x Mac OS X yes yes yes
Mellel 2.x Mac OS X yes yes yes
Nisus Writer Express Mac OS X yes yes unknown
Nisus Writer Pro Mac OS X yes yes unknown
TextEdit 1.5 Mac OS X yes yes yes
BBEdit 8.x Mac OS X yes yes yes
Oxygen 9.1 Mac OS X yes yes no
Safari 4.x for Mac OS X Mac OS X yes yes partial
Firefox 2.x Mac OS X yes yes no
Firefox 3.x Mac OS X yes yes yes
Internet Explorer 5.2 Mac OS X no no no
Adobe Photoshop CS3 Mac OS X yes, but not SMP yes, but not SMP no
Adobe InDesign CS3 Mac OS X yes yes yes
Adobe Acrobat 8.x Mac OS X yes yes partial
iWorks: Pages Mac OS X yes yes yes
iWorks: Keynote Mac OS X yes yes yes
iWorks: Numbers Mac OS X yes yes partial
FileMaker 7.x Windows XP yes yes partial
Adobe Illustrator CS2 Windows XP yes yes partial
Adobe InDesign CS2 Windows XP yes yes yes
Adobe Photoshop CS2 Windows XP yes yes yes (but necessary to hold down altgr and press number key twice instead of once)

Cross-Platform Compatibility

RTF vs. DOC format

The OpenType ligatures in the GreekKeys fonts transfer correctly from one system to the other in the limited tests performed so far (Jan. 2008). When the Help of MS Word 2008 warns that there is a known problem with ligatures when moving from Mac to Windows, this probably refers to ligatures that depend on AAT features instead of OpenType features. The fonts released with GreekKeys 2008 contain only OpenType features.

When using characters that depend on OpenType ligatures for proper appearance on the screen, the proper format in which to transfer them from Windows to Mac or vice versa is as a Word Document (suffix .doc, the pre-XML format). Files transferred as Rich Text Format contain some oddities. When you move a Windows .doc to Mac 2008 for Mac OS X, you need to turn on the display of ligatures in the document, which is off by default. See the fonts page for instructions how to do this. The epsilon and omicron ligatures that do not appear correctly in Word for Windows do look right in Word 2008 for Mac.

When you move a Mac .doc to Windows, the OpenType ligatures should display correctly without further adjustment. Even the epsilon and omicron combinations display correctly when transferred from Mac to Windows.

Using precomposed input and Private Use Area

If you are exchanging documents with people you know are also using GreekKeys Unicode fonts (especially the fullest font, New Athena Unicode) but who may be using Macs or Windows computers and may have various versions of MS Word (2004 or 2008 for Mac OS X, 2003&emdash;or perhaps earlier&emdash;or 2007 for Windows), then you will have the least difficulty if you use precomposed input and enter complex advanced combinations with the PUA codepoints employed in New Athena Unicode and some other fonts.

1. Diaeresis plus accent

This item of incompatibility applies to the Windows inputs downloaded before May 18, 2008. On that date, the download became Revision A, which has the Windows keyboards updated to enter exactly the same precomposed combinations as the Mac inputs. See details about Revision A.

On a Mac, this means using ordinary GreekKeys Unicode inputs and not either of the experimental versions for decomposed input. On the Windows side, for most normal textual purposes the only characters where an incompatibility may arise are the combinations in which iota or upsilon with diaeresis also receives an accent. The Windows keyboards cannot directly input the precomposed code point (because the tool for creating keyboards doesn't support chaining of deadkeys, that is, use of multiple deadkeys before entering the base character). This table shows the differences in the input:

character Mac input Windows input
ΐ shift-option-2, i = U+0390 altgr-u, i, altgr-1 = U+03ca, U+0301
shift-option-3, i = U+1fd2 altgr-u, i, altgr-2 = U+03ca, U+0300
shift-option-4, i = U+1fd7 altgr-u, i, altgr-3 = U+03ca, U+0342
ΰ shift-option-2, u = U+03b0 altgr-u, u, altgr-1 = U+03cb, U+0301
shift-option-3, u = U+1fe2 altgr-u, u, altgr-2 = U+03cb, U+0300
shift-option-4, u = U+1fe7 altgr-u, u, altgr-3 = U+03cb, U+0342

If compatibility becomes an issue, use one of the alternative methods of entering Unicode to change from one version to the other. Some alternative methods are described on the conversion page.

2. Macron or breve plus diacritics

Problems will occur when moving a Word document from Windows to Word 2004 on a Mac. Since Word 2004 cannot deal with ligatures at all, any ligatures will have a bad appearance on the screen or in printing. If the move is to Word 2008 for Mac, then the Mac user needs to turn on the use of ligatures for the document in order to get the proper display and printing (see the fonts page for instructions how to do this.). For Mac users who do not own Word 2008, the OpenType ligatures can be seen correctly if the .doc file is opened with TextEdit, imported with Mellel, or opened with NeoOffice (version 2.2.2 with Patch 8 of Jan. 2008 worked; a version prior to Patch 8 did not). Unfortunately, you may loose other aspects of Word document formatting when you do open it with one of these programs.

One solution for this problem with Word 2004 is to use the precomposed PUA code points in the Windows Word document. Again, it was not possible to combine deadkeys so as allow the GreekKeys keyboards for Windows to input the PUA code points. These have to be entered by an alternative method. For methods to use, see the conversion page. For the PUA code points for the characters with macron or breve, see the table on that page.

For Word for Windows itself, there is another solution to the failure of proper display of the combinations involving epsilon or omicron with macron and diacritics. You may use the ALT-x method for the diacritics after you input the omicron or epsilon with macron. For instance, instead of using the GreekKeys Unicode keyboard's altgr-1 for acute, type in 0301 followed by ALT-x. It is illogical that this works differently from the keyboard input (which also inputs U+0301), but it does. Here are the ALT-x sequences to use; always enter the breathing sign, if any, before the accent, if any.

smooth breathing 0313, ALT-x
rough breathing 0314, ALT-x
acute 0301, ALT-x
grave 0300, ALT-x
circumflex 0342, ALT-x

Using GreekKeysConverter

Revision and testing of GreekKeysConverter (a shareware producte authored by Lucius Hartmann, not part of GreekKeys) are in progress to ensure the capability of converting precomposed Unicode to decomposed Unicode, or just precomposed PUA Unicode to decomposed, or vice versa. For more information and details, see the conversion page.