Computer advancements have made Greek typography a very complex issue. Since Greek has different characters than English, people produced different fonts that used different key strokes for the Greek alphabet. These fonts (now called non-Unicode or legacy fonts) competed with each other since the Greek written with was not easily transferable to any other font style. Further people just grew accustomed to a particular keyboard layout for typing in Greek. Both of these reasons pushed Greek users to pick one font and stick with it.
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The emergence of the Internet revealed the core problem with this legacy system. Not everyone used the same font so web pages would not display legible Greek text for everyone.
In an effort to standardize all languages for a world computing audience Unicode has been developed. Unfortunately, most Unicode fonts did not include Greek characters with accents. Now new Unicode fonts are finally emerging to assist those who wish to compute in ancient or biblical Greek. Below are various topics and links which address various aspects of this Greek font saga.
1. Polytonic Unicode Greek Fonts
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All of these links have free Greek fonts which include accented characters for ancient or biblical Greek. Please contact the site manager if any links are broken or the font is no longer offered. They are listed in order of aesthetics and universality.
Free Font Download Sites
Free Unicode Fonts – This page has numerous free Unicode fonts with examples of each so you can see if you like the font before you download it. It is a fantastic page!
Links for Unicode Fonts – This page has numerous free Unicode fonts with examples of each so you can see if you like the font before you download it. It is very helpful.
Gentium – This font has both PC and MAC versions available.
Minion Pro – This font is a wonderful professional font that used to cost $100 but is now available free with Acrobat Reader version 7. To get the font, install Acrobat Reader version 7 then look in the resource folder where acrobat reader was installed. I will probably be at this address on your computer: C:Program FilesAdobeAcrobat 7.0ResourceFont. You will see the Minon files. You still must install the fonts so your system will recognize them. For windows users, open control panel, switch to classic view, scroll down to fonts, and then copy the minion fonts into your fonts folder.
Galilee Unicode Gk – Rodney Decker created this font. It is very similar to MS Arial Unicode. All of the letters, accents and breathings are very legible.
Code 2000 – It doesn’t look quite as refined as Gentium but it is polytonic Unicode nevertheless.
Athena – I believe this is the Unicode version of this font.
About Greek Unicode Fonts
Unicode Polytonic Greek – A great explanation of how Unicode woks and way it is necessary.
Recent Unicode History – A brief overview of the development of Unicode and its Greek applications.
Extended Character Helps – A number of helpful links for many areas regarding Greek extended characters.
Extended Character List – Allen Wood has a very nice list of the codes for the extended characters and a list of Unicode fronts for PCs, MACs, and Unix systems.
Unicode Consortium – This site explains the rudiments of Unicode.
Download Mac Fonts For Windows
MAC Browser Instructions – This page gives instructions for setting browsers on MACs to view polytonic Unicode fonts.
HRI Project – Read, Write, Print and Email in Greek Unicode – This page has a list of several links that provide installation and usage instructions on reading, writing and printing in Greek, as well as some tips on how to email in Greek, and spell check your Greek text. (Windows, Unix, MAC)