Unicode fonts for polytonic Greek
It looks like it is not an easy matter to see and write polytonic Greek
on a PC.
For Windows 95/98 for instance, although a lot of polytonic fonts are
available, two problems were (and continue to be) common: Firstly you must
have installed a specific font in order to be able to see a particular document
(the font in which the document has been encoded). Secondly you cannot convert
from one font to another. If you try it you will get an unreadable text.
The reason for all the above is that a prescribed standard was not
followed and each designer felt free to use his own encoding.
It seems that there is a solution: the fonts that use an encoding type
according to the Unicode (ISO 10646-2) standard. This standard provides
a lot of ranges (e.g Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chinese and much more) and each
character has a predefined position in each range. So if you have a Unicode
font that supports Greek (as for example a lot of Microsoft fonts do) you
will be able to convert your text to another font provided that it is also
a Unicode one. Also it is easier to edit your text as the characters
are not treated as "symbols" from your editor.
In order to be able to use Polytonic Greek using a Unicode font you need a
font that supports the "Greek" and "Extended Greek" ranges. Today a couple
of good "shareware" fonts are available.
For more information please see:
The official page of Unicode,
The Attic Greek page: http://members.aol.com/AtticGreek/
where you can find a keyboard driver in order to be able to write Polytonic Greek
and find how you can download the Unicode font "Athena",
The Antioch page: http://www.users.dircon.co.uk/~hancock/antioch.htm
from where you can download the very useful program "Antioch" as well as
another Unicode font,
The MAGENTA site http://www.magenta.gr/
a Greek company that designs a lot of Unicode fonts that support polytonic
The James Kass page: http://home.att.net/~jameskass/
from where you download the great unicode font "Code2000" that supports
tens of languages (778kb compressed, 1,9MB uncompressed),
The Alan Wood page: Unicode
Resources: Unicode and Multilingual Support in Web Browsers and HTML
where you can find a lot of information about Unicode, the various font encodings, utilities and much more. (new url).
Together with "MS Office 2000" the "Arial Unicode MS" font is distributed
(51,180 glyphs, 23.0 MB !!!) which you can download from Microsoft
The Greek Font Foundry (new url!) by Richard G. Spaulding, Jr.: From here you can download the "Georgia Greek" font which works nicely even with small size characters.
Two very useful sites where you can find lists of available unicode fonts that support Extended Greek are the
'Multilingual Unicode TrueType Fonts in the Internet'
by Christoph Singe, and the updated 'Unicode Test' in TLG with a lot
of technical information.
- At "Unicode Polytonic Greek for the World Wide Web" (http://www.stoa.org/unicode/),
Patrick Rourke plans to answer all problems about "Reading Unicode Polytonic Greek on the Web".
- Another good font is the free Cardo unicode font.You can download it here:
For any question you can send me