Mac Polytonic Greek Font and Keyboard Install, Part 1

Part 1 handles the font; part 2 (on a separate page) configures the keyboard. [This tutorial assume that you are using a recent version of Mac OS X, probably 10.5 or 10.6.] To set up your Mac to use polytonic Greek, follow these steps. You first need a polytonic Greek font, then some means of entering Greek text. Both of these can be done with built-in Mac OS software (the Lucida Grande font includes polytonic Greek, and there is a polytonic Greek keyboard that follows the modern Greek physical keyboard layout), but for English speakers in the context of biblical studies, we can make it easier.

1. Get the Gentium font.

This is one of the best free fonts which includes polytonic Greek, so it’s the one I recommend for getting started. You can check out the SBLGreek or Cardo fonts later.

  • Scroll down the page until you find the actual Download section (it’s near the end) that looks like this:

  • In the section titled “Gentium 1.02 (Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux)” click the download link “Download “”. (Direct download link) You will get the following download dialog:

  • Verify that “Save File: is marked, the click OK.
  • You will then get the standard File Save dialog. Navigate to where you want to save the file and click the Save button. The normal location is the Download directory as shown here:

2. Install the font

  • When the download is complete, go to the Finder and navigate to the folder where you saved the file. You will find the file listed as follows:

  • You must first expand the compressed zip file. To do so, double click the file. It will expand to a folder named “Gentium102” which contains the following files:

You can ignore most of the files in this folder. (The font is provided as open source, so the source vfb files are included.) There are only two files here that you need (optionally four): “GenR102.TTF” and  “GenI102.TTF”; the optional files are  “GenAR102.TTF” and  “GenAI102.TTF”. The only difference is that the files with an “A” in the middle of the file name have a different shape circumflex accent. If you don’t know what that means or don’t care, just ignore those files; you don’t need them.

  • Copy these two files to the Fonts folder in the main Library. To do that, open a second finder window and navigate to the top level of your hard drive as shown here (you may have renamed your hard drive, but you should be able to figure it out from the picture below). You can just drag the two files and drop them on the Library\Fonts folder, but you might want to copy them instead of move them; to do that just hold down the option key as you drag the files.

You’re done with the font install. You may have to quit and re-open any current applications for them to show up in the font menu.

3. Set up the Keyboard for entering  Greek text (on a separate page)