Archives For font

I think I’ve seen this before, but didn’t remember where it was, but here’s a very helpful page on the blog by Erwin Ochsenmeier that lists all the necessary text critical symbols with their correct Unicode characters/values. I’ve included one chart, but there are others there as well as instructions for how to enter them.


HT: Christian Askeland on the Evang. Text Crit blog

This page, titled simply Unicode Greek Fonts by Russell Cottrell, is perhaps one of the longer lists of fonts which include support for polytonic Unicode Greek. It includes graphic samples of each so you can see what they look like. Some are quite ugly (and my Galilee Unicode would certainly be judged to be such if used as a text font–that’s not what it’s for!), others look quite nice. They are also categorized by how complete the font is. The list does not appear to have been updated recently, and many of the newer commercial fonts are not included. I haven’t checked to see if all the links are still valid. Cottrell has his own polytonic Greek font available: Aristarcoj, which looks interesting (but it has no Latin glyphs).

I just noticed on Adobe’s site that the following (commercial) fonts are listed as having Unicode polytonic Greek:

Arno Pro
Garamond Premier Pro

The pdf sample sheets posted show very nice polytonic glyphs. Arno is simple but gracious; Garamond has a very nice flair, almost an italic look to it.

(I had known that Minion Pro and Myriad Pro contained polytonic, but these two are new to me.)

And BTW, I’ve just been trying out and the online word processor, BuzzWord. The file sharing options of have potential that I’m going to experiment with, but the word processor is not usable for polytonic Greek—even though it include Minion and Myriad fonts. 🙁

The SBL Unicode Greek font has just been posted for download. It’s been in development for some time. It’s a nice looking face. Here’s a quick screen dump (it will likely be compressed horizontally; right click and View Image for accurate picture):


I haven’t had time to work with it much or explore it’s character set.

Download page is here and a direct link for the ttf file here (TrueType Font file, v1.00 Build 010, updated 3-6-09).

See the comments for updated info and details on the font.

I just ran across two helpful pages with additional information on Unicode fonts for polytonic (i.e., ancient) Greek in Windows and Linux. (Some of the info on the fonts themselves is also relevant to Mac.)

First there is a series of posts on the Nerdlets blog (Tommy Keene). The link here is to one on fonts, but there are links to several related posts further down the page that deal with configuring and using them in Windows and also Ubuntu Linux.

Second, Vern Poythress explains how to use Unicode on Linux–something for which I hunted in vain a year or so ago when I started experimenting with Ubuntu. “Keyboard Entry of Polytonic Greek and Biblical Hebrew in GNU/Linux.”

Nerdlets also has an article on how to “Run Bibleworks 7 or 8 with Wine in Linux (Ubuntu 8.04 and 8.10).” Not having a credible Bible software tool for Ubuntu was the deal breaker for me last year, so though I still have a Windows box set up to dual boot into Ubuntu, I haven’t messed with it much. Ubuntu may be the easiest of the Linux flavors to learn/use, but it’s still a long ways from the usability of Mac (or even Windows XP!). It takes more technical knowledge to do what you want to do and if you don’t already have that, it’s a steep learning curve. I’m also stuck with the older Windows box I use due to its video card not having drivers for the current version.

All in all, I finally decided last spring to upgrade my Mac instead. That’s a more expensive route than Ubuntu, but since I’m not sufficiently “techie” to grapple with Ubuntu, I decided it was worth the cost for me to get more work done more efficiently on Mac. (Now if Accordance ran on Ubuntu, I might have thought twice… 🙂 ) When it came to paying heating fuel costs, I decided to cut my own firewood and get some exercise at the same time. But for getting academic work done, I’ve decided to pay Apple to do the heavy lifting for me.

HT: Danny Zacharias at Deinde

I’ve just been made aware of an excellent Greek unicode font that is the most thorough I have ever come across. Designed for the papyrologist and text-critical scholar in mind. The font is called IFAO-Grec and can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. You will see also a documentation page, which lists all of the extra characters available.

IFAO = French Institute of Eastern Archaeology

From the documentation:

It is first of all a Greek and Coptic font which contains the most important critical and diacritical signs, and the sigla and symbols used in editing papyrological and epigraphical texts, as well as Greek texts of specialized content such as mathematics, astronomy, magic, music, and poetry.

The font is naturally compatible with other Greek fonts in standard Unicode format (Main Plane 0) and tries to be as compatible as possible with e.g. wAthenaUnicode in the Private Use Area (PUA) and the new Plane 1 area. But it offers several possibilities that do not exist in other fonts. The font is designed to harmonise with Times New Roman, in both style and dimensions.

It was conceived by Jean-Luc Fournet, and the Unicode version is the work of Ralph Hancock. Adam Bülow-Jacobsen helped in various ways.

IFAO-Grec Unicode is issued free of all rights.

Here are direct links:

The font: (The font file name when unzipped is IFAOGrec.ttf. It appears in font meus as “IFAO-Grec Unicode.”)

Glyph table:

English documentation

Here’s a graphic that shows the basic character set. (I left it large so you can see the detail; it will either be compressed horizontally or run off the screen to the right, so you’ll have to save it locally or right click it and View Image to see it undistorted or to see the entire image.)


There is a full set of NA text crit symbols, but they won’t display in MS Word 2008/Mac. I haven’t tried in the Windows version of Word or other word processors yet.