This is the "Typing in Greek" page of the "Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG)" guide.
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Last Updated: Nov 19, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Typing in Greek Print Page

Typing in Greek in Windows

To type in Greek on Windows, you need to add an international (Greek Polytonic) keyboard to your settings. It is a good second step to program hotkeys to allow you to quickly switch between a Greek and an English keyboard. This guide offers instructions on how to accomplish both tasks on Windows 7 (though the instructions apply generally to most recent versions of Windows).

First, you need to add Greek as a keyboard. Open the Windows Control Panel (Start Button -> Control Panel) and double-click the "Region and Language" icon. This will open the "Region and Language" window. Click on the "Keyboards and Languages" tab:

Click on "Change keyboards..." to open the "Text Services and Input Languages Window":

Click "Add..." to add additional keyboards. This will open the "Add Input Languages" window, with a long list of languages. Navigate down to "Greek" and click the plus icon next to Greek to open the many Greek keyboards. Click the plus icon next to "Keyboard" and click to select the radio button next to "Greek Polytonic":

Click "OK" to close the "Add Input Language" window. This will return you to the "Text Services and Input Languages" window. You now need to set the Language Bar so that you have access to switch between keyboards (without having to go back to this Control Panel). To do this, click on the "Language Bar" tab at the top of the "Text Services and Input Languages" window:

Select "Docked in the taskbar" to create a permanent icon in the taskbar (the bottom right icons section in Windows) that will indicate your current keyboard and allow you to change. It is a best practice to select "Show text labels on the Language bar" so that you will be clear which language you have chosen. After you click "OK," the Text Services and Input Languages window will close and you will see a new "EN" (for English) icon at the bottom right of your screen, next to the clock:

The current keyboard is the one displayed. To change keyboards, click the "EN" and a menu will appear allowing you to choose Greek:

Once you choose Greek, the icon at the bottom right should change to "EL" (for Greek) and you will be typing in Greek characters, using the Greek Polytonic Keyboard Map, a key to which you can find online here. It looks like this:

To switch back to English, simply click the "EL" icon and change back to English. To make this process more efficient, it is best to create keyboard hotkeys. You can find instructions for this process below.


    Setting up Keyboard Hotkeys in Windows

    Once you have added Greek as a keyboard to Windows, you can switch between keyboards using the language icon in the taskbar of windows:

    However, it is more efficient to have a keyboard shortcut setup so that you can switch between languages while typing. Fortunately, Windows makes it very easy to create and edit these. This is done through the "Text Services and Input Languages" window of the Windows Control Panel.

    Open the Windows Control Panel (Start Button -> Control Panel) and double-click the "Region and Language" icon. This will open the "Region and Language" window. Click on the "Keyboards and Languages" tab:

    Click on "Change keyboards..." to open the "Text Services and Input Languages" window:

    In the "Text Services and Input Languages" window," click on the "Advanced Key Settings" tab to show the current keyboard settings. You should see an entry for each of the keyboards you have added. If you do not see English and Greek, go through the steps for adding a keyboard, described above. Otherwise, your window should look like this:

    You will see one entry for switching between languages, with the assigned key sequence indicated. Each language will also have a key sequence, which will allow you to go directly to that language (helpful if you install more than two languages). If you want to set/change any key sequence, highlight the particular item and click "Change Key Sequence..." This will open a new window allowing you to choose a key combination (generally a number pressed in combination with Ctrl, with Ctrl-Shift, or with Alt-Shift:

    You will want to be careful to choose a key sequence that has not already been selected. Find your appropriate key combination, click "OK," and you will be returned to the "Text Services and Input Languages" window. Press "OK" on that window and your keyboard shortcut should be set. 


      MacOS Greek Polytonic Keyboard Map

      With No Shift:

      With Shift:


        Typing in Greek in MacOS

        To type in Greek on the Mac, you need to add a Greek keyboard as an input source. A second step that is considered a best practice is to assign a keyboard hotkey to allow you to quickly switch between keyboard inputs.

        To add a keyboard, open System Preferences. You can do this by clicking the System Preferences icon in the dock or by choosing "System Preferences" from the Apple menu at the top left of the screen.

        In the System Preferences window, click the "Keyboard" icon to open Keyboard Preferences. Choose the "Input Sources" tab to show which keyboards have been installed.

        1. You will see a list of keyboards installed, with their assigned flag indicating nationality associated with that language. If you highlight a particular keyboard, you will see the keyboard map in the right-side window.
        2. Click the plus icon to add a new keyboard input.
        3. It is considered best practice to select "Show Input menu in menu bar" so that the languge icon will appear in the menu bar (top right of the screen), allowing you to easy switch between languages.

        Clicking the plus icon will open a new window with a list of languages. Scroll down to Greek. When you highlight the language, the available keyboards will appear on the right side. Highlight "Greek Polytonic" and you will see the keyboard map below:

        Click "Add" and this keyboard will now be shown as an input. If you selected "Show Input menu in menu bar" (which you should), you will now see both English and Greek, with their respective flags, in the menu bar at the top right:

        This menu is an easy way to access languages (though keyboard shortcuts are easier). From this menu you can select your input language, you can open a window to input individual characters ("Show Character Viewer"), open a Kebyard Map ("Show Keyboard Viewer"), or go directly to the Keyboard Preferences ("Open Keyboard Preferences...").


          Creating Keyboard Shortcuts in MacOS

          The menu bar at the top right of the screen provides quick access to switching between languages in MacOS:

          However, many find it easier to create a keyboard shortcut to change languages, so that one can move between Greek and English without having to stop typing. This is easy to create on the Mac. 

          To do so, open System Preferences (see instructions above) and click the "Keyboard" icon. In the Keyboard window, choose the "Shortcuts" tab. 

          This window will allow you to create and edit shortcuts for many functions on the Mac. To create one for switching keyboards, highlight "Input Sources." This will show the current keyboard shortcuts. By default, you should see entries for selecting the previous input source and for selecting the next input source. The Mac puts your installed keyboards in a list, and you can create shortcuts to cycle through that list. To turn on or off a given shortcut, select the radio button next to the shortcut's name. To edit the keyboard combination, click on the shortcut at the far right of the line (where the actual key combination is listed). This will turn that keyboard combination into an editable element, highlighted by a light blue color. Click the key combination you desire (actually do the combination on your keyboard), and the entry will change. If this combination is already used by another function, the system will warn you. When you have the combination you want, simply close System Preferences.

          Once set, that key combination will cycle through the installed keyboards. As you press it, you should see the flag in the top right menu bar change.


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