Greek Fonts (Unicode)

Note: the future of fonts on the internet is Unicode.  I strongly encourage you to come to terms with Unicode as soon as possible.  Eventually everyone will be working with it, so make the change now rather than later.   There are a couple of very helpful guides which explain Unicode and provide advice and instructions:

By John Schwandt:  easy to follow instructions on how to begin working with Unicode for writing Greek, with links and keyboard maps.

By Rodney Decker:  an excellent introduction for those looking to find out more about Unicode.  Particularly helpful is Decker’s paper “What a Biblical Scholar / Student Should Know About Unicode” (PDF)

New font: The following new unicode font from the Society of Biblical Literature is now available:

Unicode Greek font from the Society of Biblical Literature, released in 2009. The font is attractive and free. A Biblical Fonts FAQ is available if you are uncertain how to proceed.

Further details:  if you want to know more, the following site is recommended:

From SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics): a wealth of useful material, with tutorials and more.

Typing unicode Greek:  the following are easy to use facilities for those who have not yet made the transition to working with a Greek keyboard:

By Randy Hoyt: a very useful tool, describing itself as “a web-based software tool that converts text from a standard keyboard into beautiful, polytonic Greek characters as you type. Using an easy-to-learn and standardized system called beta code, TypeGreek converts your keystrokes into Unicode-compliant Greek in real-time.”

By James Naughton:  a web page that you can use as a keyboard — type naturally in unicode, or point and click, and then copy and paste into your document.  You can save the page locally so that you can access the facility off-line.  See also Naughton’s helpful page on Unicode Classical Greek which has several useful links.

By Logos Bible Software. Free tool for typing Unicode text in ancient scripts. It was designed to help people unfamiliar with a script easily enter the correct characters, and then copy text to the clipboard in Unicode or another format.

Copying and pasting New Testament passages: if you simply need Greek NT materials in unicode, copy and paste from one of the following resources, which have the Greek NT in unicode:

Converting from legacy fonts to unicode: When you make the switch from older fonts (like SPIonic) to unicode, you are likely to want to convert some of your older documents so that the Greek appears in unicode instead. One of the best tools for doing this within MS Word is:

By David-Artur Daix:  free software that enables you to convert your existing Greek encodings to unicode in your MS Word documents.

By Logos Bible Software — a free online tool for Greek and Hebrew transliteration.

Greek Fonts (Legacy)

Note: some publishers are still working with legacy fonts and SPIonic is particularly popular, not least because everyone can download it for free (see below).  I have provided links to a variety of legacy fonts below.  If you are starting out with Greek fonts, though, I would strongly encourage you to go with unicode (see above);  you will make life easier for yourself in the long run.

The free, public domain Scholars Press Greek font designed by James Adair. Available for Mac or Windows. Click on SPIONIC_.TTF and download the ‘read me’ document as well as the font. You will need this font to read certain Biblical Studies related web pages. The same site provides Hebrew, Coptic and Syriac fonts. For keyboard mapping, see the next link.

SPIOnic Keyboard Picture
By Doug Chaplin: a useful keyboard illustration of the keyboard mapping for SPIonic.

SPIOnic Keyboard Map
At Biblisches Forum: keyboard mapping for SPIonic. A keyboard map is also available at Biblical Studies on the Web site.

By David Instone Brewer, Tyndale House, Cambridge, U.K. Excellent page taking the user through several of the major fonts available for download. Features the Tyndale Fonts Kit, a freeware package incorporating the Scholars Press fonts, SPIonic (Greek) and SPTiberian (Hebrew); the RTL keyboard program and full instructions on how to use the fonts and utilities. Type Hebrew from right to left and find help with Greek breathings, accents, final sigmas and more. One-stop solution for Biblical scholars looking for good, free fonts and utilities for typing Hebrew and Greek.

The Summer Institute of Linguistics has a fine Greek font system, also downloadable for free (though copyright). This is another one-stop solution to your search for a useful, free Greek font, and it comes with instructions, special keyboard facilities and so on.

SIL Apparatus Fonts — Symbols Used For Biblical Text Apparatus — is available from the same site.

A Greek font from Teknia Software, “absolutely free without any restrictions”, the successor of the old “Mounce” Greek font. The page usefully contains full details on how to download the font, and gives keyboard mapping.  It is essential for using the Greek software downloadable from the Teknia site.

Another good looking free Greek font. It comes with a Word document giving the keyboard mapping for the font.

Free Greek and Hebrew fonts, with instructions on how to install. You will need these fonts to view the Goshen Interlinear Bible and Greek Lexicon.

By Rodney Decker: font has been developed for free use by the scholarly community. It is currently available in True Type format with both regular, bold, and italic faces. It works on both Windows and Mac OS X. One of the goals for Decker’s project has been to design a font optimized for use on screen and on the web rather than primarily for printed output.

Shareware Greek, Hebrew, Latin and Coptic fonts available for a registration fee of $20.

Available free for the reading of Greek material on the web (e.g. at the Perseus site), or for $50 if one wants to use it for typing.

From Galaxie Software: a shareware version is available and is necessary for reading material at the Biblical Studies Foundation.

By Matthew Robinson: resources and links for the PC, including explanations and macros for using fonts in Word and WordPerfect — a very useful site.

By Jonathan Robie: a useful introduction, if now rather out of date.

Provided for the fonts SGreek (from Silver Mountain Software, above) and Athenian (see above). It is necessary to have one of these fonts in order to read the pages in Greek at the Perseus site.

By Glenn Wooden and Harry Hahne: a good introduction to some of the fonts listed above, but now quite dated.

By Willem Smouter: freeware to enable Word Perfect users to type Greek, Hebrew and Cyrillic without difficulty.

By William D. Ramey: excellent, comprehensive guide to lots of Greek fonts (and related resources) on the web. See also this site for extensive guide to other ancient language fonts, Hebrew, Coptic, Akkadian, Ethiopic, Syriac etc.

By Luc Devroye: comprehensive, annotated and up-to-date guide to Greek and Coptic fonts available on the internet. A useful page.

Coptic Fonts

By Luc Devroye: comprehensive, annotated and up-to-date guide to Greek and Coptic fonts available on the internet. A useful page.

Yamada Language Centre, University of Oregon

The Scholars Press free font, available for Mac or Windows, designed by Jimmy Adair: a good font that is particularly useful for writing and reading web materials. Click on SPACHMIM_.TTF and download the ‘read me’ document as well as the font.

By Mike Grondin: provides character mapping for both of the above-mentioned fonts.

Hebrew, Aramaic and Other Fonts

By William Ramey: comprehensive, annotated and very useful guide to ancient language fonts available on the internet. Recommended.

The Summer Institute of Linguistics provides a free Hebrew font package for Windows and Macintosh.

Scholars Press has free, public domain Hebrew, Aramaic and Syriac fonts.

Provides a set of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek fonts constructed by the host of the site; there are links too to other good fonts on the internet.

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