Saturday, April 26, 2008

Unicode Greek, Office2007 Update, Logos Shibboleth

(See previous entries on Unicode.)
I have been continuing to try out Microsoft Office 2007, Word2007 in particular, and how one goes about typing in polytonic Greek. Vincent Setterholm of Logos has confirmed to me that there are a number of bugs in Word2007 that make the entry of characters with multiple diacritics difficult. What one really wants is to have such characters correctly rendered using the precomposed forms. E.g., using Unicode, an omega with a circumflex and a iota sub can be rendered with combining diacritics (i.e., three separate elements) or as a precomposed character (namely, the glyph 1FF7 which has all three elements properly displayed). When I use the Logos Greek keyboard which I think is the most intuitive way to enter Greek text, one gets unpredictable results. Logos' free Shibboleth program for entering Greek and quite a few other ancient languages has been updated, but it still stumbles on some of these problems.

Some observations:

  • Pasting text from Logos or BibleWorks works fine. Characters w/ multiple diacritics are properly rendered with the correct precomposed character.
  • I can type in Greek using the Logos keyboard in WordPad, and it looks fine. Pasting the text into Word2007, however, results in the messed up text.
  • The Unicode Greek Inputter does work fine for copy/paste into Word2007.
  • The Tyndale keyboard does work fine. It is, in my opinion, an awkward keyboard, however (diacritics must be entered before typing a vowel) that I dislike using it.
So what to do in the meantime before things get fixed? One can learn and use the Tyndale keyboard or use the Greek Inputter. (I think that Tavultesoft Keyman also works, but it costs USD $19.) I'll probably stay with the Logos keyboard and use the Greek Inputter when needed.


  1. Hi Mark.

    If simple precomposed Greek is what you want, I have a simple web page that takes beta code input (quirks documented on the page) and converts it to precomposed Greek unicode.

    I realize going to a web page is a bit of a pain; I typically input what I can from the Logos keyboard and when I absolutely need to key in something with diacritics, hit the web page.

    Rick Brannan

  2. Keyman is worth every penny of the $19, but if you can find an older version, it used to be free. Check for Manuel Lopez's Classical Greek Keyboard for Keyman (you'll need it anyway); last I knew it installed an older version of Keyman with no $ restrictions. See my Unicode page for the link (from memory: --or was it .html?) This keyboard uses beta code (TLG format) and you type the diacritics after the vowel.