Greek Polytonic Keyboard Travails

The character in the word οὖν from Matthew 6:2 was causing me all sorts of fits. I eventually went into Microsoft Word where if you use the Insert Symbol dialog (or type ‘1F56’, select it and press Alt + ‘x’), you will get the right character. It appears that the polytonic keyboard layout lets you do the circumflex/tilde with breathing over α, η and ω, but not ι or υ.

Nope, further experimentation based on my incredulity at the pain I went through caused me to stumble upon the right key sequence. Hit the ‘=’ character followed by ‘y’ when in Greek Polytonic and you will get the desired character. And Shift + ‘=’ followed by ‘y’ will give you the rough breathing version (or think ‘+’ followed by ‘y’, same thing).

Super easy…

My issue, just offhand, was that I kept either using the Alt key (which is commonly used to add iota subscript/adscript, an impossibility for upsilon) or using the Shift key, which is used to toggle into a rough breathing (and I wanted smooth). Or maybe worse, I did both, which resulted in ῟υ. Not at all what I had in mind. The restriction crossed out above is for cicumflex/tilde with breathing and iota subscript/adscript combined, which is only valid for α, η and ω.


About George

I'm interested in theology, languages, translation and various sorts of fermentation.
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4 Responses to Greek Polytonic Keyboard Travails

  1. Ben says:

    Are you using a unicode font? See Tyndale Tech – Greek and Hebrew fonts.

  2. George says:

    Oh, definitely. I actually try to use Gentium for Greek, varies for Hebrew (usually Times New Roman). Fallback is to Arial Unicode MS, usually.

    But the real issue is that The Windows “plugin” that captures keyboard input doesn’t have documentation at the key level. It has an example keyboard that allow you to test pushing characters and what happens to the keyboard, but it doesn’t help much for many of the more complicated diacritic combinations.

  3. Mike says:

    I use Logo Bible Software’s Greek keyboard, which is free on their website.

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