My system for typing Greek in Microsoft Word

Note: Below is one of the systems I developed and used while in graduate school. It may or may not be outdated for your purposes. Unicode is the most current Greek standard, especially for the web. For Unicode Greek fonts and keyboards, see the links page.

This system uses the AutoCorrect feature of Microsoft Word 97/2000 to make entering accents and breathing marks easier. It depends on the Athenian font.

To install the system, all you have to do is download the following two files by right-clicking on the links and selecting “Save Target As”:

Once you have downloaded the files: How to type Greek

In Word, select the Athenian font, and you are ready to type Greek.

The letters are laid out on the keyboard as intuitively as possible. Some arenít obvious, though:

jword-final sigma
:Greek semicolon (raised dot)
;Greek question mark (English semicolon)

After a lowercase vowel, use the following keys to add accents and breathings:

)soft breathing
(rough breathing
/acute accent
\grave accent
9acute accent + rough breathing
0acute accent + soft breathing
[grave accent + rough breathing
]grave accent + soft breathing
{circumflex + rough breathing
}circumflex + soft breathing
N.B.: The preceding six combinations are on the same keys as the parentheses used to enter solo breathings, or else they use symbols that resemble the parentheses.

Before an uppercase vowel, type free-standing breathings and breathing/accent combinations as follows:

))soft breathing
((hard breathing
)/soft breathing + acute accent
(=rough breathing + circumflex

Known Problems

  1. There are two ways to deal with iota subscript. One is to forget about it and use iota adscript instead. The other is to use the + key to add an iota subscript. If you do this, note two things. First, you must enter any accents and breathing marks prior to adding the iota subscript! Second, the resultant character will technically be two superimposed characters, so it wonít necessarily look perfect. Of course, you can always use the Character Map program (in your System Tools folder) or the MS Word command Insert/Symbol to manually enter any character that is included in the Athenian font (including perfectly typeset combinations with iota subscript).
  2. Word will not automatically recognize the spaces between Greek words for the purposes of making line breaks between words. Thus line breaks will be forced in the middle of words. To solve this problem, I have finally (June 24, 2002) written a macro that solves the problem (by reformatting Greek-font space characters into a regular font, Garamond) and included the macro in the template file. But you must activate this tool manually! To correct line breaks throughout your document, simply press CTRL-ALT-A (press the "A" key while holding down the CTRL and ALT keys). Voilà!