Koine Greek is a free Greek keyboard developed by Char Matejovsky, using Keyman keyboard mapping software. Designed to give scholars of Hellenistic Greek quick, intuitive access to the extended Greek character set, Koine Greek runs on Windows-based PCs and works with Unicode fonts that have the full range of Greek and extended (polytonic) Greek characters.
Using the Koine Greek keyboard
You can set Keyman to load automatically when your computer is turned on. When loaded, the Keyman software places an icon—an off-kilter, little gray square with a K in it—in the taskbar near the lower right corner of the computer screen. You toggle the Greek keyboard on/off by clicking on the icon and selecting “Koine Greek” to turn it on and “no Keyman keyboard” to turn it off. You can also configure Keyman to toggle on and off with a key command of your choosing, such as altG.
When the Koine Greek keyboard is turned on, the grey icon appears as a black square and you get Greek (provided, of course, that you are using a Unicode font with a Greek character set). When it is turned off, the black square once again becomes a gray icon and you get the usual Roman characters. There is no need to change fonts to go from Roman to Greek and back since both characters sets are on a single font.
How does keyboard mapping work?
Keyboard mapping reassigns keys on a keyboard to other alphabet equivalents and simplifies the placement of diacritics. Thus an em can become a mu, and an en, a nu (or vice versa).
What is Unicode?
The Unicode Standards Committee developed a font template that assigns all of the world’s known characters (called glyphs) to specific positions on a single grid. Because every character in a Unicode font occupies a unique position, users of Unicode fonts can exchange files, even between platforms, without distorting characters.
What Unicode fonts have polytonic Greek?
Typically Unicode fonts contain only some of the thousands of possible glyphs. Only a few fonts include the extended Greek character set needed for Hellenistic Greek. Two that we have used successfully are Palatino Linotype and Gentium, an award-winning Unicode font that can be downloaded for free.
Copyright © 2013 by Char Matejovsky. All rights reserved.