Help with Typing Greek (Mac/PC, Accents Included)

A friend of mine said to me once that he typed all of the Greek into his dissertation (on Aristophanes) using the insert symbol feature of MS word.  While over the years scholars have used many different techniques to get Greek texts into their works, I’m going to show you the easiest way (on Mac and PC) to get a Polytonic Greek keyboard on your computer.  I just wish I could have shown my friend before he spent all that time doing it the long way.

To type in Ancient Greek you’ll need to set up your Polytonic Greek Keyboard.  There will be multiple options for Greek keyboards but you will need the Polytonic if you want to use the accents (which you will, or else you’ll still be using the insert symbol feature a lot).  Here are the instructions:

For Windows Vista/7

In the Control Panel, select Change Keyboards or other Input Methods under Clock, Language, and Region then, under the Keyboards and Languages Tab, click Change Keyboard.



On the general tab, click the Add button.

more keyboard


Scroll through the list and expand Greek (Greece), then Keyboard, and select Greek Polytonic.  Click OK.

greek polytnoic


Now you’re all set up!  The next step is to enable the keyboard.  The language bar should automatically appear in the status bar.

language bar


To figure out how to type in Greek, you can use the on-screen keyboard.  In the Start Menu, select All Programs –> Accessories –> Ease of Access –> On-Screen Keyboard.  You can even right-click and pin the on-screen keyboard to the start menu or the task bar for easy access.

keyboard viewer

For Mac OSX:

In System Preferences, click on Keyboard and then on the Input Sources Tab.

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 1.16.13 PM

On the left is a list of keyboards currently installed.  Click the + to add a new keyboard.  Select Greek from the lefthand column and Greek Polytonic from the righthand column.

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 1.31.36 PM

Now that you have the keyboard installed, you might want to know how to use it.  The first step is enabling the keyboard when you want it.  That’s easy to do.  In the upper right corner near the battery percentage is the keyboard selection.  Simply click on the flag and select Greek Polytonic from the dropdown menu.

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 5.19.08 PM

If you’re curious about where the keys are and how to put the accents in, you can select Show Keyboard Viewer from the drop down and it will show you a map of the keys.

There you are, all set up to type in Greek like a pro.  You might even be excited to give it a try.



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Help with Typing Greek (Mac/PC, Accents Included) by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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