24. Keyboard utilities

To type text in Hebrew, Greek or other non-Latin languages you do not need only fonts with the necessary characters, but also utilities that allow you to insert the characters using the same physical keyboard that you use to insert the Latin characters. We call these utilities keyboard utilities or, simply, keyboards. As already explained in the previous page, the Windows platform starting from versions 2000 and XP includes keyboards for Hebrew (vowels are not typed comfortably), for Polytonic Greek (also for modern Greek). Also starting from Windows XP or Windows 2000 with Microsoft Word XP you can use a Syriac keyboard. We have seen that some fonts of the previous page are delivered together with the appropriate keyboard utility.

 

We recommend: to type Biblical Hebrew, theTiro keyboard (layout as in the Israeli keyboard) or the SIL keyboard (layout that matches the positioning of Hebrew letters to Latin phonetic cognates, e.g. ק = Q, י = Y), both downloadable from the Biblical Fonts page of the Society of Biblical Literature; to type Polytonic Greek, the Windows keyboard or, if using a Spanish physical keyboard, the Euclides keyboard utility, and for the transcription or transliteration of Hebrew, Greek and other languages, using a physical Spanish keyboard, the CatTransU keyboard (which can be used for general purposes with advantage instead of the standard Spanish Windows keyboard).

 

To define your own keyboard layouts for Windows, especially interesting are the below three keyboard utilities: Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (to define keyboards fully integrated with the other standard Windows keyboards; special characters are typed by means of modifier keys, such as the Shif or the AltGr keys, or pressing first a dead key, such as the accent keys, and afterwards a base character key); MultiKey, and Keyman (this last one paid-for).

Antioch Classical Languages Utility (Ralph Hancock's). http://www.users.dircon.co.uk/~hancock/antioch.htm.— “Antioch is a utility which allows you to type classical Greek and Hebrew in Word. It includes fully programmable Greek and Hebrew keyboards, a uniquely simple and flexible system for handling diacritics and vowel points, an elegant font with all necessary characters, and converters for documents in many other formats.” Free. [Last visited 30.12.2010]

Fontboard (Gyula Zsigri). http://zsigri.tripod.com/fontboard/.— Free keyboard layouts to type Biblical Hebrew (and other languages) in Windows (from Windows 95 only until Windows XP). Links to font websites, keyboard layouts and other utilities. “I no longer maintain Fontboard. The keyboard layouts do not work with Windows Vista, 7, or later.” [Last visited 31.12.2010]

Euclides Polytonic Greek (Universitat de Barcelona). http://www.ub.edu/filologiagrega/electra/euclides/.—Keyboard controller for Windows 32-bit systems which makes it easy to enter polytonic Greek characters using a Spanish physical keyboard in Windows applications accepting Unicode. [Last visited 31.12.2010]

Keyman (Tavultesoft). http://www.tavultesoft.com/.— Keyman Desktop is an excellent and helpful program that allows you to use custom-designed keyboards for input. It features an on-screen keyboard and close integration with Windows. It supports Unicode. You can download packages of keyboards and fonts from the Internet and install them in with a single mouse click. Keyman Developer provides the tools to allow you to create your own keyboard input methods. You can create keyboards with a simple point-and-click wizard, or through a powerful keyboard programming language. In either case, Keyman Developer includes all the tools you need to develop, test and distribute these keyboards. Free 30-day evaluation. [Last visited 31.12.2010]

Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/goglobal/bb9646655.— Free program to define your own keyboard layouts for Windows 32-bit or 64-bit. You can modify an existing keyboard layout and build a new layout from it and package the resulting keyboard layouts for subsequent delivery and installation. [Last visited 31.12.2010]

MultiKey (de Stefan Hagel, Viena, Àustria). http://www.oeaw.ac.at/kal/multikey/.— Free Keyboard enhancement for Latin with diacritics, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, etc. Supports Unicode input in many Microsoft Windows programs. Predefined Unicode keyboard tables for 18 Unicode alphabets and also predefined keyboard tables for old encoding standards. You can change existing and create new tables. Greek Unicode font included. Manuals in English, Italian and Spanish. Automatic change of keyboard mode, if you use the Classical Text Editor. [Last visited 31.12.2010]

PopChar X (Ergonis Software, Hegenberg, Àustria). http://www.unisoft.co.at/products/popchar.html.— For Macintosh. “PopChar makes typing of unusual characters easy without having to remember keyboard combinations. Whenever you need a special character,  PopChar is there to help. Click the “P” in the menu bar to display a table of characters. Select the desired character and it instantly appears in your document.” Full Unicode support. Paid-for. [Last visited 31.12.2010]

Typing Hebrew Point (Niqud) in Windows and Word (Joanthan Rosenne). http://www.qsm.co.il/Hebrew/wniqud.htm.— Instructions to type Hebrew vowels using the Windows standard Hebrew (Israeli) keyboard. [Last visited 31.12.2010]

Windows Keyboard Layouts (Microsoft). http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/goglobal/bb964651.aspx.— In this page you can view the layouts of any Windows keyboard. [Last visited 31.12.2010]


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