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History > Archive/Research > Computing in GREEK on Microsoft Windows XP Systems

History > Archive/Research

submitted by Greek on 16.01.2006

Computing in GREEK on Microsoft Windows XP Systems


[01] Fonts for Reading Greek Text
[02] Keyboard for Writing Greek

[01] Fonts for Reading Greek Text
To read Greek text with the appropriate Greek letters and not using Latin characters (ASCII), you must install Greek fonts. The following line is a test; if you can read it, you already have Greek fonts. If you cannot read it, you need those fonts.

ÁõôÞ ç ãñáììÞ åßíáé ãñáììÝíç óôá ÅëëçíéêÜ.

Windows XP usually contains all the necessary font sets and you are already reading the above line, unless your browser overrides the fonts suggested by this webpage. In the latter case you need to select the character set ISO-8859-7. These fonts follow the standard ELOT-928, which is internationally known as ISO-8859-7 and is the most compact way to write texts in Greek.

[02] Keyboard for Writing Greek

Since Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft has integrated support for most western languages. So do not need to download additional software to read and write in Greek.

In order to be able to write in Greek, two things need to happen. A mapping or layout of the keys of the keyboard to the corresponding Greek characters - this requires a keyboard driver - and a means for switching between different types of keyboard drivers are needed. Both requirements are accomplished as follows:

Under Start (or any other available means) go to Control pannel and run (double click) "Regional and Language Settings". Select the tab "Language" and under "Text services and input laguages" click on "Details".

Under "Installed services" click on "Add". Select as "Input language" "Greek" and pick the "Keyboard layout/IME" of your choice - the default is fine. Close the last window by clicking "OK".

In the "Text Services and Input Languages" window, under "Preferences" click on "Language Bar" and select "Show the Language bar on the desktop" so you can tell at any time which keyboard layout is selected for the application that is active. Click "OK" to return to the previous window.

Under "Preferences" click on "Key Settings" to open the "Advanced Key Settings" window. Under "Hot keys for input languages" make your selections for accessing or switching to a given keyboard layout. People who use only two keyboard layouts usually just use one key combination to toggle between the two languages.

Under "Change Key Sequence" you can select the combination of CTRL + SHIFT or Left Alt + SHIFT, the latter choice being more common, for toggling between input languages. Close this window by clicking "OK".

Close the "Advanced Key Settings" by clicking "OK".

Close the "Text Services and Input Languages" window by clicking "OK".

Close the "Regional and Language Options" window by clicking "OK".

You should now be able to write Greek characters in most applications.

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1 Comment

submitted by
Peter Makarthis
on 23.03.2006

This system works well when supported by a Greek- English keyboard. Make sure you buy one in Greece at approx 10 Euros in most computor shops in Athens during your next visit. A simplistic alternative is simply use the 'Symbol' font which will give a use of basic Greek Text. Be aware that the key configuration is not the same for both systems. Peter M