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Exporting Greek to Word for Mac with Unicode


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#1 Philip Richardson

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:07 PM

I have just switched from exporting Greek into Word for Mac 2008 by exporting as Helena characters, to exporting as Unicode characters. When I paste the characters into Word they seem to default to the "Geneva" font. I don't particularly like this font and have taken to highlighting it and changing it to a different font, though its appearance does not seem to change unless I select SBL Greek (in other words it doesn't seem to make the switch properly to e.g. Helena, BibleWorks Greek etc).

Apart from wondering why that is, is there any way of ensuring that when copied material is pasted into Word for Mac in Unicode it defaults to a particular font (preferable not Geneva!)?

Any ideas would be much appreciated.

#2 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:24 PM

Not all Unicode fonts include Greek (or Hebrew) glyphs. And not all Greek and Hebrew fonts are unicode. I don't know about BibleWorks Greek, but I know that Helena is not a unicode font. For more detail, see this summary by Joe Weaks.

Most Word processing programs default to a font that Does include the needed glyphs, which may be why it keeps defaulting to Geneva. To see what Fonts you have that will handle Greek, try the following:
-Copy a short Greek Passage from Accordance
-Open Font Book (in your Applications Folder)
-Select a font
-Under the Preview menu, chose "Custom"
-Paste the Greek Passage into the Preview area (the right side of the window)
-Select various fonts from the Font list, and the Preview will show you how they display.

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#3 Philip Richardson

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:36 PM

Dear Lorinda

Thank you for taking the time to reply with a really helpful explanation and instructions for using the font book. I had not fully appreciated the relationship between fonts and unicode - I have discovered that, as you say, Helena is not a unicode font. I have discovered that Gentium is though, which is much more attractive than Geneva!

As you say, the program is defaulting to a font like Geneva that has the needed glyphs. To revise my earlier question: given that my font book has more than one font which will do the job, is there any way of telling Word or Accordance to export in Unicode to one particular font that I prefer? Maybe there is someone else who can answer that question.

Philip

#4 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:55 PM

You're welcome. In terms of your question about specifying an export font, it's been discussed before, and I don't think there is currently a way to do this. You can try setting your desired font in Word and then using Paste Special to paste "unformatted" text. (I may not have the terms exactly right, I don't use Word on my Mac, and the Windows version of Word I do use is a bit out of date)

As an aside, you can also create a "collection" in Font Book of the Unicode fonts that include Greek, so you can compare them quickly without going through all the fonts each time.
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#5 Rod Decker

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:06 PM

If you are using Word, just define the Normal style to use the Unicode font that you want, then anything pasted in as plain text will have that font, or if it doesn't, a quick Cmd-Shift-z will remove any formatting to make it match the Normal style. There are also ways to customize Word to create a keyboard shortcut to paste plain text, but I'm on iPad just now and not Mac, so can't give you details. Google search will turn it up, however. There are a number of good Unicode fonts as good as Gentium. See my blog (URL on profile page) where I've recently made several posts about some new releases with samples.
Rodney J. Decker, ThD
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Baptist Bible Seminary
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#6 Philip Richardson

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:08 PM

You're welcome. In terms of your question about specifying an export font, it's been discussed before, and I don't think there is currently a way to do this. You can try setting your desired font in Word and then using Paste Special to paste "unformatted" text. (I may not have the terms exactly right, I don't use Word on my Mac, and the Windows version of Word I do use is a bit out of date)

As an aside, you can also create a "collection" in Font Book of the Unicode fonts that include Greek, so you can compare them quickly without going through all the fonts each time.


Thank you for the advice - especially about collections in Font Book. I have now taken the time to create a Greek collection. Thank you again for all your help

#7 Philip Richardson

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:18 PM

If you are using Word, just define the Normal style to use the Unicode font that you want, then anything pasted in as plain text will have that font, or if it doesn't, a quick Cmd-Shift-z will remove any formatting to make it match the Normal style. There are also ways to customize Word to create a keyboard shortcut to paste plain text, but I'm on iPad just now and not Mac, so can't give you details. Google search will turn it up, however. There are a number of good Unicode fonts as good as Gentium. See my blog (URL on profile page) where I've recently made several posts about some new releases with samples.


Thank you for this helpful advice. I have found one of the recommendations online to create a keyboard shortcut to paste plain text and have done so successfully.

By "define the Normal style" do you mean setting the default font in your default document? I tend to use Times New Roman or Cambria - that would mean changing it to e.g. Gentium? If so, I'm a little loathe to do this as I'm expected to use Times New Roman for writing academic papers. I don't suppose there's another clever way of doing this so I can just paste Greek in a different font? I wondered why it tends to paste text from Accordance as "Geneva" when I have other Unicode fonts in my Font book (why that one and not another). Maybe there's no other way around this.

Thank you for drawing my attention to the font recommendations on your blog. I quite like Gentium and SBL Greek of the ones I've tried.

Thank you again for taking the time to reply with some helpful suggestions

#8 Joe Weaks

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:45 PM

I currently recommend Times that ships with Mac as a default font for your multilingual (Greek and English) document. It includes the range you need, and its Unicode Greek glyphs are quite good and flow well with the Roman characters. It's what I used in my dissertation.
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#9 Philip Richardson

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:09 PM

Thanks very much for that. I'll take a look at that font.

#10 Rod Decker

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:11 AM

Two things to consider.

1. When an institution specifies "Times New Roman" (or sometimes just "Times"), they sometimes mean, "a Times-kind-of-font." There are so many minor variations that look very similar that you might inquire if a particular font is acceptable. When you do, print out a sample using, say, Gentium, and ask if that font is OK. (If you ask by name, it all depends on the person you ask; many don't know a lot about fonts, but they can judge by the appearance.) E.g., when I wrote my dissertation I was told to use Times and also told that it needed to be 10 characters per inch! One of my readers didn't understand fonts!

2. If you need to stick to Times, then define a *character style* for Greek text and define it as using, say, Gentium. That way a single keystroke (which you've assigned to Grek char style) can toggle between the Normal style (Times) and Greek (Gentium).
Rodney J. Decker, ThD
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#11 Philip Richardson

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:05 PM

Thank you for another really helpful reply. This was just the advice that I was looking for. I have learned more about fonts this week than I thought was possible (and still don't know very much)!

You're right that by "Times New Roman" they often just mean "or something like it". One of my syllabi says "with a standard font like Times New Roman".

I shall look into how to define a "character style" for Greek text.

Thank you again for taking the time to reply to my posts and to help me in this area of my ignorance.

#12 Joe Weaks

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:09 PM

Rod,
It seems you are unaware that Times on the Mac has the full range of Greek characters needed. This is what makes it a great situation. My dissertation requirement was for Times New Roman, but I easily "got away with" doing the whole thing in Times (which I like better than TNR in English, too). While I did set up separate Character Styles for all my Greek text, I ended up keeping the whole text in Times font.
Frankly, most folks are just not up to speed on defining their own paragraph and characters styles, so the solution I recommend is to use Times throughout.
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#13 Rod Decker

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 07:32 PM

No, I do know that Times and TNR both have full polytonic Greek character sets. I just don't like them. Though some awful looking combinations (typographically) can be created using one font for English and another for Greek, some mesh quite nicely. By using a defined character style for all Greek text in a document (or Hebrew, etc.), with Unicode one can easily change any of the variables, whether the main body font or the Greek text that is included. I do that even though I usually use the same font for both. I've used Gentium for years for that purpose, though my current favorite is the new Adobe Text Pro font.
Rodney J. Decker, ThD
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Baptist Bible Seminary
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#14 Philip Richardson

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:16 AM

If, for instance, I wanted to use Times New Roman for English and Gentium for Greek, do you know of an online link with simple instructions "for dummies" (!) that would tell me how to define a "character style" for Greek so that I can toggle between Gentium and TNR?

#15 Joe Weaks

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:17 PM

If, for instance, I wanted to use Times New Roman for English and Gentium for Greek, do you know of an online link with simple instructions "for dummies" (!) that would tell me how to define a "character style" for Greek so that I can toggle between Gentium and TNR?

The instructions vary depending on what word processor you're using... different versions of Word, Pages, Mellel, etc. The key thing to know is you're wanting to set a Character Style for your Greek text (which can be applied to snippets of text), not a Paragraph Style (which must apply to a whole paragraph at a time). You'll have to search for good tutorials; I'm sure they're plentiful.
Learning to use Styles in your Word processor is very beneficial, but it is beyond the limits of what many want/can do, and this is why I suggest the best solution for many is just using Times font on the Mac (NOT Times New Roman), which I think looks great and includes Greek and English.
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