What is Unicode? Part III

by Sep 9, 2008Uncategorized3 comments

Parts I and II of this series are available here and here.

The Mac portion of this post was updated with the help of friend and fellow BJU PhD grad Jon Cheek on 12/05/2019.

How to Install Unicode

For even more information on Unicode fonts, check out David Instone-Brewer’s smashing page over at Tyndale House.

But I’ll tell you briefly what you can do:


For the necessary Windows files, get the Tyndale Unicode Font Kit and read these instructions.

Then make your Text Services and Input Languages settings look like this:

Picture 3.png

With the settings below you’ll see a little bar in your task bar telling you what keyboard layout you’re using: EN, EL (Ellena, or Greek), or HE.

Picture 4.png

I’ve set up my keyboard shortcuts to be Ctrl+Shift+1 for English (Latin), Ctrl+Shift+2 for Greek, and Ctrl+Shift+3 for Hebrew. I recently Unicode-ized someone else’s dissertation (for a reasonable fee!). These keyboard shortcuts probably cut my time in half.

Picture 5.png


In Mac OS X,

  1. Download these two Keyboard Layouts (both of which I got from Tyndale House, but one of which I’ve edited for the final sigma to match the BibleWorks Greek font I was accustomed to).
  2. Put them in ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts.
  3. In System Preferences, select “Keyboard” and then “Input Sources.” Click the plus sign and select “Others” in the Language column. Then select Greek-TH and Hebrew-TH.
  4. Make sure to check “Show input menu in menu bar.”
Now go to “Shortcuts” and “Input Sources,” and choose a keyboard shortcut for calling up your Unicode keyboard switcher.

Now you’ll have a menu like this in your menu bar:

If you ever need help knowing what keys to type you can choose the Keyboard Viewer. The orange below highlights special keys meant for helping you input diacritics. We’ll learn more about that in Part IV, the Final Installment.


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Leave a comment.

  1. Phil Gons

    You really should use PNGs instead of JPGs. PNGs are uncompressed and thus clearer, often smaller, and allow for transparent backgrounds. They work particularly well for screenshots.

  2. Duncan

    Hey Mark,

    I just did my first project in Unicode ever… my first Hebrew Composition assignment.

    I think you might have left a step out of your Windows install instructions, actually…

    I had to add support for right-to-left languages before I could see Hebrew in my list of Keyboard Layouts. The Tyndale thing doesn’t do that automatically, apparently.

    I found out how to do this with the PDF titled “How to type Hebrew right-to-left with Windows XP” that I found here: http://www.hebrewsyntax.org/

    Once I got this going, everything else worked fine.

  3. James

    For OS X 10.7 Lion users, this is now under the Language & Text pane in System Preferences, on the Input Sources tab.