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Proof of what is unseen

What is Unicode? Part III

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

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. Then restart Finder (or your computer if that doesn’t work).
  4. Now open the International preference pane, and check off Greek-TH and Hebrew-TH.
  5. Make sure to check “Show input menu in menu bar.”
  6. Pick whatever keyboard shortcut you want. Mine is a workaround with Spark for one-key access with my Microsoft Natural keyboard; you’ll want to use something easier to remember. I made the icons for you.
  7. Enjoy!

Your International Preference Pane should look like this so you’ll have a menu bar icon telling you what language you’re in:02.png

You should have Greek-TH and Hebrew-TH checked off in the list, but no others (unless you know what you’re doing):03.png

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.


Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.


  1. Phil Gons on September 9, 2008 at 9:53 am

    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 on September 11, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    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:

    Once I got this going, everything else worked fine.

  3. James on November 11, 2011 at 11:10 am

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

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