Additional information on using Unicode.
University of Edinburgh PCs are equipped with the fonts discussed above. Should you need to install them on a personal machine, follow these steps:
Although unicode characters can be laboriously entered by their code number, it is much easier simply to type them in using an appropriate keyboard. This in turn requires that the 'language bar' is activated (for Windows), or the 'language kits' for Mac OSX. Once these utilities are installed, the language can be selected and its code range mapped to the keyboard. (Simpler to do than to explain!) Penn State University has some very useful pages explaining the process for both PC and Mac environments.
To make things slightly more confusing, there are different mappings of characters to keys in different systems.
Although you can obtain and install keyboards that make things more intuitive for those used to thinking (in typing terms) of aleph = A (and therefore on the /a/ key), bet = B (and therefore on the /b/ key), and so on, it is probably a good idea to get used to using the national keyboards that ship with Windows.
It will be useful to have a schematic of the keyboard layout for Greek and Hebrew.
Ari Davidow has provided some basic information about manually typing vocalized Hebrew on his Ivritype website.
It is useful to have a character map utility. The basic one included with Windows includes an optional 'Advanced View' that permits viewing characters by code range (e.g., Latin Extended Additional, etc.). Andrew West's BabelMap is an excellent freeware character map utility: 'It allows you to browse through the entire Unicode character repertoire or search for a particular character by name or codepoint. Characters can then be copied to the clipboard for use in any Unicode-aware application, or saved to file in any Unicode format.'
Although most Unicode word-processing will normally be done in Word, it can be useful to have some specialist text editors available. AbiWord is a full-blown word-processor with excellent Right-to-Left facilities, freely available under the GNU General Public License.
Andrew West's BabelPad is a free 'Unicode text editor for Windows that supports the proper rendering of most complex scripts, and allows you to assign different fonts to different scripts in order to facilitate multi-script text editing'.
Two main repositories of Unicode lore can be recommended. The first is the website of the Unicode Consortium itself. The second is Alan Wood's Unicode Resources, a vast collection of helpful resources on all aspects of things Unicode.
For biblical studies in particular, David Instone-Brewer of Tyndale House in Cambridge has put together this helpful guide.
This article was published on Feb 1, 2010