CO 69.3 [Spring 1992], pp. 102-104: Fonts and wordprocessors forGreek and Latin; GreekKeys, SuperGreek et al. (Linguist'sSoftware), Lettrix, TurboFonts, FancyFont et al. (Softcraft),MultiLingual Scholar, Nota Bene, SuperFonts, FontFactory GS, MultiScribe, BeagleWrite; APA booklet, Wordprocessingfor the Classicist
I hope I've been able to keep everything in my column within the graspof the beginner. If anything I write is unclear to you, please do not hesitateto write--by either Email or USmail. (No extra points for Email; I'm barelycomfortable with it myself!) If one person doesn't understand it and saysso, there are bound to be many more who could use further explanation. Atleast that's my experience with workshops, where it's much easier to raiseyour hand and ask questions.
One question that does come up periodically, though it is not directly connectedto instructional software, is how to print Greek and other special characters,like Latin macrons, with a computer. This can be useful, of course, forwriting manuscripts (or "compuscripts"?) on textual criticism,as well as creating handouts or worksheets for students.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not a simple one. The hardwarecompatibility issue that we run into with instructional software gets evenmore complicated when we bring in the extra variable of printer types andgraphics adapters.
Let's take care of the easiest part of the answer first. As I wrote in myfirst column, the Macintosh has won the hearts of many a classicist purelybecause of its "facile handling of alternate character sets, such asGreek." The Macintosh loads a character set, or font, just like a separateprogram and keeps it available to whatever word processor you are using.
Two Macintosh software fonts for Greek have been popular among classicists.GreekKeys was designed by George Walsh at the University of Chicago andis now published by the APA's software affiliate, Classical Micropublishing,Inc. Individual copies are $50 each, and there is a sliding scale for departmentalsite licenses. Contact: Scholars Press Software, P.O. Box 15288, Atlanta,GA 30333; tel. 404-636-4757.
The other popular Greek font for Macintosh is called SuperGreek ($79.95).A separate font from the same publisher, SuperFrench/German/Spanish ($99.95),includes Latin macrons among its features. There are special versions ofboth fonts for laserprinting, appropriately dubbed Laser Greek, etc. ($99.95each). Contact: Linguist's Software, P.O. Box 580, Edmonds, WA 98020; tel.206-775-1130.
When we talk about alternate character sets on IBM-compatible computers,we first have to discuss ASCII codes and graphics adapters. (That's whatthe "-GA" stands for in the subheading list above.)
Our computers' built-in bias for the English language becomes evident whenyou examine the set of characters included in the list of the American StandardCode for Information Interchange (ASCII). This is the most significant commondenominator between computers of all makes and models, and it is what makeselectronic mail possible. Computers only understand numbers, so this listof codes designates the official number equivalent of the 26 charactersin the Anglo-Roman alphabet. The list assigns separate numbers for capitalizedletters and includes all the other characters on a standard typewriter.Even the single-digit numerals are assigned their own ASCII code, but don'task me how that was determined. The ASCII code for the numeral "9"is 57. There are 128 character-codes in the basic ASCII list. A second setof 128 codes is often used for scientific symbols (several of them Greek,of course) and most of the Western European accented vowels (not macrons),but it has not been accepted as an official ASCII standard between differentcomputer types.
I apologize for the digression, but I do think it is important for everyoneto understand the significance and usefulness of ASCII codes. If you areever trying to exchange computerized data (draft articles or school reports)with colleagues who will also need to edit them on a computer--and theyare not using the same wordprocessor and computer that you are--you canalways transfer it as an ASCII file. Most wordprocessors allow you to saveor load a document as an ASCII file (also known as a DOS or text file) insteadof using its usual formatting procedure. Once the text itself is in itsfinal form, you can add any necessary formatting (italics, margins, etc.)before printing. (NOTE: If you are using different computer types, you willneed to use a null modem or a special file transfer procedure. It can betricky, but it's not that difficult. Ask your school's computer specialistor contact me for details.)
Now it's back to those graphics adapters! In the IBM world, there isa big difference between a computer with a graphics adapter (a specializedcircuit board that attaches inside the computer) and one without. Withouta graphics adapter the computer is limited to printing on its screen onlythe 128 characters in the ASCII list and another 128 in the IBM alternatecharacter set. With a graphics adapter (and the proper monitor) it is possibleto put virtually anything on the screen with the appropriate software. Graphicsadapters are also required for the use of most multicolor monitors.
The complexity of graphics adapters has developed over the years; but, unlessyou are trying to use a very specialized type of software, they are generallyintercompatible, as long as they follow one of the official IBM standards(CGA, EGA, VGA) or an independent equivalent, like Hercules (A brand name--students,take note!).
Mind you, it is also possible to print alternate characters like Greek withoutusing a graphics adapter to see them on your screen. Some programs allowyou to insert into your text special codes which can instruct the printerto use an alternate character set provided by the program itself. This procedurerequires you to type a transliterated form of the Greek, along with specialsymbols to indicate accents and breathing marks.
It should be noted that any type of font software will depend on the useof special symbols or key combinations to create the alternate charactersand accents. This always takes a while to get used to; fortunately, thereis a fairly standard and easily comprehensible correlation of Greek charactersto Anglo-Roman equivalents.
One piece of such software which has been used by many classicists to printGreek on an IBM-compatible without a graphics adapter is called Lettrix.Although it does include a number of other language fonts, there is no macronamong them; however, the font design program which is also included providesthe means to easily adapt one of the several Anglo-Roman fonts to includemacrons. I have also used this program to produce near letter-quality copywith an old Epson MX-80 printer. (It takes a little longer, but it can extendthe use and life of many old dot-matrix printers, until you get spoiledby a laser printer.) Contact: Hammerlab Corp., 938 Chapel St., New Haven,CT 06510; tel. 203-624-0000; price: $98.50.
If you do have a graphics adapter on your IBM-compatible, there are a numberof font software options to choose from. Note that there are always separateversions for dot-matix and laser printing.
TurboFonts has several versions to coordinate with most major word processors;contact: Image Processing Software, P.O. Box 5016, Madison, WI 53705; tel.608-233-5033; price: $199 (dot-matrix), $229 (laser), 20% discount for prepayment,$6 shipping.
Softcraft publishes two separate programs which both work with three wordprocessors:Word Perfect, Microsoft Word, and OfficeWriter. The first program, FancyFont($180), is for dot-matix printing; and the second, Font Special EffectsPack ($295) works with HP Laserjet printers only. Each specific font, likeGreek, costs an additional $15. Their Proto-IndoEuropean font includes macrons.Contact: Softcraft, 16 N. Carroll St. #500, Madison, WI 53703; tel. 800-351-0500.
Linguist's Software makes an IBM version of SuperGreek, called IBMGreek($79.95), as well as a European font pack, called Transliterator, whichincludes macrons. Both of these programs will require extra "printerdriver" software, which varies according to printer and costs an additional$79.95. See contact information above.
THE WHOLE KIT 'N' CABOODLE
In case you haven't already made the crucial decision concerning which all-purposewordprocessor to bank your career on--trying to learn more than one is afeat that few have lived to tell about--I should point out that there arefull-feature wordprocessors available which have been specially designedfor academic and foreign language applications.
MultiLingual Scholar (MLS) is one such program, which has five built-inalphabets to choose from: Roman, Greek, Hebrew, Cyrillic, and Arabic/Persian.The F9 function key provides macrons at any time. A powerful new versionwith editing windows and pull-down menus was recently released ($595; students$357 with valid ID), but they are still distributing the previous versionat a reduced price ($195; students $99). Contact: Gamma Productions, 710Wilshire Blvd. #609, Santa Monica, CA 90401.
Another such program, Nota Bene ($495, students $199 with valid ID), hasbeen said to be well suited to book writing because of its built-in indexingand multilevel footnoting capabilities. A separate add-on "LanguageSupplement" ($199) is needed to produce Greek characters and Latinmacrons. Contact: Dragonfly Software, 285 W. Broadway #500, New York, NY10013; tel. 212-334-0445.
In my attempts to verify some old information I had about foreign languagewordprocessors and font software for Apple II computers, I discovered alltoo well that software publishing for the Apple II has moved into a newphase since the introduction of the Macintosh LC (CO 68 (Spring 1991): 101-102).Even though this new machine can run Apple IIe programs when a special circuitboard is installed, teachers and students are getting exposed to--and hookedon--the superior graphics and software on the "Mac." Many oldApple standbys have been converted for the "Mac." Thus, the wholesaleconversion of the educational software industry for primary and secondaryschools is underway. Don't get me wrong! I'm sure schools are not goingto be getting rid of all those fully functional Apple II machines any tooquickly, but the software offerings are going to become more and more limitedfor them.
A case in point here is the demise of the Gutenberg wordprocessor, whichI know was commonly used by all kinds of foreign language teachers becauseof its built-in multiple fonts, including Greek, and its capacity to redesignfonts (with macrons, for example). I was just informed that this programis no longer being published.
Beagle Brothers has been a major developer in the Apple II field over theyears. Their SuperFonts ($69.95) program will provide a variety of editablefonts to be used with AppleWorks, which is far and away the most popularApple II wordprocessor. For more info, contact: Beagle Bros., 6215 FerrisSq. #100, San Diego, CA 92121; tel. 619-452-5502. For a cheaper, mail-orderprice, contact: Quality Computers, tel. 800-443-6679.
Font Factory GS was designed to work specifically with the Apple IIGS, thelast--and most powerful--in the Apple II lineage. Contact: Seven Hills Software,2310 Oxford Rd., Tallahassee, FL 32304; tel. 904-576-9415.
Anyone who is using the MultiScribe wordprocessor or its current incarnation,called BeagleWrite, should be aware that a colleague of ours has createdGreek and Latin fonts for it which he is willing to share. To receive yourown copy, send your request with a 5 1/4" blank disk to Leo Curran,Dept. of Classics, State Univ. of NY, Buffalo, NY 14260.
Well, that's just about everything I know at this point, but it's certainlynot the last word on foreign-language wordprocessing. I understand thatthere is a new, updated revision of the APA's Educational Paper #2, WordProcessing for the Classicist, on the way, and this will no doubt answereven more questions than I have here. But I do hope that I have at leasthelped you get your bearings within this all-too-complex state of affairs.
For more info on the APA booklet, contact: APA Office, Dept. of Classics,Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA 01610; tel. 508-793-2203. If you haveany further questions or contributions in this general area, feel free tocontact me at the addresses above.