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Help! Typing Macron+Rough+Acute on Alpha

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Help! Typing Macron+Rough+Acute on Alpha

Postby Gregorius » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:14 am

I'm learning the relative pronoun ὅς, and the feminine accusative plural requires an alpha with a macron, rough breathing mark, and acute accent. I cannot figure out a way to combine all three diacritics either with my custom shortcuts or with Manuel Lopez's Classical Greek keyboard. My best attempts seem to either push the macron off-center or merge the macron with one of the other two marks to create some weird hybrid: ἅ̄ς ᾱ̔́ς

Any advice will be most appreciated!
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Re: Help! Typing Macron+Rough+Acute on Alpha

Postby jaihare » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:04 am

Gregorius wrote:I'm learning the relative pronoun ὅς, and the feminine accusative plural requires an alpha with a macron, rough breathing mark, and acute accent. I cannot figure out a way to combine all three diacritics either with my custom shortcuts or with Manuel Lopez's Classical Greek keyboard. My best attempts seem to either push the macron off-center or merge the macron with one of the other two marks to create some weird hybrid: ἅ̄ς ᾱ̔́ς

Any advice will be most appreciated!


Advice? Good luck. :) The fonts don't normally support macron/chevron insertion for Polytonic Greek in Unicode. It might appear in the future, but right now there's no consistent way to do it (outside of setting up specific commands in LaTeX to output it, which isn't very useful for day-to-day exchanges and cannot be copy-pasted into another application).

This a frustration that we all feel, don't worry.

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Re: Help! Typing Macron+Rough+Acute on Alpha

Postby NateD26 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:20 am

Hi, Gregorius, and good morning, Jason! :)

I know New Athena Unicode is a free font which has pre-made symbols with both macron and accents
& breathing marks, though there is no other free font with such symbols, as far as I know, and there's
no key combination to insert them other than the usual hex value alt+[x], where x is a 4 digit number
or a combo of numbers and letters located at the bottom of the symbol window assigned to each symbol
as you click it. Of course, you could change its shortcut to something easier to remember at any time.
You should keep in mind, however, that this font looks awful.

If only we had the complete version of GFS porson used in Smyth and other grammar books. :roll:
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Re: Help! Typing Macron+Rough+Acute on Alpha

Postby jaihare » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:32 pm

NateD26 wrote:If only we had the complete version of GFS porson used in Smyth and other grammar books. :roll:


My dear Nate... I couldn't agree more. When will they release such a wonderful free tool?!?!?!

Maybe they do this so that not every Tom, D*i*c*k and Harry could release a grammar or try to self-publish on a professional level? Only those who can manipulate and suffer LaTeX will be able to do such things.
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Re: Help! Typing Macron+Rough+Acute on Alpha

Postby Gregorius » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:10 pm

Rats! I'm not alone in this, huh? Well, I've arrived at two makeshift solutions. Neither one is perfect, but I suppose they'll have to do until TPTB democratize the full polytonic typeface.

#1: Use NAU for these triple-diacritic characters while using normal font for everything else. (ᾱ̔́ς)
#2: Invent an unorthodox use for the chevron, namely to indicate any long, roughly breathed vowel with either an acute or grave accent (since the grave is only ever used at the ends of words, the intended accent can be inferred from the placement of the vowel). It's certainly not ideal for official purposes, but it works fine for personal use. (ᾰς)

Come to think of it, I think this may be the only instance of more than two diacritics on the same letter (assuming you leave short alpha/iota and smooth breathing unmarked). That may be why it's so difficult to type, since keyboard/font designers may have thought triple-diacritics to be so rare as to be hardly worth accommodating. Also, even with just two, things often start to look a bit cluttered.
Last edited by Gregorius on Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Help! Typing Macron+Rough+Acute on Alpha

Postby Hampie » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:11 pm

A solution that is not beatiful nor as good is to make a ‹fake› macron underneath the alpha by underlining it. For learning pruposes this would probably be endurable :3.
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Re: Help! Typing Macron+Rough+Acute on Alpha

Postby Gregorius » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:20 pm

That works fine, too,...until you need an iota subscript as well. Does that ever happen in ancient Greek? A long alpha with rough breathing, acute or grave accent, AND iota subscript?

EDIT: *slaps forehead* Never mind. I had a brain fart and forgot that iota subscript automatically implies a long vowel, thereby rendering the macron redundant.
Last edited by Gregorius on Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help! Typing Macron+Rough+Acute on Alpha

Postby jaihare » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:44 pm

Gregorius wrote:That works fine, too,...until you need an iota subscript as well. Does that ever happen in ancient Greek? A long alpha with rough breathing, acute or grave accent, AND iota subscript?


ᾅδης

Then again, if it has an iota subscript, it's AUTOMATICALLY long. You can't put one under a short alpha. So, you won't need it, right?
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Re: Help! Typing Macron+Rough+Acute on Alpha

Postby Gregorius » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:51 pm

Yep. I was editing my last post at the same time as you were adding another of your own, Jason. Talk about being on the same page!
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Re: Help! Typing Macron+Rough+Acute on Alpha

Postby Lex » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:53 am

I would upload a file containing my cheatsheet for the Greek Polytonic Keyboard in Windows plus the New Athena Unicode special characters such as alpha+macron+rough+acute, but for some reason, Textkit won't currently allow it. If you private message me with an email address, I would be glad to send it to you.
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Re: Help! Typing Macron+Rough+Acute on Alpha

Postby danR » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:18 pm

If other internet searchers have landed on this old discussion looking for full Greek diacritic support, there simply isn't any unless it's built into the font itself. By full, I mean you could cleanly (without klugy-looking glyphs) reproduce Smyth's Grammar, including its footnotes, any deep academic discussion, ktl.

That said, actually making a font tailored to your needs is no longer an expensive and difficult proposition. I used Fontographer some 25 years ago, and worked up a very professional-looking font from scratch. There are freeware font editors that will do a decent job, and being mindful of intellectual property rights, you can start off by opening up an existing Greek font and start copying and pasting vowels and adding diacritics (breves, macrons, breve-macrons for that matter) to your heart's content.

Now, this will let you typeset a book or a PDF, but the font has to be either on the end-user's device to go any further than that, and for the PDF, it must be embedded in the document itself.

Keep in mind that although unicode supports a huge number of individual glyphs, there will be a bit of work on your end to actually edit each vowel variation: the combinations possible with iota-subscripts, breves, macrons, diaereses, breathings smooth and rough are simply enormous in number. That said, once you've got a set of several dozen of diacritic combination ornaments, its just a matter of plopping them down upon the vowels, and then a bit of adjusting of each so that each glyph is aesthetically balanced (so a wide macron/breve/breathing/acute combo isn't sticking off to the right of the iota.

But figuring a few hundred combos, it should be doable over a weekend. Possibly you'll want a specialized dead-key keyboard just for that font, in which case I think SIL has a keyboard-making app. You'll probably find making a full dead-key mapping for every glyph unnecessary, and prefer to copy and paste the rarer combinations from a document or floating font-map. My recollection of the SIL app is that it's a big study to figure out just how to do what, but that everything can be done if you fiddle around with it long enough.

Finally, caveat emptor, though this can all be done for free: before doing any hard work of editing all the combinations, make a test-font with dummy-characters simply copied into every slot you plan to for the real ones, and then test the font on a Mac, a Windows machine, a tablet, a PDF, etc. Occasionally fonts go haywire when amateurs don't fully understand how to fix encodings and such. However, even freeware editors have error-checking features that will alert you before you generate your font. Problems will least likely occur if you're simply typesetting a Greek book on your own machine and printer. A large, experienced printing-house will likely be able to deal with your font with little fuss.

If I had it over again, the above procedure would still be preferable to scratching in macrons and such with a fine-point pen.
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