Changing the keyboard layout for Tyndale Greek & Hebrew Unicode fonts
The keyboards for Hebrew and Greek + Transliteration may not be ideal for you. These instructions will show you how to make and save changes to them. Most of this page is devoted to the PC, but the principles also apply to the Mac.
Mac Layout Editing
Download Ukelele, which was developed at SIL for the many languages they support.
The following instructions for the PC software follows similar principles.
PC Layout Editing
As an example, the following is a change shows how a change was made to the first version which missed out the Greek comma in favour of a mid-sentence raised-period. Users requested that the comma should be left as a Greek comma, and the raised-period should be somewhere else. Although the raised-period is sometimes known as the Greek semi-colon, we need to leave the semi-colon alone because it is used in Greek as a question mark. So instead the raised-period was mapped to the key for the colon. However, the colon is useful for writing verse references, so it was left within easy reach, on the Transliteration keyboard. If you disagree with this, you can change it.
To make changes to the keyboard, download MSKLC.exe
(Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator – get the latest version from here)
Download and run the latest version of MSKLC.
(When you run it, you may be prompted to install .NET if this isn't on your computer. A link to install this is on the same page.)
Click on “Setup” then “Next”, “I agree” etc. till it is installed. Now find the keyboard files (those ending in “.klc”) in the folder "Editing PC Keyboards"
Double-click on the “GreekTH” keyboard to open it in the Keyboard Creator.
To make the change proposed above (ie move the Greek raised-period from the comma key to the colon key):
- click on the comma key on the chart (the letter to the right of μ)
- cut the character into the clipboard by pressing Ctrl-X
- type a comma to replace it and click “OK”
- tick “Shift” and click on the colon
- paste the raised-period by pressing Ctrl-V, and click “OK”
This makes it easy to type a raised-period as well as a comma in Greek. But a colon is useful when writing references, e.g. “Matt. 1:1” To write this in the Greek keyboard, you would normally turn on Caps Lock, which turns the keyboard into English & Transliteration.
Therefore the colon could usefully be added to this transliteration keyboard.
To do this, click again on the semi-colon key (ie the raised-period key) and click on “All…” then tick “Advanced View”
Type the codes for semi-colon and colon (U+003b & U+003a) in the bottom two boxes and click “OK”. You can test these changes by ticking “Show the Caps Lock”. Or you can test typing with it by clicking on “Project” then “Test Keyboard Layout”
To save these changes, click on “File”, “Save Source File as…”
Save it in the same place as the original keyboard layout (ie in Program Files:
Tyndale Unicode Font Kit: Editing PC Keyboards) with a slightly different name (eg GreekTH2.klc)
so that you can reverse the changes if anything has gone wrong.
To install these changes as your Greek keyboard, you must first change the properties then build it.
To change the properties, click on “Project” then “Properties”.
You should change:
- the Name – this needs to be unique, and not more than 8 characters long
- the Descriptions – this too needs to be unique
- the Language – make sure this is “Greek”
- if you are changing a Hebrew keyboard,
Click “OK” to save these changes.
To build the project, click on “Project” then “Save DLL”
The warning that “Verification failed” is inevitable in any academic Greek or Hebrew keyboard because you will be warned that they use characters not available in normal fonts. Click on “No” (or “Yes”, if you are curious). Then wait while it builds the files.
Click on “Yes” to open the folder with the new keyboard and installer.
To install this new keyboard on your computer, double-click on “Setup”
After a long time with nothing visible happening, it finishes with:
Click on “Close”.
Now you have to make this keyboard your default Greek keyboard by turning off the one you have already installed.
To do this:
- open the Control Panels
- open “Regional and Language Options”
- click on tab “Keyboards and Languages”
- click on “Change Keyboards”
Highlight the original keyboard and click on “Remove” then on “OK”
To check this has all worked:
- open a document in a Unicode capable program (ie most word processors, or Wordpad (in Start: Programs: Accessories)
- switch to the Greek keyboard (click on EN and select Greek)
- type “ : ” and you should get “ · ”