|Read more about Thessalonica for OpenOffice.org!|
|Read more about Thessalonica for Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP/2003!|
|Read more about my multilingual fonts!|
This section contains references to some utilities available on the web, which are intended mostly for working with polytonic (classical) Greek. All these utilities are more or less similar to Thessalonica, because usually they include the same 2 modules, i. e. a keyboard controller and a conversion tool for one or more 8-bit character sets. Of course, each of these programs has its own advantages and disadvantages, and so I desided to provide some information alowing you to compare Thessalonica with other possible solutions and make you choice. However, note that almost all programs listed here are designed to work together with MS Word. As far as I know, Thessalonica for OpenOffice.org is currently unique in its class (especially under Linux).
A macro package for Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP/2003, allowing to input Greek and Hebrew text by a very natural way. Antioch is shareware, and a fully functional demo may be downloaded here.
keyboard is customizable (however, it can't be adapted for other languages, except Greek and Hebrew);
includes very nice font, Vuzillus Old Face, which can be used in any Unicode-aware application (e. g. OpenOffice.org);
provides several tools for conversion between different Greek encodings. However, conversions are performed mostly at the time a document is opened (it should have the MS Word 6.0/95 format to make the conversion possible). Conversions from inside document are also possible, but less effective;
it is even possible to customize conversion tables.
all macros are stored in one HUGE (more than 1 Mb) template file. Moreover, this file becames larger each time you make some customizations, because Antioch stores its settings in the same template (Thessalonica for MS Word 97/2000/XP/2003 uses specially generated templates, which contain only settings, but no macros);
since Antioch is shareware, it checks for registration each time you enable/disable a Greek or Hebrew input. To my mind, this is bad, not because I don't like commercial programs, but because all macros written in Visual Basic are slow enough, and additional checks (useless from end user's point of view) make the code even less effective. On the other hand, such a protection has no sense anyway, because there is no real way to protect Visual Basic macros from viewing by anybody who really wants to study their code.
Separate routines with different sets of parameters are used for "fast conversion" from 8-bit encodings to Unicode and backwards conversion from Unicode to older character sets. Thessalonica is more effective at this point, because it is simply more universal: the same dialog is called for all types of conversion.
Magenta is a Greek company which develops Greek fonts and different software, mostly related with Greek script and language. Its Accentuator (Polytonistis in Greek) allows to input Greek accented characters in different versions of MS Word. It also provides some additional functions, like conversion from older 8-bit formats and hyphenation for polytonic Greek texts. Accentuator is a commertial program, and, although demo versions are available for download, they are not fully functional and can't be unlocked.
since Accentuator is a compiled program (written in Delphi), it works faster than most macro packages;
keyboard mapping for accents (but not for Greek letters) is customizable;
it is possible convert texts written in various 8-bit Greek encodings to Unicode from inside MS Word. The range of supported character sets is very wide (WinGreek is not supported, though).
there are separate versions of Accentuator for each version of Microsoft Word. So each time you upgrade your office suite you have to buy Accentuator again;
there is no way to customize conversion tables.
MultiKey is a multilingual utility: it allows typing in different languages, grouped by their script type. The most recent versions also include some VBA macros allowing to convert Greek texts from the WinGreek character set to Unicode. First versions of MultiKey were distributed as shareware, but now it may be used for free.
MultiKey is not an add-on package: it may be used with different applications. However, some functionality (like typing Unicode characters) is available only when MultiKey is used in combination with MS Word.
Multikey installer copies almost all files into the Windows directory, where it is hard to find them;
I don't like Multikey's default Greek layout. Yes, it can be customized, but the format of the multikey.ini file (where all settings are stored) is too inconvenient, because each layout is described in one very long line;
macro for Greek text conversion is not customizable and has no GUI. It also can't correctly handle text fragments, formatted in symbolic fonts.
SBL Greek — an excellent font for Classical and Biblical studies by John Hudson.
Matthew Robinson's page, which contains links to almost all Greek fonts (Unicode and WinGreek) and keyboard utilities available on the web. I recommend this page to anybody who starts working with classical Greek on a computer.
David J. Perry's site. Here you can download his multilingual font, called Cardo, and his book "Word Processing in Classical Languages", which contains lots of useful information.
Patrick Rourkeís pages on Greek fonts and the web are extremely useful and contain links to almost all the Unicode Greek fonts currently available.
Rodney J. Deckerís page discusses a number of items related to Unicode in the context of biblical studies.
Juan-Jose Marcos' (the author of the Thessalonica Spanish localization) page, devoted to his ALPHABETUM Unicode font. This is a commercial font, but you can download a demo version (which lacks some characters).
XWinGreek is a small tool which allows typing polytonic Greek in different encodings under X Window system (e. g. in Linux). I've written it because there were no Greek keyboard utilities available for Linux. XWinGreek may be used only with word processing applications, because Unicode plain text editors (like Vim or Emacs) usually provide internal possibilities for developing keyboard layouts. Note that now Thessalonica is better solution for typing polytonic Greek in OpenOffice.org, but XWinGreek still may be useful for other word processors (like KWord or AbiWord).