Reformed University

Using Greek & Hebrew Fonts

Greek font vs. Unicode: What's the difference?

To use Greek and Hebrew in your documents, you can now choose between two different approaches

  • 1. Use special fonts that display English letters as though they were Greek and Hebrew, such as the common fonts produced by BibleWorks: bwgrkl for Greek and bwhebb for Hebrew.
  • 2. Use Unicode to actually type Greek/Hebrew text alongside English. Many fonts support the full Unicode character set.

Whenever possible, use Unicode! Here's why:

  • - Unicode is the international standard for handling characters for all foreign languages, not just Greek and Hebrew
  • - Unicode text will print more reliably
  • - Unicode is the only way to post Greek/Hebrew to the web (see the examples of 2 Timothy 2:15 below).

  • Unicode
  • σπο?δασον σεαυτ?ν δ?κιμον παραστ?σαι τ? θε?, ?ργ?την ?νεπα?σχυντον, ?ρθοτομο?ντα τ?ν λ?γον τ?? ?ληθε?α?.
  • BibleWorks font
  • spou,dason seauto.n do,kimon parasth/sai tw/| qew/|( evrga,thn avnepai,scunton( ovrqotomou/nta to.n lo,gon th/j avlhqei,ajA
    (This line will not look like Greek unless you have the BW font on your computer.)

Try copying and pasting each of these verses into a plain text editor like Windows Notepad, and you should see the difference between the actual Greek characters used by Unicode and the masked English characters used by the BibleWorks font.

Tip for Unicode Hebrew and Microsoft Office

If you don't see the buttons for changing the text direction for a paragraph (pictured above), then you may need to add Hebrew as a supported language in the Microsoft Office Language Settings tool.

Typically you can find the Microsoft Office Language Settings tool by browsing
Start > Programs > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office Tools > Microsoft Office Language Settings

Make sure your window looks like this one below.