Go to the previous, next chapter.

Frequently Requested Mac Fonts

Greek Fonts

This section was constructed from a posting by John Amanatides in Jan 1995.

There are three ways to get Greek out of a Mac. Approach one is to simply use the Symbol font; this solution is the easiest but Symbol doesn't have accents and you cannot easily exchange files with friends in Greece. Approach two is go all the way and install Apple's Greek system software on your Mac. It would make it identical to a machine sold in Greece and is really only an option for the diehards. Approach three is to just get a Greek keyboard driver and Greek typefaces. This article talks mostly about approach three while it does also mention the others.

First some background. Until the early '80s the Greek alphabet included quite a lot of different diacritical marks. Thus if you are interested in classical Greek you will need to get a polytonic version of the typeface. Modern Greek now only uses accents, simplifying the use of the alphabet and this is normally what you will get when you ask for a Greek typeface.

There are several encodings of the Greek alphabet. ISO-8859-7 is the most standard. It is an 8-bit encoding that uses the regular 7-bit ASCII standard in the lower 128 positions and Greek in the upper 128. Unfortunately, Apple did not use it (sigh). Apple's encoding is slightly different in the upper 128 positions. All modern Greek typefaces for the Mac seem to use this encoding and if you use it you can exchange files with your friends in Greece (and use Greek dictionaries!). If you are interested in classical Greek things become a little trickier. I don't know if there is a standard but Linguist's Software's (see below) encoding seems to be the most popular.

Sources of Greek Fonts for the Mac


You can go all the way with Apple and get their Greek system software but getting it is non-trivial. In North America the only way to get it seems to be to get the "Apple Developer Mailing" from APDA. Designed for developers, you get a CD mailed to you monthly. The CD contains the most recent worldwide Mac system software along with a lot of other stuff. It costs \$250 US and you get updates for a year. The Greek system software contains TrueType versions of GrCourier, GrHelvetica, GrTimes and several bitmap versions of some of Apple's other typefaces along with the Greek keyboard driver.

APDA 800-282-2732 US
800-637-0029 Canada

A second place to get Greek system software is in Greece. Apple's distributor is:

Rainbow Computer S.A.
Elia Eliou 75
Neos Kosmos, Athens
Greece 117 44
30-1-9012892 Voice
30-1-9012540 FAX

Just because you have the Greek system software doesn't mean you have to install the whole system; you can just take the Greek typefaces and the Greek keyboard driver and use them with your current system software.

Note: Linguists' Software (see below) also market version 6.0.3 of the Greek operating system.


Linotype sells a variety of Type1 Greek typefaces in both modern and polytonic versions and in a variety of weights/styles: Times, Helvetica, Baskerville, New Century Schoolbook and Souvenir. The easiest way to purchase them is to get Linotype's CD of locked typefaces (a new one is coming out in Dec. '94). The CD costs \$49 US and comes with 4 free fonts. A Greek keyboard driver comes with the typefaces. Linotype can be reached at:

Linotype-Hell Company
425 Oser Avenue
Hauppage, NY, 11788
516-434-3616 FAX

These typefaces are also distributed by FontShop (see below) Note: the new CD works on both a Mac and a PC and when you unlock a typeface you unlock for both systems.


FontShop is an international chain of stores which supplies a wide variety of typefaces to both professionals and the rest of us. Their North American address is:

FontShop Canada Limited
510 Front Street West
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5V 3H3
416-348-0916 FAX


Monotype offers two Greek typefaces on their locked CD: Times New Roman Greek and Arial Greek. Each typeface comes in four weights/styles. Their CD lists for \$49 and you get 8 free fonts (just enough for both of their Greek typefaces :-). You can reach Monotype at:

Monotype Typography Inc.
Suite 2630, 150 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL, 60606
800-MONOTYP (800-666-6897)
312-855-9475 FAX
These typefaces are also distributed by FontShop. Note: you get a 5 CPU license.

Linguist's Software

Linguist's Software has typefaces for over 250 world languages and gives several options for those interested in Greek. First, you can purchase the Greek operating system for the Mac version 6.0.3. This includes GrTimes and GrHelvetica (Type 3) as well as several bit-mapped system fonts. Second, you can purchase their modern Greek typefaces Olympus and Philippi (Times and Helvetica clones) in four weights/styles and in both Type1 and TrueType along with a keyboard driver for System 7. Finally, they have their own TrueType and Type1 typefaces in the LaserGreek package. These are of particular interest to Greek scholars since they include extra diacritics for ancient/N.T. Greek. This package now includes a Uncail typeface. LaserGreek: \$99; Modern Greek + keyboard driver: \$99; LaserGreek + GreekOS: \$139; LaserGreek + Modern Greek + keyboard driver: \$139.

Linguist's Software
PO Box 580
Edmonds, WA 98020-0580
206-771-5911 FAX

Ecological Linguistics

Ecological Linguistics also provides typfaces for a wide variety of world languages. They have a polytonic version of Times (GreekTimes) in their GreekClassical package and monotonic versions of Times and Helvetica (GkTimes, GkHelvetica) in four weights/styles in their GreekModern package. Both the GreekClassical and GreekModern packages are \$60 US each and come with a keyboard driver.

Ecological Linguistics
P.O. Box 15156
Washington, D.C., 20003


MacCampus of Germany provides Greek and other Eastern European typefaces. The Greek typefaces come in two flavors: those that are based on the modern Greek keyboard layout and those based on the Symbol font layout. MacCampus provides a keyboard driver so that you can use the former type on non-Greek Macs.

The typefaces available are:

Modern Greek (Greek layout): Olympia (Helvetica clone) and Tiryns (Times clone) in 4 weights/styles

Classical Greek (extra diacritics, Symbol layout): Agora Times, Parmenides (light, sans-serif)

C. Kempgen
An den Weihern 18
D-96135 Stegaurach
(0951) 296739
(0951) 296425 FAX

MacCampus typefaces are distributed by FontShop.

Font World

Another Greek typeface distributor is Font World. They also sell a variety of Eastern European typefaces. They provide a package of keyboard drivers for a variety of different world languages. The modern Greek typefaces are: FW Palace GK (Palatino?), FW Baskerfield GK, FW Peace GK (sans serif) & condensed version, FW Pithos GK (Lithos?), FW Stencil GK, FW Textbook GK, FW Tourist GK (Souvenir) and FW World GK (Times?). They come in a variety of weights/styles and go for about \$100-\$200.

Font World, Inc.
2021 Scottsville Road,
Rochester, NY 12623
716-235-6950 FAX


SkepsiS is a Greek publishing company that is heavily into Macs. They have created and sell several nice typefaces in several weights/styles: Corfu (New Century Schoolbook?), Ithaca (Souvenir?), Rhodes (University?), Mykonos (Courier?), Paros (Antique Olive?), Samos (modern serif), GtcFutura (Futura?), Naxos (Eurostile?), Ios (?) The cost for a package containing the above is 60,000 drachmas.

SkepsiS Ltd
El. Benizelou 184
T.K. 176 75, Kallithea
Athens, Greece
30-1-952-2088 FAX


Magenta is a Greek company that sells typefaces for Macs and PCs. Their catalog lists over 70 typefaces with names like MgBodoni, MgOptima, MgAvantGarde, etc in a variety of weights/styles. Most are modern Greek but they also have a few classical typefaces. Each typeface family goes for about 8,500 drachmas.

Magenta Ltd
Antimaxou 17
115 28 Athens
30-1-722-9292 phone/FAX

Note, I have tried to contact Magenta recently and have gotten no response.


Fonteiras is a German company that produces non-roman typefaces. They have 26 Greek typefaces, display and text, both polytonic and monotonic. Some of the families include clones of Dynamo, Stencil, Broadway, Revue, Futura Black, Lithos, Industria, Insignia, Palatino, Helvetica, Times, etc. Packages go for about \$150-\$200 US and include a Greek keyboard driver. The monotonic typfaces have kerning tables and some have real italics. (Most other vendors only have obliques.)

Luisenstr. 22
D-60316 Franfurt
49-069-4980498 phone/FAX


There is a free classical Greek typeface called Ismini that is available on the net at:


Unfortunately, I don't think it uses the same encoding as Linguist's Software.

Other Fonts

Many fonts are available at various archives. The king of Macintosh font archives is mac.archive.umich.edu. On mac.archive.umich.edu, the fonts are located in the following folders:


The following fonts are in Type 1 format for the Macintosh. Some are also available in TrueType format.

Many of these mac fonts are available in files that are either entitled xxxx.sit or xxxx.cpt. xxxx.sit files are Stuffit archives. xxxx.cpt files are Compact Pro archives. StuffitLite (shareware $25) and Compact Pro (shareware $25) are available at the standard ftp sites. Uncompressors for these programs (free) are also available at the archive sites. Check the utilities/compression utilities folders.

Excerpted from The comp.fonts FAQ, Copyright © 1992-96 by Norman Walsh