Greek.ttf – the curse of pre-unicode Greek fonts

Once I signed an agreement with the Cerf to use their Greek text of Eusebius Gospel Problems and Solutions, I asked and received a copy of the text in electronic form.  This turned out to be a word file, with an attached font: greek.ttf.

How I cursed that file name!  Because it was clear that this was not a unicode font.  To use the file, I was going to have to convert the text to unicode.  It would help a lot if I knew which font that was!  I hunted around for that file name, and found (as you might expect) several candidates, none of which were the same.

This evening I had a stroke of luck.  I was preparing to write a program that would open the font and display all the characters, so I could see what was what.  But in Vista, when you open a font, you get a Properties option; and under Details there was information!


This was gold!  The name of the author, Peter J. Gentry and Andre…, a version 1.0, and a date 1993.  A google search turned up a page of old fonts by Eric Pement.  There it was:

Ancient Greek (57 KB). GREEK.TTF, Greek, ver 1.000, © 1993 by Peter J. Gentry and Andrew M. Fountain. Requires this keyboard utility: KeyMan32 (381 KB)

A search on the author names reveals that they were the authors of WinGreek.  I wonder if, perhaps, this font is an early version of that?  With the same keyboard mapping?  If so, I am in great good luck, for WinGreek is widely known.

Installing the font creates “Greek regular” in my fonts directory.  This TLG Wingreek test page reveals that it is exactly the correct mapping.

The next stage is to try to find a converter utility.  And GreekTranscoder seems to fit the bill!  The commercial Antioch program can also import the stuff, and indeed this utility.  I’ll have to see if it works, but I feel very pleased with myself to have got so far!

UPDATE: GreekTranscoder worked brilliantly!  You had to copy the .dot files to the ~\startup, and make sure you had no WINWORD running silently in background, but it then converted everything with just one error.  The Jiffycomp utility did not do as well, and lost all formatting (italics etc).  I have made a donation to Greektranscoder.


5 thoughts on “Greek.ttf – the curse of pre-unicode Greek fonts

  1. There are many great Greek unicode fonts, shareware like Alphabetum or free fonts like Cardo. Why don’t you use one of them?

  2. The problem is that I don’t want to retype thousands of words when an electronic text already exists. So I have to find some way to convert the non-unicode form into a unicode one. Then, of course, I can use any unicode font, such as those you mention.

  3. When my father got our first XT back in 1987 there was a program by Memotech (a greek software company) that had 5 different codepages so as you could do word processing in all DOS word processor. Before Windows 98 which introduced native Windows support for Greek writing Greek was a huge transfer issue. I would suggest trying to open the text in Linux and transferring it to a different Greek unicode font there

  4. I tried using GreekTranscoder on that font but I got: “No text making use of this font has been found. No conversion is needed”.

  5. @ikokki, who was your father? I worked in Memotech as an developer intern in 93. Sorry irrelevant comment but I had a conversation with a friend and I was googling Memotek 🙂

Leave a Reply