Type Greek uses beta code, converting each beta code keystroke into the corresponding Greek character. Beta code is standard way to represent Greek characters as a combination of Roman characters and punctuation. For example, ἀ is represented in beta code as a) — a for alpha and ) for smooth breathing.
The following chart shows which Roman character corresponds to which Greek character (adapted from Laura Gibbs’ site):
The following chart shows which punctuation mark corresponds to which Greek diacritic. (To add a diacritic to a Greek letter, simply type one of these punctuation marks after the letter.)
TypeGreek vs. Standard Beta Code
Some aspects of standard beta code are a little quirky when the beta code characters are being converted to Greek characters in real-time. TypeGreek differs from standard beta code in the following ways:
- Capital Letters: To make a capital letter on TypeGreek, you press the SHIFT key plus the letter that you want (for example, SHIFT+Y creates a capital Ψ). Standard beta code is case-insensitive, so an extra symbol — an asterisk (*) in front of the letter — was necessary to distinguish between capital and lowercase letters; TypeGreek does not treat the asterisk as a character that needs to be converted.In standard beta code, the diacritics for capitals are placed after the asterisk but before the letter itself. This does not make sense when the diacritics are combined with the letter in real-time and the asterisk is not used for capitals. On TypeGreek, diacritics are added to any letter by typing the punctuation mark after the letter, even with capitals.
- Order of Diacritics: You can add multiple diacritics to a letter by typing the correct punctuation marks. In standard beta code, the diacritics must go in a specific order (breathing, accent, iota subscript / dieresis). On TypeGreek, it does not matter which order the characters are added: as long as the resulting character is valid, the diacritic will be added.
- Terminal Sigma: TypeGreek determines whether or not to display a terminal sigma when a lowercase sigma is present based on what immediately follows the sigma. A terminal sigma is displayed when the next character is a hard return, a comma, a semi-colon, a period, a colon, a Greek semi-colon (·), and a Greek question mark (;). In standard beta code, a j represents a terminal sigma and an s represents a regular sigma. On TypeGreek, j and s are interchangeable.
The content above should be all that you need to know about beta code for using TypeGreek. If you are interested in more information about beta code, visit the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae page on beta code.