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Computing in Greek on Microsoft Windows '95 Systems


  • [01] Windows '95 Multilanguage Support (Installing a basic set of fonts and the necessary keyboard drivers)
  • [02] Reading Greek on the WWW (Configuring your WWW browser)
  • [03] Sending and Receiving Email in Greek
  • [04] Technical Support
  • [05] New: MS Office '97 Tips

Introduction:

Microsoft Windows '95 has integrated support for most western languages. If you bought Windows '95 on a CD-ROM, or it came with your computer, you do not need to download additional software to read and write in greek -- although there are a couple of files you might want to add.

If you bought Windows '95 on diskettes, you can still install Greek on your computer, but you will have to download the multilanguage support module using your WWW browser.


[01] Windows '95 Multilanguage Support

Installing a basic set of fonts and the necessary keyboard drivers

First you need to install the Multilanguage Support module for Windows '95:

Note: If you do not have the CD-ROM version of Windows '95, and Windows was not installed on your computer by the manufacturer, use the instructions which are located HERE instead of the following step.

Go to: Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs -> Windows Setup. There, click on Multilanguage Support and click Details. Check the Greek Language Support checkbox, and click OK. Click OK again, and the system should start installing the multilanguage support. 

You may be asked to restart your computer. Make sure that all other applications are closed (or Alt-Tab to each of them in order to shut them down), and then click OK.

Once Windows '95 has restarted, you need to install the keyboard drivers for Greek:

Go to: Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Keyboard -> Language. You should see at least two languages there: Greek and English. If you do not see Greek, click on Add..., and select Greek from the list. You should now see GR Greek [Space] Greek IBM 220. If the Layout is incorrect, highlight the line for Greek, and click on Properties. There you can select Greek IBM 220 for the Keyboard layout.

Before clicking the OK button, make sure that Left Alt+Shift is selected for the Switch languages option, and that the Enable indicator in taskbar option is checked. Also, depending on which language you will be using more often, you can chose to set one of the languages as the default (indicating which keyboard driver should be active when Windows '95 starts up).

To use the Greek keyboard:
  • Use Left Alt+Shift to switch between the English and Greek keyboards (and any other keyboards you might have installed, such as German, etc.)
  • To type an accented vowel, press the ';' key and then the vowel (separately).
  • To use the diairesis (umlaut-like) accent, press ':' before the vowel.
  • In somelications, you will find it next to impossible to insert the iota and ypsilon with both accent and diairesis. The normal sequence is ;:i and ;:u, and the codes for the two letters are 300 and 340 octal.
  • To actually type ';' (the Greek question mark) and ':' (colon / ano-kato teleia) you need to press 'Q' and 'SHIFT-Q' respecively.
  • In case were looking for it: Believe it or not, the Greek Stardards Organisation (ELOT) forgot to include the greek semicolor ("ano teleia") in ELOT928 / ISO-8859-7.
In some applications, Left Alt+Shift may not switch keyboards. You may be able to manually switch the keyboard by clicking the "En" or "Gr" icon in the taskbar.
So, what have we done?

We have installed a basic set of fonts, and we should be able to type in Greek.


[02] Reading Greek on the WWW

Configuring your WWW browser

We are primarily concerned here with two browsers: Netscape's Navigator/Communicator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.  If you are using older versions of these browsers we suggest that you upgrade to the last ones (N4.x and IE4.x respectively).  Currently IE4 has the better support for Greek fonts on the WWW although it takes considerably more disk space than N4.

For those of you who do not use one of these browsers:

  • If you are using AOL's WWW browser... don't! Instead, follow AOL's instructions for installing and using Netscape Navigator/Communicator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. AOL's browser is not only comparatively weak, but it has no support for international character sets. Thus, you will not be able to view Greek WWW pages using it.
  • If you are using NCSA Mosaic, you should also consider switching to the Navigator/Communicator or the Internet Explorer, since NCSA has discontinued development of Mosaic.
  • If you are using Lynx, no additional configuration is needed. Given the appropriate terminal emulator (e.g. NetTerm), Lynx will work just fine.
  • If you are using a browser which we haven't tried, we'd like to hear about it. Send us a message through the support form HERE.
Thus, once the Multilanguage Support has been installed:
  1. Netscape Communicator (Netscape versions 4.x):

  2. There are three steps that need to be followed:

       
    1. First, you need to select the default encoding to be used when viewing pages. The default encoding is used when a page does not specify what language it is in, as is the case with most Greek pages on the WWW.

    2. To do this, you need to select View -> Encoding -> Greek ISO-8859-7, or View -> Encoding -> Greek Windows-1253. In order to avoid repeating this step every time you start Netscape, you should also select View -> Encoding -> Set Default Encoding.

      Note: ISO-8859-7 is the "proper" Greek encoding, as defined by the Greek Standards Organization (ELOT, hence ELOT928). Windows-1253 is Microsoft's rendition of ISO-8859-7, which has a few annoying errors. Luckily, these are not crucial since the difference is limited to the accented capital 'A'. This character will not be rendered properly in ISO-8859-7 encodings if the document was produced on Microsoft / Windows-1253 platforms, and visa-versa.
    3. Next, you need to tell the browser which fonts should be used for the Greek encoding. To do this, you need to select Edit -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Fonts. Here, you should change For the Encoding to Greek, and enter fonts such as Times New Roman for the Variable Width Font, and Courier New for the Fixed Width Font.
    4. Finally, for the Sometimes a document will provide its own fonts. option, we prefer to select Use document specified fonts, including Dynamic Fonts. However, if you run across a page that should be in Greek but appears in gibberish, you might want to try changing this option to Use my default fonts, overriding document-specified fonts.

    5.  
  3. Netscape Navigator Versions 3.x:

  4. There are two steps that need to be followed:

       
    1. First, you need to select the default encoding to be used when viewing pages. The default encoding is used when a page does not specify what language it is in, as is the case with most Greek pages on the WWW.

    2. To do this, you need to select Options -> Document Encoding -> Greek.

      In order to avoid repeating this step every time you start Netscape, you should also select Options -> Document Encoding -> Set Default.

    3. Next, you need to tell the browser which fonts should be used for the Greek encoding. To do this, you need to select Options -> General Preferences -> Fonts. For each of the Use the Proportional Font and Use the Fixed Font you should click on the Choose Font button, and select a font. Before clicking the OK button, make sure that the Script: option is set to Greek.

    4.  
  5. Microsoft Internet Explorer Versions 4.x:

  6. For Microsoft's Internet Explorer, three steps need to be followed:

       
    1. Go to: Help -> Product Updates, answer OK to the dialog box question and choose to install the Pan-European Language Support
    2. Go to: View -> Internet Options -> Fonts.... There, Greek should be included in the Character Sets area. Click once on Greek , then choose Greek Alphabet (ISO)from the Character Set drop-down menu and then click on the Set as Default button.
    3. You then should change the default fonts for the Proportional font and the Fixed-width font, to e.g. Times New Roman and Courier New respectively, although the defaults should be capable of displaying greek.

    4.  
  7. Microsoft Internet Explorer Versions 3.x:

  8. For Microsoft's Internet Explorer, versions 3.x, two steps need to be followed:

       
    1. Go to: View -> Options -> General and click on the Font Settings... button. There, you should select Greek for the Default language.
    2. Then, click on Greek in the Character Sets area, and select fonts for the Proportional font (e.g. Times New Roman) and the Fixed-width font (e.g. Courier New), although the defaults should be capable of displaying greek.

    3.  
  9. Opera 3.2x:
For Opera, versions 3.2x, two steps need to be followed:
  1. Go to: Preferences -> Font and background
  2. Then, click on one of the font categories listed on the left and click on Edit. Go to the Script pulldown menu and choose Script, choose OK.   You have to repeat the same process for all the fonts listed in the pulldown menu.
If your version of Netscape Internet Explorer or Opera  is not listed here, we recommend that you upgrade to a more current version, since your browsers are probably already having difficulty displaying many recent improvements to HTML. However, if this is something you do not want to do, you are going to need a whole set of additional fonts, and a different set of instructions. In this case please send a message through the support form HERE for assistance.

So, what have we done?

You should now be able to read and write in Greek, both in word processors and on the WWW. If you have followed the instructions above, the click HERE for a torture test of your WWW browser Greek configuration.


[03] Sending and Receiving Email in Greek

Once you have a full set of Greek fonts operating on your system, you can start to send and receive email in Greek.

The most important difficulty comes from the labeling of Greek text by the mailer being used. Some mailers send Greek text (ISO-8859-7) while labeling it as English (US-ASCII or ISO-8859-1). Thus, as with the WWW browsers, it is important that the mailer used have a "default encoding" which can override the labeling of a message, and display an English-labeled or unlabeled message in Greek.

To date, the Windows '95 mailers we have tried which comply with this requirement include: Eudora, Internet Mail, Netscape Mail and Outlook Express. Unfortunately, Outlook '97 is *not* able to perform in this fashion, and should not be used. Outlook Exress is by far the best email client in Windows 95 regarding the support of foregn languages, although Netscape Communicator v4.x Mail and Outlook 98 are also sufficiently good.

The simplest approach to making your mailer compatible with Greek messages is to select the Courier New as the primary font used.

  • Eudora Pro v3.x

  • Eudora Pro v3.x needs very little customization in order to be able to send and receive email in Greek. Go to Tools -> Options... -> Fonts & Display and select Courier New Greek for the Screen Font and the Print header & footer font.
     
  • Netscape Communicator v4.x Mail

  • If the fonts for the Nescape Communicator v4.x are set up according to the instructions discussed in Section [02] above, then there is no additional configuration required.
  • Outlook Express

  • You need to download the Pan-European Language Support for IE 4.x.  according to the instructions discussed in Section [02] above.  Then you have to setup your default encoding like what we did with the WWW browser of IE4.x.

    Go to: Tools -> Options -> Read -> Fonts.... There, Greek should be included in the Character Sets area. Click once on Greek , then choose Greek Alphabet (ISO)from the Character Set drop-down menu and then click on the Set as Default button.  You are all set.   In case you ever receive a message in Greek labeled in the wrong encoding (eg if the sender is a Eudora user it will claim that it is ISO-8859-1 instead of ISO-8859-7), you can display it in Greek by choosing View -> Language -> Greek Alphabet (ISO). If you are asked whether you want all the messages labeled as ISO-8859-1 to be shown as ISO-8859-7, we suggest that you say 'Yes'.  The same goes for other Latin-1 formats like US-ASCII, ISO_8859_1 etc

  • Outlook '98

  • You need to download the Pan-European Language Support for IE 4.x.  according to the instructions discussed in Section [02] above.  Then you have to setup your default encoding like what we did with the WWW browser of IE4.x.

    Go to: Tools -> Options -> Mail Format -> Fonts -> International Fonts.... There, Greek should be included in the Character Sets area. Click once on Greek , then choose Greek Alphabet (ISO)from the Character Set drop-down menu and then click on the Set as Default button.  You are all set.  In case you ever receive a message in Greek labeled in the wrong encoding (eg if the sender is a Eudora user it will claim that it is ISO-8859-1 instead of ISO-8859-7), you can display it in Greek by choosing View -> Language -> Greek Alphabet (ISO).

Note: Please send us any additional information you might have, so that this section may be expanded with detailed information about other mailers.

[04] Technical Support

If you have questions regarding the above topics send a message to HR-Net, through the support form HERE. The HR-Net Fonts Team answers up to 100 messages per month, so if you have trouble with the installation, please don't hesitate to write us.

Also, we didn't think we'd have to say this, but here it is: Support from this form is free. Really. That's why our domain isn't hri.com!

However, we ask for two favours: First, given that this is a 100% volunteer-based team (i.e. whoever answers your message did not get paid to do so), we would appreciate your patience until we get back to you. Second, we need more information than "my Greek does not work". We MUST know your Operating System, and would really like to know what you tried before things went astray. Be as detailed as possible -- this will help us get back to you ASAP. Third, do not send email to other addresses @hri.org;  you have to fill out this form if you want the right people to receive your message and help you.


[05] New: MS Office '97 Tips

Microfoft Hellas has created a page addressing problems in using Greek with MS Office '97, especially when trying to read files created with earlier versions of Word and Office. It also provides updated drivers for printers that cannot print Greek documents created with Office 97. The address is:

http://www.microsoft.com/hellas/support/off97tips.htm (in ELOT928 Greek).

If you cannot browse the WWW in Greek, try this link instead.


Footnotes

Installing the Windows '95 Multilanguage Support if you do not have the Windows '95 CD-ROM, and Windows '95 was not installed on your computer by the manufacturer.

  1. Download the Multilanguage Support software (1338 KB). To do this, right-click HERE, and select the Save Link As... option. Put the file in a temporary folder, for example C:\Temp\MLSupport. (Do not put it in the C:\Windows folder.) To create directories while in the Save As... dialog box, you can Right-Click -> New -> Folder.
  2. The downloaded lang.exe file is a copy of the original Microsoft file, distributed on the Windows '95 CD-ROM. Microsoft's main distribution for this file is at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/download/lang.exe.
  3. Using the Windows Explorer (Start -> Programs -> Windows Explorer) go to the folder where you placed the Multilanguage Support software. The lang.exe file is "self-extracting," which means that by double-clicking on the file, a group of files will be placed in the same folder (hit F5 key to refresh the window if you do not see them).
  4. Go to: Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs -> Windows Setup. Click on the Have Disk... button.
  5. In the Install From Disk dialog box, use Browse... to select the folder where you extracted the files in lang.exe, and click OK.
  6. Multilanguage Support should now appear in the Have Disk window. Click the Details button and check the Greek Language Support checkbox in the Multilanguage Support window, and click OK. Click on Install, and the system should start loading the multilanguage support.
  7. Once installation is complete, you can delete the files from the folder where lang.exe was run.
This is the only part of the instructions which is different for users who do not have the Windows '95 CD-ROM. Click HERE to continue with the common instructions.

Created by the HR-Net Group. Last Update, August 13, 1997

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