Brill Font Wins

I’ve been using the Brill font for all my Greek and Latin quizzes this year, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I’ve used various Gentium fonts and SBL in the past, but Brill wins for a few reasons.

First, it includes regular, bold, italic, and bold italic for all the characters, including Greek. So if I want to make a bold heading with a Greek word in it, I can do so with the Greek being true bold.

Second, it has characters for all your Greek, Latin, and English needs so there is no reason to switch between fonts and keyboards. Furthermore, it offers comprehensive support for transliteration of all-the-languages.

Third, I like its design. It’s seriffed and styled without being too cursive looking (leaning to the right). And when I say that I like its design, I mean I really like the way both the Greek and English look — like a lot. It’s beautiful.

The only drawback to using Brill is that because it’s designed to be used for transliteration of all the classical languages the letter characters are a little smaller than what you see in a standard font like Times New Roman. The extra space for diacritics, however, leaves plenty of room for underlining a word without breaking too far into the Greek letters that extend below the line.

Accordance Unicode Font

Accordance has a new unicode font in the works. It includes characters for English, Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, and more — even DSS transcription like you see listed here. And it includes bold, italic, and bold-italic.
They announced this on the Accordance forums. Unfortunately you need a forums account to see the page.

Here are a couple words I typed in Mellel:


Now if that qamets would just slide a bit to the right underneath the daleth, like this אָדָם.

I’m particularly impressed with the fact that all the different language characters are sized appropriately (no gigantic Hebrew and Syriac in comparison to English and Greek):

Here is a PDF where you can see more of the characters included.

Free Unicode Hebrew Fonts

58 of them to be exact, and some of them are very cool: cursive, Paleo-Hebrew, fonts mimicking the writing style of particular Dead Sea Scrolls, etc. They are available here, via the Open Siddur Project. See the bottom of the linked page for installation instructions and examples of the fonts. From the Open Siddur page:

To aid in the dissemination of free/libre Hebrew fonts, the Open Siddur Project now offers, gratis, a FONT PACK. Fifty-eight free/libre and open source licensed, Unicode Hebrew fonts, ready to install. Enjoy them. Share them. Learn from them. Modify them.

6 fonts supporting the full set of diacritical marks (vowels/nikkud and cantillation/ta’amim).
11 fonts supporting niqud (w/out ta’amim)
42 fonts (not intended for use with niqud)
1 font of dingbats
7 Non-Hebrew Open Source Unicode Fonts

They should work on a Mac or PC. If you already have a unicode Hebrew keyboard installed, you don’t need to install the one that comes with the font pack. The fonts will work just fine with your current keyboard. I use Logos’ keyboards.

SBL Hebrew font is also unicode compliant and available here; the font license is only slightly more restrictive. Tyndale House’s Ezra SIL and Cardo fonts are nice as well (Cardo is especially nice for Greek). Tyndale House’s fonts are included in the Open Siddur font pack, or you can download them here.

Keep in mind that some of these files download as compressed (zipped) folders. After the zipped folder has downloaded, you have to right click it and click “extract all.” When the files are extracted, look for the actual font file (usually a .ttf file). Drag and drop that file into your system’s font folder (usually labeled “Fonts”). I added this folder to my “Favorites” in Windows Explorer for easy access.

If you are a part of the SBTS community and want more information about how to type in Greek and Hebrew, contact the Center for Student Success about the upcoming 1-day workshop “Word Processing for Biblical Studies.” It is currently scheduled for Friday, September 7, 1:00-3:00pm. It will be two hours long (1 hour, break, one hour), and those who attend will be split into two groups based on what operating system you use. I will be leading the workshop for the handful of you that use Windows computers; Jonathan Kiel will lead the workshop for Mac peeps. More info to come.