Fonts and keyboards

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ăåçðêēğíķłñøřśţűŵÿž
Multilingual keyboard

Русская клавиатура
...type ‘Putin’ & see ‘Путин’...

ἀνεῤῥίφθω κύβος
Polytonic Greek keyboard

Character input info
Windows Icon
 
 

 
Tagg’s fonts
Phonetic font
Appendix symbols
Other music fonts
Other non-music fonts
 
Download/install info
 
中国通
“Ideographs for idiots”

Updated 2016-12-27

1. Four useful home-compiled fonts Top

Description                                Character sample                     Download & Info

IN-TEXT MUSIC FONT XPTmusic.ttf
Basic rhythm and metre; accidentals, dynamics, scale-degree numerals; basic lead-sheet guitar chords (better in next font). Fits into text documents with normal line spacing. If you finish your music examples in image editing software, you may find this transparent image file useful (I do).

● Download XPTmusic.ttf

● Keyboard layout
and examples

upd. 2016-12-27

IN-TEXT MUSIC FONT XPTChords.ttf
All lead-sheet and roman-numeral chord names and labels; accidentals, scale- degree numbers; arrows for up, down, next, shuttles, loops, etc. Fits into text documents with normal line spacing. If you finish your music examples in
image editing software, you may find this transparent image file useful (I do).

● Download XPTChords.ttf

● keyboard layout

upd. March 2016

PHONETIC FONT XPTphonetic.ttf
All the basic symbols for standard English, French and Swedish phonemes.
The text in the middle column reads: 'När sjuksköterskan var färdig med son travail she descendait au garage for a quick smoke'.

sample

● Download XPTphonetic.ttf
keyboard layout
complete table

upd. 2013

APPENDIX SYMBOLS FONT
Symbols that save space in reference appendices (composer, film company & director, cover version, performer, vocalist, conductor, disc, tape, DVD, VHS, TV, off-air, etc.), and more...
sample

● Download XPTSymbols1.ttf

keyboard layout

upd. 2017-01-04

 

Go top 2. Other people´s fonts

Assorted music fonts [MusText.zip]

Download

Assorted symbol fonts

animals, arrows, computer, electronic, geographic, hazards, military, morse, people, plants, shapes, signs, sports, stars, tools, transport, weather, etc.

translit98i, translit98, translit98b, translit98n (all ttf)

TOF

TOF

Fonts and keyboards: basic ideas and information

Your computer can produce a vast array of characters and symbols (Unicode UTF-8 standard, most likely) but the standard laptop keyboard has only 48 keys. They can do no more than cover 48×2=96 different characters. So, if you want to avoid offending the Åströms by calling them Astrom, or if you want to avoid using foul French like lecon (!) when you mean a perfectly decent leçon, you need at least to know how to produce the letters Å and Ç. If you write about music you'll also need to generate the shape of sharps, flats, naturals and short snippets of notated rhythm at your computer keyboard. You might also want to spell Dvořák properly, or explain the Greek origins of ‘polyphony’ (πολύ and φωνή) or quote something in Russian or Chinese.

There are three main ways of using your computer keyboard to produce all these sorts of symbols and characters: [1] by changing keyboard layout; [2] by changing fonts; [3] by using standard routines that come with your computer to generate a limited number of extra characters. PCs and Macs both have ways of generating ÁÉÍÓÚ ÀÈÌÒÙ ÂÊÎÔÛ ÄËÏÖÜ ÃÑÕÅØÇ (with lower-case, too) but neither Windows nor Mac make it easy for anyone with a Western European or North American computer to generate letters like Ă Č Ğ İ Ł Ň Ő Ř Ś Š Ț Ů Ű Ŵ Ŷ Ž Ż from the same keyboard layout, nor do they offer easy routines for writing in Russian, Bulgarian, Mongolian or Greek. The three keyboards described on this page address these issues.

1. Keyboards

Your keyboard can be mapped so that existing keys can produce any character with a code number in the UNICODE set. The AltGr key can be used to access those values (ç, š, ö, â, ñ, etc.), as can dead-key combinations (e.g. ` directly followed by e to produce è). Dead keys are the safest way of producing diacritic letters and are at the base of [1] Tagg's 2013 multilingual keyboard; [2] the Greek Polytonic keyboard covering both Modern and Ancient Greek characters; [3] the Russian keyboard with keys set so that typing "Vladimir Putin" produces Владимир Путин (linguistically correct, if that is what you want!).

2. Fonts

Many fonts provide tables interpreting codes from the keyboard in ways that do not just provide aesthetic variants of the same letter (like this or this or this, etc.). For example, typing lower-case H (h) in the XPTmusic1 font produces a minim (Halfnote) and upper-case H (H) a minim rest, while typing dollar ($) produces a flat sign () etc. In short, fonts let you type various types of non-verbal symbols into any document you’re working on. TOF


TOF Font download and install advice

In the list of TTF fonts, shown above on this page, click the relevant Download XPT....ttf option.

Select to save to your computer, not to view.

Installation procedures vary from one (version of an) operating system to another. On my version of Windows you open ‘My computer’ and select ‘Install new font’. Then you double-click the TTF file you just downloaded.

On my Mac it’s like this

  1. In the download window select XPT[...].ttf or scroll down in the list of fonts to where, alphabetically, XPT[...] should be. If you downloaded XPTMusic.ttf you will probably see the following symbols at that point in the font list: . If so, click on those symbols.
  2. Go to your Mac’s System Preferences and select International
  3. Select Input Menu and check that Keyboard Viewer is On
  4. Check that Show Input Menu in Menu Bar is On. An icon showing your keyboard nationality appears top right.
  5. Click nationality icon
  6. In drop down, click Show Keyboard Viewer
  7. Select the XPTMusic font. Keyboard map appears showing where symbols are on your keyboard.

TOF


Character input information (English-language computers)
Conventional solutions

Language limitations

This section covers only roman-letter diacritics for such languages as Gaelic, French, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Estonian and the Nordic languages. It does not include graphemes peculiar to:
Czech and Slovak (
č ď ě ĺ ň ř š ť ů ž), Hungarian (ő ű), Latvian (ā č ē ģ ķ ļ ņ š ū ž), Lithuanian (ą č š ų ū ž),
Polish (ą ć ł ń ś ź ż), Romanian (ă ş ț), Slovenian (š ž), Turkish (ğ İ) or Welsh (ŵ ŷ). You’ll need to use other methods to spell ŁódźŽižek, Dvóřak and Dŵr Cymru correctly and to show some respect for the language cultures concerned (about 160 million people). To cover all of those characters (and much more) I recommend Tagg’s multilingual keyboard for Windows. See also the Cyrillic and Greek keyboards.

Windows    |  Go to Diacritics on a Mac  |  Go to Radical solutions

Diacritics (go to other characters)

By far the best partial solution to the ethnocentricity of region-specific keyboards is Microsoft’s own US-International keyboard. It is definitely worth installing. It uses five dead keys (' ` ^ " ~) to produce the following characters.

dead key
then one of these keys
produces this
' apostrophe
Aa Cc Ee Ii Oo Uu Yy
Áá Çç Éé Íí Óó Úú Ýý
` grave
Aa Ee Ii Oo Uu
Àà Èè Ìì Òò Ùù
^ circumflex
Aa Ee Ii Oo Uu
Ââ Êê Îî Ôô Ûû
" quote (straight)
Aa Ee Ii Oo Uu
Ää Ëë Ïï Öö Üü
~ tilde
Aa Nn Oo
Ãã Ññ Õõ

It also uses AltGr combinations (AltGr at the same time as the combination key) to produce these characters.

     AltGr +        gives 
       this            this
     AltGr +        gives 
       this            this
     AltGr +        gives 
       this            this
     AltGr +        gives 
       this            this
A a
Á á
E e
É é
C c
¢ ©
=
×
Q q
Ä ä
N n
Ñ ñ
$ 4
£ ¤
+
÷
W w
Å å
P p
Ö ö
5
[  ]
«  »
Z z
Æ æ
L l
Ø ø
6 7 8
¼ ½ ¾
\  |
¬  ¦
< ,
Ç ç
T t
Þ þ
9 0
‘ ’ (quotes)
;
D d
Ð ð
Y y
Ü ü
-
¥
:
°
TOF

Mac icon Direct input of diacritic letters on an English-language Mac   
Go to Diacritics in Windows
 |  Go to Radical solutions | Go to non-language characters

Limitations

This section covers only roman-letter diacritics for such languages as Gaelic, French, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Estonian and the Nordic languages. It does not include graphemes peculiar to:
Czech and Slovak (č ď ě ĺ ň ř š ť ů ž), Hungarian (ő ű), Latvian (ā č ē ģ ķ ļ ņ š ū ž), Lithuanian (ą č š ų ū ž),
Polish (ą ć ł ń ś ź ż), Romanian (ă ş ț), Slovenian (š ž), Turkish (ğ İ) or Welsh (ŵ ŷ). You’ll need to use other methods to spell ŁódźŽižek, Dvóřak and Dŵr Cymru correctly and to show some respect for the language cultures concerned (about 160 million people). To cover all of those characters (and much more) I recommend Tagg’s multilingual keyboard for Windows. See also the Cyrillic and Greek keyboards.

Basic procedures

  1. Pressing the Alt key and a standard key at the same time on an English-language Mac keyboard produces a third character when both those keys are released (Aa > Åå, Cc > Çç, Oo > Øø, see below).
  2. Pressing the Alt key with any one of the following keys at the same time ― e ` i u n ~ ― lets you enter a third standard key with the requisite diacritic. For example, pressing the Alt key together with lower-case E (e) shows an underlined acute accent on screen (´ ); pressing e again replaces the ´  with é.
Alt +
shows
followed by
produces
A a
 
produces  Å å  directly
C c
 
produces  Ç ç  directly
e
´
A a E e I i O o U u
Á á É é Í í Ó ó Ú ú
i
^
A a E e I i O o U u
 â Ê ê Î î Ô ô Û û
n
~
A a N n O o
à ã Ñ ñ Õ õ
O o
 
produces  Ø ø  directly
`
`
A a E e I i O o U u
À à È è Ì ì Ò ò Ù ù
u
¨
A a E e I i O o U u   Top
Ä ä Ë ë Ï ï Ö ö Ü ü

Producing additional symbols and characters on a Mac

Method A

  1. Open any document in a text editing application (e.g. Word).
  2. Click the language flag icon in the top line (near the right) of your Mac monitor.
  3. Click Show Character Viewer and see if the character you want to produce is listed anywhere under Arrows, Parentheses, Punctuation, etc., or under ‘Favorites’. If it is, double click the character you want and it will be written to your text file.

Method B

  1. Open any document in a text editing application (e.g. Word).
  2. Click the language flag icon in the top line (near the right) of your Mac monitor.
  3. Select a keyboard layout whose characters you want to view.
  4. Click Show Keyboard Viewer to (surprise!) view that keyboard layout. Don’t forget to check its Shift and Alt modes, too.
  5. If you find the character/symbol you’re looking for, type the relevant key or key combination. That symbol/character is then written to the open document.
  6. Don’t forget to switch back to your usual keyboard layout .

Method C

Let’s say you want to write ‘½’ (half) and ‘Δ’ (delta) but can’t find those characters using methods A or B.

  1. Open any document in a text editing programme
  2. Click the language flag icon in the top line (near the right) of your Mac monitor.
  3. Click Show Character Viewer.
  4. In the Search box enter half to find ‘½ ’, which appears in the middle column.
  5. Select ½ and click Add to ‘Favorites’ (right column).
  6. In the Search box enter delta to find ‘Δ’, which appears in the middle column.
  7. Select Δ and click Add to ‘Favorites’ (right column).

To retrieve characters added to ‘Favorites’ (favourites):

  1. Open any document in a text editing programme
  2. Click the language flag icon in the top line (near the right) of your Mac monitor.
  3. Click Show Character Viewer.
  4. Select ‘Favorites’ and double-click whichever character you want to appear in your text file.

Top FontsKbds KEYBOARD LAYOUTS    (radical solutions)   

1. Multilingual roman-character keyboard (Tagg's 2013 keyboard)    

Includes all characters for all European languages using the roman alphabet, plus many useful symbols.
Hover over a character in the box below to reveal the dead key combination producing it.

Overview of 2013 multilingual keyboard showing examples of characters produced
in combination with each of the six
DEAD KEYS ~ ` ^ ¨ ´ and °.
N.B. On your keyboard, ~ ` ^ ¨ ° may be in different posiitons to those shown here.

DeadkeyKeyboard

PDF alphabetical listing of all dead-key combinations on this keyboard (as Excel table)
Download this keyboard to install in Windows or on a Mac   ● Download instructions  • General info

This keyboard is really useful if you need  to mention Dvořák and Martinů, or to quote Slavoj Žižek’s ruminations on Rasa Kaušiūtė’s performance of a Eurovision song in Łódź. It’s also useful if you want to settle your account with Dŵr Cymru, or write about something in F♯ minor, or avoid calling Herr Åström Astrom, or writing lecon instead of leçon.  It also lets your produce some mathematical and financial characters. You can even author correctly edited books and articles that use proper quotes (‘…’ or “… ” or «… » instead of "…" or '… '), Em dashes (—, not just - ), bullets (• ▪), section signs (§ ¶) and suchlike.

 Top


Top 2. Кириллица клавиатура — Cyrillic keyboard for Westerners   KeyboardIcon

  • Cyrillic letters assigned to their phonetic equivalents on a Western keyboard.
  • If you want to see Владимир Богданович, type Vladimir Bogdanovic.
  • Russian, Bulgarian and Mongolian letters on main keyboard. Byelrussian & Ukranian extras on dead keys.
  • : and ; are dead keys producing the graphemes shown below and detailed in a separate table.

Complete key to this keyboard  • Download provisional keyboard  ● Download instructions  • Basics



Top 3. Greek polytonic keyboard incl. Ancient Greek diacritics     

Includes all Modern Greek characters with accents (αάβγδεέζηήθιίκλμνοόπρσςτυύφχψωώ plus capitals, numerals and symbols). Based on standard Greek keyboard layout with colon and semicolon on Q and accent on ; To produce "Ξενάκης" type "Jenakhw" (; is the accent dead key preceding the requisite vowel, e.g. ά = ;a). This keyboard also includes all Ancient Greek letters with accents, breathings and iota subscripts and adscripts. Please note that these characters are only visible in fonts with full Unicode suppot (e.g. Arial Unicode MS): ἀ ἐ ἠ ἰ ὀ ὐ ὠ ἁ ἑ ἠ ἱ ὁ ὑ ὡ ἄ ἔ ἤ ἴ ὄ ὤ ἅ ἕ ἥ ἵ ὅ ὕ ὥ ᾳ ῃ ῳ ᾄ ᾔ ᾤ ᾇ ᾗ ᾧ ᾱ ῑ ῡ ῒ ῢ, etc., e.g. ᾠδή = {ψδ;η. Click here for complete listing of all dead key combinations for this polytonic Greek keyboard.

Overview of base positions showing dead keys in this colour.

Complete dead-key combination listing   

Download instructions

Download this keyboard direct

Basic info  

 

Downloading and installing keyboard layouts (Windows only)

Subsection A: creating the installation package

  • Make sure you have Microsoft’s Keyboard Layout Creator software (free) installed on your computer.
  • Download the file PTKLCs.zip to somewhere where you’ll find it easily on your computer.
  • Extract the three constituent files — GkKbdPolytoni.klc, RussianPhonetic.klc and USPT12.klc— from the ZIP file, ensuring you know where to find them on your computer.
  • Open the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator software.
  • Select File > Load Source File and select which of the three KLC files you want to install. USPT12.klc is source file for the multilingual keyboard, GkKbdPolytonic.klc for Greek and RussianPhonetic.klc for the Cyrilliic keyboard.
  • Check both the Shift and Non-Shift key positions displayed and adjust whatever takes your fancy.
  • When you’ve finished, select Project > Validate Layout and opt to see the log. You’ll see lots of warnings like this:
    The character Ө (U+04e8) exists in the entry for VK_7, ShiftState 'Shift' of the layout table and is not in the default system code page (1251) of the Russian (Russia) language you specified. This may cause compatibility problems in non-Unicode applications.
    Pay no attention to those warnings: the whole idea is to include characteres that aren’t standard keyboard features. The only possible problems are explained here. It’s no big deal.
  • Don’t worry about error lines like: '\' defined on OEM_102 (Base) but not defined elsewhere. This key may not be present on all keyboards. That rarely makes any difference.
  • DO pay attention to errors warnings like: The keyboard name 'PT-Russ' is already in use on this machine. If you see such warnings, select Project > Properties and try renaming the keyboard’s Name and/or Description. Then run Project > Validate Layout again. If there are still errors rather than just warnings reported, follow the tips posted here.
  • Select Project > Test Keyboard Layout and type stuff to see if the layout’s working properly before you actually install it.
  • Select Project > Build DLL and Setup Package.
  • If you’ve changed anything, select File > Save Source File and click. The software has produced the data you need to go ahead with the actual installation. It has produced several small files and folders. You only need setup.exe.
  • Double-click the file setup.exe and wait several seconds for it to finish. Then click Close. The keyboard should now be installed in Windows.

Subsection B: accessing and using your new keyboard

If you’re running Windows you’ll need to:

  1. Select Start > Settings > Control panel > Regional and Language Options
  2. Open the Languages tab and select Details.
    N.B. We’re in
     Start > Settings > Control panel > Regional and Language Options > Details   
    until reaching the bullet point  ‘● Hit  Apply, then   OK’,  about 10 lines down from here…
  3. Depending on which keyboard[s] you’ve just installed, check that:
    ▪ The multilingual keyboard is listed under  English (United States) as  USPT11 (or similar).
    ▪ The Greek keyboard is listed under  Greek  as  Greek Polytonic - PT01.
    ▪ The Cyrillic keyboard is listed under  Russian  as  Russian Phonetic 1.

IMPORTANT. A normal English-language keyboard needs to be available in addition to whichever of these keyboards you download and install. It’s simplest to ensure that the keyboard  ‘ US’   under  ‘English (United States)’ is included as a keyboard option. This is because keyboard strokes using the layout[s] you’ve just installed can conflict with keyboard shortcuts used in various software applications. It’s really easy to switch between keyboards using the language bar and it’s easy to use mouse clicks instead of keyboard shortcuts in many applications.

When you’ve done whatever applies to the keyboard[s] you downloaded/installed, you need to:

  • Check that the Windows language bar is visible (click Language bar under Prefrences to set the options).
  • Hit  Apply  then  OK .

Finally (in Windows XP):

  1. If you’ve installed the Cyrillic or Greek keyboard, use the language bar to check that you can switch languages by clicking on the language abbreviation button —EN for English, RU/РУС for Russian, EL/ΕΛ for hELlenic (Ελληνικό = Greek).
  2. Right-click the language bar and ensure that the option  Additional icons in task bar  is selected. This should reveal a small keyboard icon which, when clicked, allows you to change betwen, say, the keyboards English (United States) as  USPT11 and English (United States) US, both of which have EN as their language abbreviation button in the language bar. Very useful if you need to use the keyboard[s] you downloaded at the same time as using keyboard shortcuts in software like Adobe Photoshop.

TOF


中国音乐通

“Ideographs for Idiots”: simple Chinese character generation for non-Sinophones

Prerequisites

  • A full Unicode font installed on your system (e.g. Arial Unicode MS)
  • An editable file opened in a word-processing app (e.g. Word)
  • Access on line to this English - Chinese - English dictionary
  • A rudimentary understanding of two relevant concepts:
    1. pīnyīn — the Mandarin-based (not Cantonese) roman-letter transcription of Chinese characters
    2. tonal language — in which the same word can mean different things if intoned differently

Limitations

  • The characters produced are modern/simplified, as used in China,
    not the traditional characters used in Hong Kong or Taiwan.
  • If you know a little Chinese (I don’t), you may find it quicker to use the site Typing Chinese Online.

Example: generating the Chinese character for the English word good.

  1. If you don't know the Chinese for good go to the online Chinese dictionary.
  2. Type in good and press Search. You will be shown a list of possible translations of good into Chinese.
  3. Choose the most appropriate alternative displayed in the right-hand column. I’m selecting hăo (), as in nǐ hǎo (你 好) = How are you? Are you well (‘good’)?
  4. Click the Chinese character equivalent to hăo — and check the possible meanings displayed.
  5. If (hăo) is what you mean by good, select the character (double click) and copy it. Note that it is an actual character, not an image file.
  6. Paste the character into your document. If it turns out as a rectangle or a question mark it's probably because the font at that point in your document doesn't cover Chinese characters. If so, select that part of the text and change to a full Unicode font (e.g. Arial Unicode MS).
  7. The characters generated using this method are very large (75 pt). You can reduce that using your text editing software (e.g. Word): select the character[s] and choose a smaller font size.

If you're having trouble with the simple method just described, try replacing step 6 with the following procedure:

  • Open the Typing Chinese Online site in a separate window
  • Paste the big (75 pt) character into the box provided, e.g. .
  • Deselect the character in the box, then reselect it as it now appears (much smaller).
    N.B. You must copy the smaller version shown, not what you copied into the box.
  • Press Copy, switch to word processing and paste the character into your text document.

All ideographs on this page were produced using the procedures just described. Same goes for the words meaning ‘thank you’
(xiè xiè, 谢谢) and ‘Philip Tagg’ (dàofěilĭ, 道斐理, my Chinese name). That’s the sad extent of my knowledge of Chinese!
You can of course also copy and paste Chinese text from online documents if you can identify the ideographs you need to use.

谢谢 (道斐理)

人人生而自由,在尊严和权利上一律平等。他们赋有理性和良心,并应以兄弟关系的精神相对待。
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

 

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