Nov 25

Update: See FireFox 3.x Now Displays Greek Fonts post. Firefox 3.x never had a problem. My WordPress install had UTF-8 setup wrong : (

On Nov 4 of this year, Mozilla Development Center reported that FireFox web browser had achieved 20% World Wide Market Share. I converted to using Firefox back in 2003, when it was called Firebird and was at version 1.5.

With the introduction of version 3, the Greek fonts stopped displaying in Firefox. There is a post in the Firefox Support Forum and the only solution given is to switch to Unicode.

So, when I add Greek characters in any of my blog posts I have to use Unicode. The following shows a easy way you can convert Greek characters including diacritical marks to Unicode.

Here is a list of the Greek Unicodes:

α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ σ ς τ υ φ χ ψ ω Γ Δ Θ Λ Ξ Π Σ Φ Ψ Ω

They produce these characters:

α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ σ ς τ υ φ χ ψ ω Γ Δ Θ Λ Ξ Π Σ Φ Ψ Ω

Now this is fine if all you need to do is add the odd Greek word here and there, but what if you are wanting to put a whole verse in Greek? You cannot cut and paste Greek characters, as Firefox will not display them. It worked in version 2.x, but in 3.x it is not working.

Based on the fact that you need to use Unicode, one needs to come up with a way to convert from Greek to Unicode.

I am sure there are many nice tools to do this with. I would like to share the one that I am now using. Unicorn is a simple text editor for use with Latin, ancient Greek, and Hebrew text. It also has a integrated Latin and Greek dictionary and runs on the Windows, Mac OS X, and all varieties of Unix.

Unicorn supports keyboards for Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. You choose the keyboard you want (Greek, Latin, Hebrew) from the menu with a Edit|Change and press the Escape key twice, the background of the editor turns Green and you can type in Greek.

Here is a short test. I went to the The Resurgence Greek Project site that allows you to look at different Greek manuscripts and you can parse the Greek words by hovering over them. I looked up John 3:16 and cut and pasted it into Unicorn’s green screen. I then highlighted the Greek text and in the menu did a Tools|HTML escape codes, and another window pops up with John 3:16 in Unicode. I pasted the Unicode right below, and there you have John 3:16 in Greek with all the diacritical marks.

οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ’ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον

One more pointer. If you are using WordPress blogging software, you will need to change your Editing window from Visual to HTML. If you leave it set to Visual it converts the Unicode to Greek and then when you save it the Greek will all go to question marks.

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One Response to “Greek Does Not Display in FireFox”

  1. 1. Cristianismo Primitivo Says:

    Thank you for the tip. Also wanted to let you know that the link for Unicorn goes to this page, I assume it was supposed to go to the Unicorn site.

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