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Typing Polytonic Greek on a Mac

Click on the Apple Menu apple icon  in the upper left corner of your screen and select System Preferences


apple menu



In System Preferences, go to the Personal row and click on International.


System Preferences



Select the Input Menu tab, and click on the box next to Greek Polytonic.


International Preferences



At the top right corner of the screen, click on the icon of the American flag American Flag.  Select Polytonic Greek from the menu. 


Enabled Keyboards



You may now begin typing in Greek, using any Unicode-enabled word processing program.   Please note that Microsoft Office X and its predecessors do not accept Unicode, but Microsoft Office 2004 does.



For a map of character locations, return to the International page of the System Preferences menu and enable the Keyboard Viewer


International Preferences



After enabling the Keyboard Viewer, go back to the flag icon menu American Flag and below the list of enabled languages, click on Show Keyboard Viewer.  An image of your keyboard with the location of polytonic Greek letters and accent marks will appear.


Keyboard Viewer



To produce diacritical marks such as those marked in orange above, one or more keys must be pressed before typing the letter to be accented.  The necessary keystrokes are as follows:


Diacritical mark produced:


smooth breathing and circumflex


smooth breathing and grave accent




grave accent


acute accent


smooth breathing


smooth breathing and acute accent

Shift _

rough breathing and circumflex

Shift +

rough breathing and grave accent

Shift {

iota subscript

Shift }

grave accent

Shift :

diaeresis (dialytika)

Shift "

rough breathing

Shift ?

rough breathing and acute accent

Shift W

diaeresis (dialytika) and acute accent

Option i

iota subscript

Option l


Shift Option L



For instance, to type an alpha with a rough breathing mark, simultaneously press the Shift and " (quotation mark) keys, release them, then press the A key.  Multiple diacritics may appear over a single letter by typing the desired accent keystrokes in any order.