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Transliterations and transcriptions of ancient languages usually use some special characters, e.g. Greek signs, like alpha (α), ‘s’ with caron (š), ‘h’ with breve below (), ‘t’ with dot below (), Semitic Ain (), Egyptological Alif ().

In order to produce a robust file for e.g. a publisher, i.e. a file that is going to be displayed correctly on any electronic device, it is advisable that the encoder uses strictly Unicode fonts to enter his/her data. Characters that have been entered with a Unicode font cannot be confused on any other device. This is because the file actually contains the unique Unicode number of the intended character, e.g. U+1E6D. This number is unique and reserved for this very character all across the world in any Unicode font. With Unicode fonts, the only things that can happen are: a) The character cannot be displayed at all on the receiver’s device; b) The style of the font may be different, depending on the actual Unicode font that is installed on the receiver’s device.)

Recommended fonts[edit]

For glossing in general or for editing specific languages, we recommend to install the following fonts:

Language Fonts Character examples
Glossing in general Charis SIL diacritics, IPA symbols, ā ē ī ō ū
Akkadian Times New Roman
Arial Unicode MS
Charis SIL
New Athena Unicode
ʾ ʿ ḫ ṣ š ṭ
Coptic Antinouu
IFAO-Grec Unicode
ⲁ ⲉ ⲙ ϣ ϩ ϭ ϯ ⳉ ⳁ
Ancient Egyptian [1] New Athena Unicode
ꜣ ʾ ı͗ i̯ ï ꜥ u̯ ḥ ḫ ẖ h̭ ś š ḳ č ṯ ṭ ṱ [2] č̣ ḏ
Greek New Athena Unicode [3]
IFAO-Grec Unicode
α ζ ς ή ω ᾆ ἧ ὧ.
Hittite Times New Roman
Arial Unicode MS
Charis SIL
New Athena Unicode
ḫ š

Recommended programs and links[edit]

Keyboard layouts[edit]

Creator programs[edit]

Ready layouts[edit]

Unicode character programs and links[edit]

Required Unicode characters[edit]

Character Unicode
Character Unicode
ʿ U+02BF Akkadian
ʾ U+02BE Akkadian, Ancient Egyptian
 [4] U+A725 U+A724 Ancient Egyptian
 [4] U+A723 U+A722 Ancient Egyptian
č U+010D Č U+010C Ancient Egyptian
č̣ U+010D&U+0323 Č̣ U+010C&U+0323 Ancient Egyptian
U+1E0F U+1E0E Ancient Egyptian
U+1E25 U+1E24 Ancient Egyptian
U+1E2B U+1E2B Akkadian, Ancient Egyptian, Hittite
U+1E96 'H'+ U+0331 Ancient Egyptian
'h'&U+032D 'H'&U+032D Ancient Egyptian
'i'&U+0357 'I'&U+0357 Ancient Egyptian
'i'&U+032F Ancient Egyptian
ï U+00EF Ancient Egyptian
U+1E33 U+1E32 Ancient Egyptian
U+032E U+032D Akkadian
ś U+015B Ś U+015A Ancient Egyptian
š U+0161 Š U+0160 Akkadian, Ancient Egyptian, Hittite
U+1E6F U+1E6E Ancient Egyptian
U+1E6D U+1E6C Akkadian, Ancient Egyptian
U+1E71 U+1E70 Ancient Egyptian
‘u’&U+032F Ancient Egyptian
U+2E17 Ancient Egyptian
U+2E22 U+2E23 text critical markup
U+2329 U+232A text critical markup


  1. Daniel A. Werning. 28.7.2016. Egyptological Transliteration in Unicode, http://hdl.handle.net/21.11101/0000-0000-9E1A-2; Wikipedia, Ägyptische Hieroglyphen. In der elektronischen Datenverarbeitung.
  2. Capital  Ṱ  missing in New Athena Unicode.
  3. Note that New Athena Unicode uses non-standardized Private Use Area for some few characters, e.g.    . See here.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The characters U+A725 LATIN SMALL LETTER EGYPTOLOGICAL AIN and U+A723 LATIN SMALL LETTER EGYPTOLOGICAL ALEF are often rendered smaller than the respective capitals in computer fonts. This, however, is not the case in most Egyptological print fonts. For print typesetting (but not for database encoding), we recommend to use the respectice CAPITAL letters instead.