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I'm taking a course in ancient Greek, and I store notes and flash cards on my computer. However, by default Ubuntu uses a modern Greek font. This changes some noticable things--for example, a circumflex is ᾶ instead of α̑. I can type the circumflex by switching back to english and entering the unicode combining character u0311 (which is what I just did to type the second α), but obviously this is very cumbersome.

I've installed the "ttf-linex" package from the Ubuntu repositories, which claims to include an ancient Greek font. But I have no idea how to enable this font for whenever I switch to the Greek keyboard layout.

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Do you want to change the language used / keyboard system wide, or just change the font in a single application? –  DaveParillo Nov 17 '09 at 5:55
    
Right now I switch between American and Greek keyboard layouts. I want this change to be system-wise, but only when I am in the Greek keyboard layout. –  Matthew Nov 17 '09 at 15:36

2 Answers 2

I don't know of any simple way to tie system fonts to keyboard layout, but a font called GentiumAlt (package ttf-sil-gentium) includes both normal latin characters and the alpha circumflex you want. (The fonts in ttf-linex seem to use the tilde-like/squiggly circumflex.)

After installing the font, right-click on the desktop and choose "Change background" (or go to System > Preferences > Appearance), switch to the Fonts tab and set at least the Document font to GentiumAlt. In OpenOffice, choose GentiumAlt in the font drop-down menu.

If your layout is Greece-Polytonic, alpha with a circumflex is [a.

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I think Vern S. Poythressp has been working on your exact problem. He describes a couple of approaches - he talks about entering characters one by one as well as defining and using a custom keymap.

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