Gathan Beaga

macrons with OS 10.4

<img src=“” style=“height:47px;width:129px” / alt=“māori keyboard layout” title=“māori keyboard layout” hspace=“5” vspace=“5” align=“right” />I stumbled across another nice new feature of MacOS 10.4 today: the Māori keyboard layout.

This is useful when it comes to making sure all the macrons – those bars above the long vowel sounds – are present when typing Māori words.

And before you think that this is just more politically correct bullshit consider this. Imagine if people consistently spelled your name wrong. And consistently pronounced it wrong. Wouldn’t you be, just the tiniest bit, slacked off? (Given my name, maybe I’m especially sensitive to this.)

It’s about respect, not PC. Do unto others etc etc.

Anyway, heavy-handed point-making over. There are two major benefits to the Māori keyboard layout:

  • can insert macrons easily – ā ō ū – by using the “`” key as a modifier: `a makes ā, for instance, or simply use option-a, option-o, option-u ;
  • get rid of that damned Aussie (or US) flag from the menu bar, replacing it with the much cooler 1835 flag of the United Tribes.

The main disadvantage is that now it’s not so easy to type umlauts and other European special characters… but just switch back to the Australian or US keyboard and you’ll be sorted.

To get the keyboard layout set as default, visit the “International” section in System Preferences. Go to the “Input Menu” tab; from here you can select which keyboard layouts you’d like to use. Select “Māori”. Now you should see a more interesting flag in your menu bar, telling you that all is as it should be.

And if you’ve been saddled with a Windows machine, you can download the equivalent keyboard layout here. Or, if you have a pre-10.4 Mac, then the Hawaiian layout is apparently the go.

Get to it.