Macintosh - Virtual Keyboard Instructions

There are 3 steps needed to load virtual keyboards and type in the desired language

Step 1: Activate the language and input source in the system. This is explained further below for each language
Step 2: Switch to the desired language
Step 3: Type in the desired language

 

STEP 1: ACTIVATE LANGUAGE & INPUT SOURCE

  • Click the Apple menu and open System Preferences

  • Click the U.N. flag icon which represents Language & Region in the first row of the System Preferences panel

 
  • Click the + sign and add the desired language(s)

macintosh-writing-input-guide-add-language.png
 
  • NOTE: The system may ask to use this new language as your primary language. If this happens select Use English

  • Close the System Preferences window

 

STEP 2: SWITCH TO THE DESIRED KEYBOARD

  • In the upper right portion of the screen, click on the American Flag icon (U.S. Flag icon). Use the dropdown menu to select the desired language

 
  • A flag icon corresponding to the keyboard will now be displayed

  • Pressing Command + Space Bar will cycle through the activated keyboards

 

STEP 3: TYPE IN THE DESIRED LANGUAGE

  • After switching to the desired keyboard begin typing in the target language

  • Keyboard Viewer: Using the Macintosh Keyboard Viewer is not required, but may be helpful for test takers typing in a character-based language. Test takers can click the keys on the Keyboard Viewer, or use it as a keyboard layout reference when typing on the physical keyboard

 
  • To turn on the Keyboard Viewer click on the Apple menu in the upper right corner and select Show Keyboard Viewer

macintosh-writing-input-guide-show-keyboard-viewer.png
 
  • Once the Keyboard Viewer is showing, switching to a different language will make it show up on the Keyboard Viewer


Language Specific Instructions

AMHARIC

There is no input source provided by the Macintosh OS that lets you type in Amharic. We recommend using Google Input Tools with Chrome for typing Amharic on Macintosh computers. Read more about using Google Input Tools here.

 

ARABIC

  • Step 1: Add Arabic and then select Arabic as the input source

  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Arabic

  • Step 3: Type in Arabic

    • Responses need to be typed in Modern Standard Arabic

macintosh-writing-input-guide-arabic-keyboard-layout-2.png
 
 

ARMENIAN

  • Step 1: Add Armenian and then select Armenian - HM QWERTY as the input source

macintosh-writing-input-guide-add-input-source-armenian-2.png
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Armenian

  • Step 3: Type in Armenian

 
 

CHINESE SIMPLIFIED

  • Step 1: Add Chinese, Simplified and then select Pinyin Simplified as the input source

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  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Pinyin - Simplified

  • Step 3: Type in Chinese Simplified

    • Typing in Chinese Simplified begins with typing the pronunciation of the word (Pinyin) and then hitting the space bar to bring up a list of Chinese Simplified characters to choose

macintosh-writing-input-guide-typing-in-chinese-simplified.png
 

Note: There is no keyboard layout for the Chinese, Simplified - Pinyin Simplified keyboard layout because phrases are spelled out with letters from the English Alphabet

 

CHINESE TRADITIONAL

  • Step 1: Add Chinese, Traditional and then select Pinyin - Traditional as the input source

  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Pinyin - Traditional

  • Step 3: Type in Chinese Traditional

    • Typing in Chinese Traditional begins with typing the pronunciation of the word (Pinyin) and then hitting the space bar to bring up a list of Chinese Traditional characters to choose

 

Note: There is no keyboard layout for the Chinese, Traditional - Pinyin Traditional keyboard layout because phrases are spelled out with letters from the English Alphabet

 

HEBREW

  • Step 1: Add Hebrew language and then select Hebrew as the input source

macintosh-writing-input-guide-add-input-source-hebrew.png
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Hebrew

  • Step 3: Type in Hebrew

 
 

HINDI

  • Step 1: Add Hindi language and then select Devanagari as the input source

macintosh-writing-input-guide-load-hindi.png
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Devanagari

  • Step 3: Type in Hindi

macintosh-writing-input-guide-hindi-devanagari-keyboard-layout-2.png
 
 

JAPANESE

  • Step 1: Add Japanese language and then select Japanese as the input source

macintosh-writing-input-guide-load-japanese.png
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Hiragana

  • Step 3: Type in Japanese

    • Typing in Japanese begins with typing the pronunciation of the word with letters from the English alphabet, and then hitting space bar to bring up a list of Japanese characters to choose. Note: you may need to hit the SHIFT button

 

Note: There is no keyboard layout for the Japanese keyboard because phrases are spelled out with letters from the English Alphabet

 

KOREAN

  • Step 1: Add Korean language and then select 2-Set Korean as the input source

macintosh-writing-input-guide-add-input-source-korean-2.png
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to 2-Set Korean

  • Step 3: Type in Korean

 
 

RUSSIAN

  • Step 1: Add Russian language and then select Russian as the input source

  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Russian

  • Step 3: Type in Russian

 
 

TAMIL

  • Step 1: Add Tamil language and then select Tamil99 as the input source

  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Tamil99

  • Step 3: Type in Tamil

 
 

TELUGU

  • Step 1: Add Telugu language and then select Telugu as the input source

macintosh-writing-input-guide-load-telugu.png
macintosh-writing-input-guide-add-input-source-telugu.png
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Telugu

  • Step 3: Type in Telugu

macintosh-writing-input-guide-telugu-keyboard-layout.png
 
 

URDU

  • Step 1: Add Urdu language and then select Urdu as the input source

macintosh-writing-input-guide-load-urdu.png
macintosh-writing-input-guide-add-input-source-urdu.png
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Urdu

  • Step 3: Type in Urdu

macintosh-writing-input-guide-urdu-keyboard-layout.png
 
 

VIETNAMESE

  • Step 1: Add Vietnamese language and then select Vietnamese as the input source

macintosh-writing-input-guide-add-input-source-vietnamese.png
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Vietnamese

  • Step 3: Type in Vietnamese

 
 

Easy Way to Type Accented Characters

Mac OS also allows easily typed accented letters and diacritical marks by using a sustained keypress on a single key. For example, if you press and hold on "a" a pop-up will appear after holding that key for a few moments which displays which accents are available for that particular letter or character.

  • Press and hold on the letter you wish to accent, continue holding the letter until a menu with character accents are displayed

  • Choose the character accent with the mouse, or press the number corresponding below the accent in the menu

 

If this accent sub-menu feature isn’t available to you, it’s likely because you either have a fairly old version of system software, or perhaps you disabled the accent menu to favor key repeat instead.

 

Updated July 2019

*Avant Assessment has compiled the information in this guide to assist you in activating various language virtual keyboards on Macintosh Operating Systems. Since software and hardware updates and changes occur quite frequently, these are only suggested processes that we have identified, tested and produced in these simple guides. If one of the processes outlined does not seem to work for your configuration, please check with the developer of your hardware and operating system for more specific support. There may be more updated information available through those resources. As always, Google is also a great resource to use if you are searching for assistance with this process as well.

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