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Mac OS X 10.6: Typing in another language

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Typing in another language

You can type in a language that uses a different writing system (or “script”) from yours without having a keyboard designed for that language. The language you write in can also be different from the language used in your menus and dialogs.

To write in another language, turn on the input source for the language in Language & Text preferences. After turning on the other language, you can choose it from the Input menu in the menu bar whenever you want to type in it.

To turn on the input source for a language:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Language & Text, and then click Input Sources.

  2. Select the checkbox next to the input source you want to use.

  3. Select the “Show Input menu in menu bar” checkbox.

To choose the language to type in:

Choose the input source for that language from the Input menu (looks like a flag or character) in the menu bar.

When you choose an input source that doesn’t match the keyboard you have, the keys you see (and press) on your keyboard may be different from the characters that are displayed when you type. To see what keys to press to produce different characters, you can use the Keyboard Viewer. For more information about the Keyboard Viewer, see:

Seeing how to type characters in another language

Some applications may not support all languages. If the input source is dimmed (not available) in the Input menu, the application doesn’t support that language.

Some languages may not appear unless you install additional fonts for that language. Check your Mac OS X installation discs for additional fonts that you may want to install. For more information about the languages and fonts installed with Mac OS X, visit the Apple Support website and search for “using different languages.”

Last Modified: Aug 6, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Aug 6, 2013
  • Article: PH6800
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