Macrons are the little lines on top of a vowel that indicate it should be pronounced LONG rather than short. If you’re not sure where to use macrons when typing Māori, try the Māori Dictionary (there’s also an app).
Below are a few ways of adding macrons to Māori words on your keyboard.
- Newer Macs
- Windows 7 or later
- Older PCs
- Older Macs
1. Newer Macs
Hold down the letter on your keyboard and a little menu will appear with all possible accents/macron. It looks like this:
Type in the number of (or click on) the accent/macron you want.
If you would prefer to use OPTION-letter as a shortcut instead, see the instructions for Older Macs further down in the post.
2. Windows 7 or later
The Māori keyboard is built in but, as I understand it, you need to enable the keyboard:
Control Panel>Clock, Language, and Region> Keyboards and Languages>Change Keyboard>Add Input Language> Maori (New Zealand)>Add>Apply. Check bottom right of screen to see if the keyboard has been enabled. It will show as MR (see below).
Once you’ve enabled the keyboard, type a backtick ` before the vowel that needs a macron. So `a will give you ā.
The keyboard should stay enabled until and unless you select another.
1. Control Panel>Clock, Language, and Region>Change Keyboards
2. Change keyboards
3. Select Māori (New Zealand)>Keyboard>Māori>Click OK
4. Select MR Māori (New Zealand) and click on Apply
5. Check keyboard is enabled
6. Type a backtick ` before the vowel that needs a macron. So `a will give you ā.
3. Older PCs
Check out the advice on kupu.maori.nz.
4. Older Macs
I went about setting up the Māori keyboard on my Macbook in an old-school kind of way which lets me use OPTION-letter to add a macron. This shortcut seems to work best for me – perhaps because it’s the first I tried or because it’s close to shortcuts I use in other programs.
- Add the Māori keyboard in Systems Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources
- Select Māori keyboard in Menu Bar
- Hold down Option when you type the letter you want a macron on, or type ` before the letter
Screenshots taken when running OS X 10.9.4
1. Go to Systems Preferences
2. Click on Keyboard
3. Choose Input Sources and click on + at bottom left of screen
4. Select Māori from dropdown menu and click on Add
5. Click on little flag icon in Menu Bar and select Māori.
6. Type OPTION-vowel to put a macron over a vowel. So OPTION-a gives you ā.
If you see anything I’ve got wrong here, please let me know in the comments. I’ll be eternally grateful.
You might also want to check out:
- Subscribe by email to Kupu o te Rā (word of the day). The email looks like this:
- 100 Māori words all New Zealanders should know (includes audio of pronunciation)
- A collection of Maori Whakataukī, or proverbs
- History of the Māori language
- Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori | Māori Language Commission
- The Māori Language: Selected Events 1800-2010