How to add macrons to Māori words

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).

Tom Robinson has advice for how to use macrons in html/xhtml.

Below are a couple of ways to modify your computer keyboard to add macrons to Māori words in everyday applications like Word.

1. Macs

You can try holding down the letter on your keyboard and see if a little menu appears with all possible accents/macron. Then type in the number of (or click on) the accent/macron you want.

I prefer to enable the Māori keyboard and use OPTION-letter to add a macron. To do this:

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. Close System Preferences.

6. Go to Menu Bar (top right of your computer screen)

7. Click on little flag icon and select Māori. The keyboard should stay enabled.

Now, whenever you want to add a macron, use OPTION-vowel.  For example, if you hold down the Option key and type a, you will get ā.

2. Windows 7 or later

The Māori keyboard is built in but, as I understand it, you need to enable the keyboard:

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.

The keyboard should stay enabled until and unless you select another.

3. Older PCs

Check out the advice on kupu.maori.nz.


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