How to Change the Keyboard Language of a Mac

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You've got a Mac in the U.S., but most of your correspondence goes elsewhere. You have to do what others merely dream of: change the keyboard language. But this isn't something you've had to do before, and you're lost in the nuances of your machine. Don't panic, just follow these steps.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Select the main Apple menu. From the drop-down you should select the next option of "System preferences" and then "International."

  2. 2

    Choose "Input menu" and select the keyboard layout. The menu should offer any language that you need, but it might not have been installed initially. If you don't see it, go to the support website and query for it.

  3. 3

    Run a program that requires keyboard typing to test the installation. This isn't the same as input. Many games require that you make use of the directional arrows or ASWD for guiding characters, but it won't do you any good at this step.

Tips and warnings

  • This article assumes you're using OS X. While similar steps are used on earlier operating systems, they aren't exactly the same.
  • Applications are not all the same, and support for different language sets differ. If your keyboard layout is dimmed, the current program doesn't support it. Check the documentation for language support. Perhaps there's something related.
  • If you want to use the Dvorak keyboard layout, select Dvorak as the input method. After doing this and choosing a script behavior that works, you will have a keyboard flag that you can use to change from standard to Dvorak layout.

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