Hawaiian Diacritics and MS Word for the PC


This document describes how to configure Microsoft Word to properly display Hawaiian diacritical marks. These instructions apply to Office 2007, Office 2010 and Office 2013.

On June 12, 1992, Governor Waihe‘e signed a bill relating to the Hawaiian language that essentially authorizes and encourages the use of macrons and glottal stops whenever words or terms in the Hawaiian language are used in documents prepared by or for state or county agencies and officials. Requested for the Hawaiian language faculty by Dr. Emily Hawkins, assistant Professor of Indo-Pacific Languages and drafted by Rep. Brian Taniguchi's office, this Act 169 has been incorporated as an amendment to our University of Hawaii Procedures Business Circular 835. This circular essentially states that all information on letterheads, envelopes and business cards will include the appropriate Hawaiian diacritical marks. Other documents can be converted if desired. The office of University and Community Relations can advise you if you have questions regarding this business circular.

Installing the Normal.dotm Template File

The Normal.dotm file is a Microsoft Word template file that saves your personal settings. Settings like margins, default font and other personalized settings are kept in this file. Macros are kept in this file as well. The Normal.dotm file provided for Hawaiian diacritics support contains macros which:

  1. Assign keystrokes to diacritical marks.
  2. Input commonly used Hawaiian words into the Autocorrect dictionary.

NOTE: You will need to reset any personalized settings you have already saved when replacing your current Normal.dotm file with the one provided by ITS. Make a backup copy of your current Normal.dotm file just in case you need to revert back to the old file.


  1. Enable the Show hidden files, folders and drives option.

    Follow these steps for Windows Vista/Windows 7:

    1. From the Start menu click on Control Panel
    2. Choose Small icons from the upper right-side of the screen
    3. Double-click on Folder Options
    4. Click on the tab labeled View
    5. In the Advanced Settings sub-window, select the radio-button named Show hidden files, folders and drives. If you are using Internet Explorer to download the Normal.dotm file you will also need to uncheck the box next to Hide extensions for known file types
    6. Click on Apply then OK to finish

    Follow these steps for Windows 8/8.1:

    1. Press the Windows key + C key, click Settings then click on Control Panel
    2. Choose Appearance and Personalization, if you are using Category View.
    3. Double-click on Folder Options
    4. Click on the tab labeled View
    5. In the Advanced Settings window, scroll down until you see the option named Show hidden files, folders and drives and select it. If you are using Internet Explorer to download the Normal.dotm file you will also need to uncheck the box next to Hide extensions for known file types
    6. Click on Apply then OK to finish

  2. Optional: Backup your existing Normal.dotm file:
    1. Ensure that Microsoft Word is closed
    2. Go to C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates directory
    3. Highlight the Normal.dotm filename and press F2 key
    4. Rename filename to Normal-old.dotm

  3. Download the Normal.dotm file from http://www.hawaii.edu/its/micro/pc/files/Normal.dotm
  4. Save or copy the file into the C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates directory.
  5. Launch Microsoft Word and open a new blank document
  6. In Microsoft Word, click on View in the toolbar, then choose Macros then View Macros option.
  7. Look for the macro called diacritics and double-click on it to run it.

The macro will list all the Hawaiian words that were added to the Autocorrect dictionary as well as list the keystroke short cuts it has created. You may save the document for future reference.

Using Macros

The template creates the following shortcut keys for each mark:

okina Ctrl-Shift-y
ā small "a" with kahako Ctrl-Shift-a
ē small "e" with kahako Ctrl-Shift-e
ī small "i" with kahako Ctrl-Shift-i
ō small "o" with kahako Ctrl-Shift-o
ū small "u" with kahako Ctrl-Shift-u
Ā capital "a" with kahako Alt-Ctrl-Shift-a
Ē capital "e" with kahako Alt-Ctrl-Shift-e
Ī capital "i" with kahako Alt-Ctrl-Shift-i
Ō capital "o" with kahako Alt-Ctrl-Shift-o
Ū capital "u" with kahako Alt-Ctrl-Shift-u

To use the short cut keys, e.g., to type "Manoa" with the correct diacritical marks:

  1. Type the "M"
  2. Hold down the Ctrl and Shift buttons and the press the letter "a"
  3. Type "noa"

Adding New Words to the Autocorrect List

  1. Open a new document
  2. Type out the new Hawaiian word with the proper diacritical marks in the document
  3. Highlight the word and press Ctrl + c on your keyboard to copy the word into the clipboard
  4. Click File, Options, and Proofing. (In Office 2007, click Microsoft Office Button, Word Options, and Proofing.)
  5. Choose Autocorrect Options
  6. In the Replace box type the Hawaiian word without the proper diacritics
  7. The With box should contain the proper spelling. If it does not, click once in the With box and press Ctrl + v on your keyboard to paste the correct spelling into the box
  8. Click on OK to finish

Additional Assistance

For additional assistance, please contact the ITS Help Desk.

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Article ID: 1329
Created: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 3:11pm
Modified: Mon, 31 Aug 2015 9:53am