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How do I create Hawaiian Diacritics for Macintosh?

The Hawaiian diacritics consist of the ʻokina or open typesetterʻs quote, and the kahako, which is the line (macron) above a vowel.

You do not need any special software or keyboard to type the ʻokina. The ʻokina is supported with the regular U.S. keyboard. To type the ʻokina:

Press and hold the option key, then press the ] (right bracket) key

To type the kahako, you need to enable the Hawaiian keyboard. The Hawaiian keyboard is built into the Macintosh operating system. The following instructions apply to Mac OS 10.6 and above.

To enable the built-in Hawaiian keyboard:

  1. Go to the "Apple" menu and select System Preferences
  2. Click on the Language & Text icon.
  3. Click on Input Sources
  4. Scroll down, and check the box next to "Hawaiian".

To use the keyboard to type the kahako:

  1. There should be a US flag icon in the upper right of the screen, to the left of the time. Click on this flag icon, and select Hawaiian.
  2. Press and hold the option key on the keyboard, then press the vowel that you want. For an "a" you would press option-a, for an "e" you would press option-e, and so forth.
  3. When you are done typing the kakako, be sure to go back to the flag icon in the upper right, and select U.S.
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Article ID: 428
Created: Wed, 15 Dec 2004
Modified: Fri, 05 Jul 2013 9:35am