How To Change Between Keyboard Languages On A Mac
Thursday June 13, 2019. 03:00 PM , from MacMost
There are many different keyboard layouts corresponding to different languages, and usually your keyboard and the system setting will match. But you can switch to use a different layout, such as a French keyboard layout even if you are using a U.S. keyboard. You can add multiple keyboard layouts and easily switch between them. For some lanuages, like Chinese, you need to use a Chinese layout to by able to type. Once you set up multiple keyboard layouts, there are keyboard shortcuts to switch between them.
Check out How To Change Between Keyboard Languages On A Mac at YouTube for closed captioning and more options.
Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let me show you how you can switch the layout on your keyboard to easily type in different languages.
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So if you have to work with different languages you can switch the layout that your keyboard is using. For instance you can use a French keyboard layout instead of an English one. Once you setup your Mac to use multiple keyboard layouts you can easily switch between them with some keyboard shortcuts.
I have a standard US/English keyboard. But that doesn't mean I can't set it up to be a standard keyboard from another country. For instance, if I go to System Preferences and then Keyboard I can go to Input Sources here and you can see I have it setup for just a US keyboard. I can hit the Plus button and choose another keyboard. So, for instance, let's as an example choose a French keyboard and I'll choose the standard French one and I'll add it. Now notice here it gives me the layout and you can see it's not q, w, as the first two characters here. It's a, z. So it's a good example for us to use as we should see a difference right away.
I'll add that. Once I add it I'll notice I get a menu item here that will allow me to easily switch between the keyboards. I see both US and French. So let's close System Preferences here and bring up a TextEdit document and work in that. Now with the US keyboard turned on I can type and I get the standard characters. But if I were to switch over to the French keyboard and I were to type those same keys you can see I get the French keyboard equivalent. Now I can add more than just those two. I can add as many as I want. Now it may not make as much sense to go and have a US and French keyboard there since the letters are Latin for both it's probably best to type with the letters that are actually on the keys.
But some keyboards are vastly different. So, for instance, if I were to add the Chinese Simplified keyboard here. I'll pick one here at the top and I'll add that it's going to be very different. As a matter of fact if I select it here it's going to give me a bunch of options. The way a keyboard like this works is if I switch to it and I type a key, like I'll type the letter q, I get some choices there. I get to type a number to pick which one I want. So this allows for the many more characters that there are in Chinese versus the number of keys that are on the keyboard. You can see here there are a whole bunch of different options that I have with this keyboard selected as well. If I knew how to write in Chinese I would probably find this very useful.
Now switching between these keyboards may seem a little cumbersome. You have to go back here and select one. So go back to US I do that. That may be fine if you have to do it every once in awhile. But if you're switching between languages a lot, like say you're working on editing a Chinese document although you primarily work on your Mac in English you may want to do it a little quicker. There are some keyboard shortcuts for this.
So if you go to System Preferences and back to Keyboard but this time to Shortcuts one of the items here on the left is Input Sources. You can see here that you can use Control, not command but Control, and Space to switch. So I can see the keyboards here at the top. I'll do Control Space and you can see I get a list here. I can click on one to select it or I can just basically continue to hold down the the Control key and hit the spacebar to go to the one I want. When I get to the one I want I release the Control key and I get to that keyboard.
You'll also have the ability, under Input Sources, when you have a non-Latin keyboard added which I do here since I have Chinese, I get this checkbox here where I can use the Caps Lock key and it will switch between the non-Latin and the last Latin one I used. It works best, for instance, if I didn't have French here at all and I was just going between these two. Now I can switch here. I can use Control Space to go between them. But I could also just hit Caps Lock and it will quickly toggle between those two keyboards.
So it's useful if you have to work on documents that use different languages. Notice another option there was to automatically switch the keyboard to the language for that document. So if you were working in a Pages document in French and you switch to one that is in Spanish and you have two keyboards there that match those it should automatically switch. It's also useful if you're traveling and you happen to be sitting down at somebody else's Mac and they have a different keyboard layout than the one you're used to. You can temporarily switch to the keyboard layout that you know and be able to type normally.
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