Macrons are used to signify the length of vowels in different languages, including Māori, as shown here:

It’s unlikely your computer is set up to type macronised vowels right out of the box.


If you’re using Windows Vista or later, you can set up your PC to type macrons right from the keyboard, using the following steps:

1. Start Control Panel

2. Click ‘Change keyboards or other input methods’ under ‘Clock, Language, and Region’

3. Click ‘Change’

4. Click ‘Add’, then scroll down to your language, e.g. English (New Zealand). Expand ‘Keyboard’, then click ‘Show’

5. Find ‘Māori’ in the list. Tick it, then click ‘OK’.

6. Change ‘Default input language’ to your language, e.g. English (New Zealand) – Māori 

7. You can then type macronised vowels by pressing the ` key, then the vowel


= ā

Mac OS X

Mac users using OS X Lion or later have a systemwide keyboard shortcut available. Hold down the key for the vowel you want to macronise for about half a second. A small dialog box will pop up showing you several options, including a macron. This works on iPad and iPhone keyboards too.

Mac users on anything older than OS X Lion need to set their system up first using the following steps:

  1. Launch ‘System Preferences’
  2. Navigate to ‘Language & Text’, then ‘Input Sources’
  3. Find ‘Māori’ on the list and tick the checkbox next to it
  4. Tick the box next to ‘Show Input menu in menu’
  5. From the Input menu in the menu bar (near the upper right corner of the screen), select ‘Māori’
  6. After setting things up, Mac users can then use one of two keyboard shortcuts to type macronised vowels
  7. Type the ` key then the vowel (` + a = ā)
  8. Or, hold down Option/Alt + vowel (i.e., Option + a = ā)
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