Let’s face it, the default keyboard language doesn’t work for everyone. Whatever language your Mac was set up and configured for, might not be the language that you are comfortable typing in and you may need to change it.
Thankfully this is very easy to change on a Mac. It only involves going into System Settings, selecting the Keyboard settings, editing Input Sources, adding your language, and then selecting it on the Input menu from your desktop.
My name is Eric and as a long-time computer enthusiast and software engineer, I know it is great to have features that make it easy for everyone to use their system. Changing your keyboard language is one of those features and I can show you how to do this in minutes.
Keep reading below to find out how to quickly change your keyboard language. I will also discuss how to see your keyboard layout, use the Input menu, and cover some frequently asked questions that come up when discussing this.
- Change Mac’s Keyboard Language
- Keyboard Layout
- Mac’s Input Menu
Change Mac’s Keyboard Language
Setting up your Mac’s keyboard to the language that you are comfortable and familiar with is important so that you can efficiently use your computer. Apple makes changing your keyboard language a breeze and luckily there are many languages to choose from.
Follow the steps below and you will be able to change your Mac’s Keyboard Language.
Step 1: Open System Settings.
Click on the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your screen and select System Settings.
Step 2: Select Keyboard.
Select the Keyboard settings on the left panel of the System Settings window. You may have to scroll down a bit to find it.
Step 3: Edit Text Input.
Click on the Edit button under Text Input to edit the Input Sources.
Step 4: Display the Available Languages.
Click on the + button near the bottom left side of the All Input Sources pane on the Text Input window.
Step 5: Select the Language.
Click on the language you wish to use. The language may have subtypes that you need to choose from on the right side. Choose the one that you want and then click on Add.
You should now see the new language listed in the All Input Sources list. Click on the Done button in the lower right corner of the window and your new addition will be saved.
Click on the Input Menu towards the right side of the Menu bar at the top of your desktop. This will display a dropdown menu and your language should show up there.
Click on the language you have added and your keyboard will now be set to that language.
You probably noticed when you were selecting your keyboard language that as you clicked on it, it showed the keyboard layout for the particular language you were choosing. This is a nice way to be able to confirm that you have the correct layout and that it is what you expect.
If later down the road you need to see the keyboard layout again to confirm it is correct or if you have any confusion as to the key setup, you can use the Keyboard Viewer to look at it. You can get to the Keyboard Viewer from the Input menu as shown below.
This will bring up the Keyboard Viewer and you will be able to see the current layout as shown below.
The Keyboard Viewer not only shows the keyboard layout, but you can use it to type what you want by clicking on each key in the Keyboard Viewer.
As you have seen above, the Input menu can come in really handy. It allows you to easily switch between keyboard languages once you have them added. It also lets you bring up the Keyboard Viewer, allowing you to see your keyboard layout and to type on it by clicking on the keys in the viewer.
You can even open the Keyboard Settings from this menu instead of going through the System Settings. This is a shortcut that takes you to the same place in System Settings as shown in the keyboard language setup above.
If you’re wondering how the Input menu got there, it shows up as soon as you add more than one input source. So if you don’t currently see it on your menu bar, it is because you currently have only one input source. Once you add another one it will appear.
Below are a few questions that are commonly asked when discussing how to change the keyboard language on your Mac.
Can I add more than two languages?
Yes, you definitely can add more than 2. I currently have 3 on my system and many more can be added. I don’t know if there is a limit, but the Input menu will show all languages that you have added and make it easy to switch between them.
Can I switch between languages?
Yes, you can easily switch between languages once you have added them as input sources. As shown above, you can use the Input menu to select any of them that you have added.
Do I have to have a keyboard specific to that language?
It helps to have the keyboard for the language you are using but it is not a requirement. You can use whatever keyboard your system currently has, it’s just that the keys may be different from what you see printed on them. You can always use the Keyboard Viewer as shown above to see the layout and even type them.
Can I create my own Input Source?
You can create your own input source or keyboard layout if you ever wish to do so. The process is a little complicated but Apple Support has more information on how to do this.
It’s very easy to change your keyboard language by going to System Settings, then Keyboard, and adding a new language as an input source. Once added you can switch between languages using the Input menu.
I hope the information I have provided above can help you to change your keyboard language when needed. As usual, let me know if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you!