Here's how to make Māori Shortcuts on your computer!

It's Te Wiki o te Reo Māori or Māori Language Week here in NZ, celebrating 21 years since Māori became an official language!

Prominent in Te Reo Māori in its written form is the use of macrons over certain vowels to indicate emphasis (as you can see in Te Reo Māori) , and can completely change the meaning of words or sentences.

If you're anything like some of us, googling Māori words is the way we typically get the correct words and meanings - I mean it's foolproof right? However, we think it's a great idea to know how to create these macrons from your computer to make sure you're Te Reo Māori is spelt correctly and has the meaning you want!

It turns out, there's an easy way to install the Māori dictionary on your computer and then with a couple of quick keyboard shortcuts, macron use is a breeze. 

Just use the following easy steps outlined below:

Māori keyboard and language for Windows

  • In Windows 7, 8 and 10, most computers should include the Māori language update. In order to use Māori macrons in Windows, do the following:

  • Click the Language Bar in the bottom right of the screen near the clock, then choose 'Language Preferences'

  • Click 'Add a language' under the heading 'Preferred Languages'

  • Choose 'Te Reo Māori' from the list, and click 'install 

  • The language for your keyboard will now be set to the New Zealand English and Māori dictionary - just make sure it now says 'MRI' next to the clock

  • To create macrons easily, you can hold the ` key (normally the one left of the 1 key) and press the appropriate letter to place the macron (ie: ` and a will give you ā)

  • Use the Shift key in the middle of the sequence to make the letter a capital 

Māori language and keyboard for Mac

  • Click on the Apple logo in the top left and choose 'System Preferences'

  • Click 'Language & Region', then choose 'Keyboard Preferences' 

  • Click the + icon and find Māori in the list

  • Optionally, tick Show input menu in menu bar

  • To type a macronised vowel on a Mac, you simply hold down Alt / Option and then the vowel. You can also do this in conjunction with the Shift key to type an uppercase vowel.

We're all off to update our computers and make sure we're all up to date on our Te Reo Māori, are you?

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