IPA Unicode Keyboard Layout for Mac OS X

IPA Unicode Keyboard Layout for Mac OS X


This keyboard is almost identical to the US Extended keyboard that comes with OSX 10.2, but with the addition of quick shortcuts to many of the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (triggered by control-y followed by any other key on the keyboard). The IPA symbols are mostly tied to similar keys on the standard keyboard. (e.g. ʃ is tied to the s key. ə is tied to the e key etc.)


Keyboard layout created by Andrew Carnie, University of Arizona. Based on Apple's US Extended (Unicode) layout. Modified using Ukelele 1.8b6 (http://www.sil.org/computing/catalog/show_software.asp?id=94)


             Mac OSX 10.3 or later



  • Copy both IPA-unicode.icns and IPA-unicode.keylayout into the directory on the main hard drive: /Library/Keyboard Layouts. (If you copy them into the user's library, they will only be available to that user, so copying them into the computer's main library is recommended)
  • Log out or restart computer
  • Open International Preference Pane (Apple > system preference > international), click on "input menu". Click on the box next to IPA-unicode. Also recommended: click box next to "show input menu in menu bar". This will allow you to shift between keyboard layouts quickly.
  • Click on flag icon in menu bar and select IPA-unicode.keylayout.


  • IPA symbols require the installation of a Unicode IPA font like Charis SIL or Doulos SIL (available from www.sil.org)
  • IPA mode is triggered by hitting option +y. A temporary schwa symbol will appear. This will go away when you hit the next key! The following chart shows the location of the symbols. After typing the next key the keyboard will return to "normal" mode, so you'll have to type option+y for each IPA symbol

Publication Type: 


PDF icon Readme-IPAK.pdf143.58 KB