Keyboard Language

macOS Sierra: Use input sources to type in other languages


To type in a different language without having a keyboard designed for that language, add an input source for the language, then switch to it when you want to use it. You can type in any language that uses the same script or alphabet as the current input source.

Add input sources

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard, then click Input Sources.

  2. Click the Add button , search for a language (such as French) or an input source (such as Trackpad Handwriting), then select one or more.

  3. Click Add.

After you add an input source, the option to show the Input menu in the menu bar is automatically selected. The Input menu lets you quickly switch input sources as needed.

Switch between input sources

To switch between input sources, do any of the following:

  • Use the Input menu: Click the Input menu in the menu bar, then choose an input source. If an input source is dimmed, the current app doesn’t support it.

  • Use the Caps Lock key: Press the Caps Lock key to switch between a non-Latin input source (such as Chinese or Korean) and a Latin input source (such as French or English).

    To use this method, you must select the “Use Caps Lock to switch to and from” option in the Input Sources pane. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard, then click Input Sources.

  • Use keyboard shortcuts: Press Option-Control-Space bar to select the next input source in the Input menu, or Control-Space bar to select the previous input source.

When you add input sources, those languages are automatically added to the list of preferred languages in Language & Region preferences; you can set your Mac to use one of those languages.

When you choose an input source that doesn’t match your keyboard, the keys you see and press on your keyboard may be different from the characters that are displayed when you type. To see which keys to press, use the Keyboard Viewer.

Tip: To quickly view the keyboard layout in Input Sources preferences, select the language on the left, then press the Shift, Control, Option, or Command key and watch the keyboard display change on the right.