top of page

Scottish Gaelic Keyboard for Mac


The revised spelling for Scottish Gaelic makes most extensive use of the grave accent (e.g. è, ì, à, ò, ù). Typing this in the standard US and British Keyboard layouts requires an awkward option-` key stroke. This is uncomfortable and slows down typing. In this keyboard layout, I have reversed the positions of the grave and the acute diacritic (é, í, ó, ú, á) dead keys. In this keyboard, control-e followed by the vowel will give a grave-accented character instead of an acute one, and option-` followed by a vowel will give an acute accent. As a bonus, this keyboard layout also includes quick shortcuts for the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (triggered by option-y followed by any other key on the keyboard).



Keyboard layout created by Andrew Carnie, University of Arizona. Based on Apple's US Extended (Unicode) layout. Modified using Ukelele 1.8b6 (



             Mac OSX 10.3 or later

Download and Documentation


  • Copy both SGaelicUnicode.icns and SGaelicUnicode.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 SGaelicUnicode. 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 SGaelicUnicode.


For Scottish Gaelic 

  •  à             option+e, followed by a

  •  è             option+e, followed by e

  •  ì             option+e, followed by i

  •  ò             option+e, followed by o

  •  ù             option+e, followed by u

  •  ó             option +` followed by o

For IPA Symbols

  • IPA symbols require the installation of a Unicode IPA font like Charis SIL or Doulos SIL (available from

  • IPA mode is triggered by hitting option +y. A temporary schwa symbol will appear. This will go away when you hit the next key!

bottom of page