More macrons – loading and using the Māori keyboard

Māori Language Week 2019 logo
Māori Language Week 2019 logo

Kia ora!

With Māori Language Week this week, a few people have been asking me how to type a vowel with a macron, especially outside of Word. I’ve talked about using macrons before, and as a commenter correctly pointed out, there is another way of putting a macron on a vowel, by loading and using the Māori keyboard on your computer.


  • this is a fraction slower for touch typists, so having loaded the keyboard, you might want to create an autocorrect in Word for each word you need macrons in, for future use
  • if you’re in a large organisation or Government department, your IT team may have disabled your ability to add keyboards; it’s worth checking though to see if you can.


Loading the Māori keyboard on your Windows computer

  1. Click Start ().
  2. Click Settings ().
    Result: the Windows Settings screen displays.
  3. Click Time & Language.
  4. Click Language on the left-hand menu.
  5. Check if English (New Zealand) is listed under the Preferred languages heading:
    • If yes, go to step 11.
    • If no, go to step 6.
  6. Click Add preferred language.
  7. Type English in the text box.
  8. Scroll down the options, and select English (New Zealand).
  9. Click Next.
  10. Click Install.
    Result: English (New Zealand) displays under Preferred languages.
  11. Click English (New Zealand), and click the up arrow to make it your preferred language.
  12. Click Options.
  13. Click Add keyboard.
  14. Scroll down, and click Māori.
  15. Close the Settings window.
  16. Click ENG (), in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, next to the date and time.
  17. Highlight the English (New Zealand) Māori keyboard

    Result: the code next to the time and date in the bottom right of your screen should change to . You have activated the Māori keyboard.


To use the Māori keyboard to put a macron on a vowel (on the a in Māori in this example):

  1. Type the capital M.
  2. Click the key to the left of the 1 on your keyboard (the key with ` and ~ on it).
  3. Click the vowel key you want to use (a, in this example).
    Result: an a with a macron is typed, ā.
    Notes: for a capital letter with a macron, hold down shift key when you click the letter key, as you normally would for a capital letter.

Troubleshooting: If this ever doesn’t work, check that you still have next to the date and time in the bottom right of your screen. You may need to re-select the English (New Zealand) Māori keyboard option.

Remember, if you want Word to autocorrect to having the word with a macron on the vowel, you can create an autocorrect in Word.

3 thoughts on “More macrons – loading and using the Māori keyboard

  1. Thank you so much for this!!! I’ve been searching for this info and trying to work it out myself. Your page contains clear, accurate, up-to-date step-by-step directions for how to (easily) insert vowels with macrons when typing a document that is mainly English with some te reo Māori words, or a bilingual (English/te reo) document. Many thanks!!!


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