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Chapter 4. Keys & the Keyboard > International Keyboard Layouts

International Keyboard Layouts

If you need to type with the characters of another language, you can—see the following page. You can also choose a language in which to see the menus, dialog boxes, and even the Apple Help files. Use the International preferences pane, as described below.

To change the language shown in menus and dialog boxes:

1.
Click once on the System Preferences icon in the Dock.


This is the System Preferences icon in the Dock.


2.
Click the “International” icon. You’ll get the pane shown below.


This is the International icon in the System Preferences.


3.
Click the tab “Language,” if it’s not already visible.

4.
In the “Languages” list, drag the language you want to the top of the list—press and drag the name. You’ll see a black bar appear as you drag; when that black bar is all the way to the top, let go. The language you want should be the first one in the list.

5.
In the lower-left portion of this pane, select the appropriate “script” for your chosen language. On the lower-right, choose the “text behavior” for the chosen language. Quit the System Preferences (press Command Q or use the File menu).

6.
If any applications were open, quit them (don’t just close their open windows), then reopen the application to see the new language in that application. To change your entire Mac to the new language, log out (go to the Apple menu, choose “Log Out...”), then log in again.



After you log out and log back in again, or after you shut down and/or restart, your Finder menus and dialog boxes will appear in the chosen language. It’s amazing.

If you plan to switch your entire computer to another language, also click each of the other tabs in this International preferences pane and choose the same language so your text inputs correctly (see the following two pages).

Notice the new menu item next to “Help,” which is called the “Keyboard” menu. For information about this menu and how to input text with the special characters of another language, see the opposite page.


When you log in again, everything will be in the new language. Notice the new Keyboard menu (circled).






International Keyboard Menu

As explained on the previous pages, you can enable your Mac to display menus, dialog boxes, and even Help files in another language. But you might also want to type using the special characters of another language, whether or not your menus display English.

To change the keyboard layout and the input language:

1.
Click once on the System Preferences icon in the Dock, then click the “International” icon. You’ll get the pane shown below.

2.
Click the tab “Keyboard Menu.”

3.
Put a checkmark next to each language that you would like to have accessible in the Keyboard menu in the Finder.


Click the “Options...” button to learn the keyboard shortcuts that will switch you back and forth between different “scripts” (Roman and the other) that you might have chosen in the Language pane, or between different languages in the “active” (currently selected) script.



The languages you check in the “Keyboard Menu” section will appear in this new menu in the Finder, to the right of the Help menu.


International Date, Time, and Numbers

There are a number of applications and features on your Mac that automatically format dates, times, and numbers—from the date in your menu bar to your spreadsheet or financial application—according to the language of choice. For instance, in the United States we write the date with the month first, then the day, then the year; but in most other parts of the world, the date is written with the day first, then the month. If you want the date, time, and/or number formatting to use the style of a particular region, use the International preferences pane.

To choose a regional format for dates, times, and/or numbers:

1.
Click once on the System Preferences icon in the Dock.


This is the System Preferences icon in the Dock.


2.
Click the “International” icon. You’ll get the pane shown below.


This is the International icon in the System Preferences.


3.
One at a time, click the tabs “Date,” Time,” and “Numbers.” In each pane, choose the “Region” that creates the formatting you want. An example of the formatting is displayed at the bottom of the pane.

You can also enter your own formatting: just select any existing text in an edit box and type to replace it with the formatting of your choice.







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