How Do I Type with IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)? I need to type in Phonetics, but I cannot find a keyboard. I tried the IPA Unicode 6.2 keyboard, but it did not work. It installed, but when I selected it, I could only type the normal english-latin characters. I cannot use copy/paste sites like This, as I need to type a lot.

I am using a MacBook Pro, With Sierra

2 Answers 2


If the standard IPA layout doesn't work for you, I would suggest making a custom keyboard layout with Ukelele (or if you prefer text-based editing, KeyLayoutMaker).

Alternatively, if you don't need quite the level of speed that can offer, you can simply use the Character Palette (Edit > Emoji and Symbols) to type the characters by double-clicking them. To get the "Phonetic Alphabet" pane to show up, customize which are visible with the gear icon in the top left.

character palette

  • Thank you for your answer. It really helped me. I was frustrated typing through the emoji symbols. Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 16:07

You should normally not have a problem making the IPA keyboard work. It uses "dead keys" to create the IPA characters. A “dead key” is a key that does not generate a character, but rather changes the character generated by a following keystroke. For example, in the IPA keyboard, to get the “ə”,you would type the dead key “=” followed by the “e” (=e). Charts showing the how all the IPA characters are made this way can be found in this PDF.

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  • Tried it. not working, anyway, can you explain how these deadkeys work in your answer? Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 14:50
  • It sure works ok for me. What happens when you type the sequence =w =e =r =t =y =u =i =o =p ? Do you not get ʍəɹθʏɯɪɒʘ ? What app are you using? Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 16:08

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