The ABC and US keyboard layouts on Mac OS appear identical in layout. Is there any reason why Apple chose to include two identical keyboard layouts that perform the same functions?

1 Answer 1


As per this Apple Discussion:

You should use US or ABC. ABC is just the same as US but you don't have an American flag. Some users outside the US may find that preferable.

ABC-Extended (formerly called US Extended) is much like US or ABC, but it lets you type a whole lot more accented characters via option key shortcuts. If you have a need to type Chinese pinyin with tone marks, then ABC-Extended is the one to pick.

Apple also provides ABC QWERTZ and ABC AZERTY keyboards, which are the same as the ones called German and French, but without the German and French flags, for users who prefer that.

  • But why wouldn’t they just call them by their generic names? Is this the result of some sort of anti-American sentiment?
    – Galactic
    Commented Apr 11, 2021 at 6:08
  • 2
    @Galactic I don't know the reasoning behind this. However, personally, I find it cosmetically better - less disruptive to have the black-white ABC icon in the menu bar, instead of the colored flag (other menu bar icons are also black-white). :-D Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 17:45
  • 2
    @Galactic, to me it seems more nation-neutral rather than anti-USA. If the latter were the case, you would have an American flag crossed or something. ABC could read as "American, British & Canadian" (and you may use the A for Australian). Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 15:47

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