In MacOS's on-screen virtual keyboard for accessibility, I'd love to learn about the readiness of multi-language support. More specifically:

  1. Languages other than English - is there some easy or built-in way to address the need for multi-lingual users? I can think about various possible solutions (and I'd love to both hear about other solutions and if mine are feasible/available), whether by

    • showing a "language switcher" button (to function the same as the regular globe key/button in physical keyboards of Mac/Apple)
    • automatic switching to the currently chosen language of the global input-source in the system (eg by using the language button/icon in the menu bar, and it's selection menu)
    • to show multiple virtual keyboards simultaneously (whether with separate windows, or showing 2 language panels in the same window).
  2. Emojis -

    • Is it possible to show Emojis in the on-screen keyboard? I'd love to know if macOS supports some standard/builtin keyboard keys-layout for emojis (eg similar to the emoji keyboard in iPhone/iOS)
    • Also, is it possible to show some popular emojis, right within the main keyboard (just like showing numbers, alongside letters), instead of changing the input-source or keyboard layout to "Emojis" specifically?

If nothing of the above is available, then - is the only way is to create custom panels by myself, or to use the dedicated Emoji/character-map popup tool (which is not part of the Accessibility Keyboard and works independently)?

2 Answers 2


You can do a lot of what you ask, though not necessarily exactly in the way you wanted. I've tried to squeeze as much of this as I can into one big picture, because there are a lot of questions wrapped in one here…

Language Switcher - can be added to the menu bar; Keyboard > Input Sources > 'Show Input menu in menu bar'
Auto-switching - just below 'show input menu'
Multiple virtual keyboads - not possible, the virtual keyboard will switch language as you do.

Emojis - not from the virtual keyboard, but from the 'Emojis & Symbols' panel. Click the little enter image description here symbol, top right of the panel to change from 'consumer' to 'pro' view. It will stack your most commonly-used ones at the top of the 'consumer' view.

Click for full size
enter image description here


The accessibility keyboard/keyboard viewer should always mirror your current language input source. It will also mirror any custom input source you create, for example with Ukelele, which could include emojis or other symbols.

I don’t think multiple keyboards are possible, but customization may offer some options.

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