Can anyone post how to create a macro that creates macrons in Open Office Writer? Anna Andresian is the magistra with this in Microsoft Word, but we need help with the open source program. This question was posed by one of the ACL delegates in the Digital Demosthenes workshop and sadly went unanswered.
You do not need a macro if you are using a fully updated version of Windows XP. Go to Control Panel, select the "Regional and Language Options," then the Languages tab and lastly Details. In the Settings tab of the "Text Services and Input Languages" window, select the Add button. When the "Add Input Language" window appears, select the down arrow under "Input Language" in order to determine which languages ("keyboards") are available in Windows. Look for Maori, a native New Zealand language, which has macrons or long marks for all five vowels in both lower and upper case. If it is not there, see the instructions below and you will have to download it. Maori works very well in a variety of fonts such as Times New Roman, Tahoma, Arial, etc. I have used it before in MS Word 2000, Front Page 2002, PowerPoint 2000 and even email. It seems to work well so far in Open Office 2.2 Writer. When you are done select the Apply button in the lower right, and the selected language will appear in a Language Bar in the lower right task bar where you can toggle between your default language and the other language(s). Just remember to doubleclick Maori in the task bar in order to activate it! In case you make a mistake you can always use the Remove button in the Settings tab mentioned above and make the necessary changes.
N.B. With the Maori installed on MS Windows XP, I believe the dead key for creating macrons is the [~`] key directly to the left of the "number 1 and exclamation point" key in the upper left of a typical US keyboard. If you do not like this font, you can always search on Google and download other Maori and Hawaiian fonts. There are some free Maori fonts available through Tim Whittington in New Zealand, which I have used for over two years, if you search under "Maori Keyboard Layouts." A direct link is at There is also another free one directly from Microsoft if you search for "New Zealand Maori Keyboard Definition." Microsoft's instructions are easy to understand. Once the font has been downloaded just remember to install it into the Font folder in Control Panel if it fails to appear as an "Input Language" within the "Add Input Language" window mentioned above. The easiest way to do this is to just cut and paste or drag the font directly into the Font folder. However, this may not be a problem if you download from Microsoft.
Robert, you rightly pointed out that my fix doesn't quite work, unless the letter is by itself. I had discovered this (shortly after my post), and I'm working on developing something more usable. Having recently switched over from Windows to Linux, I've lost a lot of language-functionality, and am figuring out how to restore various things I had set up.
So, if you're using Linux and Open Office, hopefully I will have a proper solution in a few days, setting up the keyboard layout seems to be the way to go for Linux too.
Having messed around a bit further, it seems the best way across different operating systems is to use a different keyboard layout.
If you are using Open Office on a linux system, which is what I'm doing, then changing the keyboard layout to an international layout with dead keys should enable you to use macrons. The instructions for doing so using Ubuntu 7.04 are here. Details may vary for other distributions.
If you're using Open Office on a different platform, I recommend working out how to switch keyboard layouts for that platform too.
The process is a little lengthy, but I think it's worth it if you want macros for open office or neo office (by the way, did you know that neo office is open office's version meant for mac?).
1) go to Tools->macros->record macro
2) go to insert->special character
3) make sure the font is set to "times new roman" subset "Latin-1"
4) click whatever letter you want to start with (i suggest lower-case "a" with a macron). You might need to scroll down a little
5) click "stop recording" in the little macro box.
6) give your letter a name (like "longa") and hit "ok"
7) click tools->customize and choose keyboard
8) make sure that "open office" is highlighted. THen choose a command. I did shift+apple+letter for mine. (the shift key shows as an arrow pointing up). So for a long "a" I now click shift, apple, and a all at the same time.
9)now go to the boxes at the bottom and under "Category", choose "OpenOffice macros->users->standard->whatever category you saved it under.
10) chose the letter you saved (longa).
11) click "save"
That should do it. Now you move to the next letter. Like I said, it takes a while to load them, but then you've got the macrons ready. Now I type just as fast with my macrons as I do without. Hope this helps!