I noticed when I went looking for solutions to another problem (about which maybe more later if I succeed), that not everyone has spotted a great feature of macosx 10. If you choose the US extended keyboard instead of the default US keyboard, you can get a macron anytime by typing OPTION-a then the vowel, you can get a breve by typing OPTION-b, and there are many more wonderful things in there as well. Use the keyboard viewer from the pull down to see all the possibilities. One of the best reasons to use a mac. (There do seem to be some applications which don't like the extended keyboard, but not many).
Hi Andrew, I am a happy Mac user also - thanks for the good post! The topic of macrons comes up over and over again at the LatinTeach listserv - it is nice to have a good place here at eClassics where people can come to share tips and ideas about macrons and typing (I'm not sure what the best solution is for Windows Vista nowadays)... and that way instead of having the same discussion toties on the listserve, people can just come here and find out good solutions.
For typing Greek, let me sing the praises of a web-based application that one of my students wrote when I was teaching a Biblical Greek course online: TypeGreek.com. You type with a regular keyboard using Beta code conventions, and it generates Unicdoe Greek you can cut and paste to any application. That's how I created my Greek proverb of the day widget! :-)
Alternatively, don't forget the use of Greek Polytonic on a Mac -- great for Unicode Greek! Typing takes getting used to but there is the handy keyboard viewer to help. Also you can set a short-cut key to quickly switch between languages (it works between the two most recently used languages; mine is usually between US Extended and Greek Polytonic). Go to System Prefs. > Keyboard & Mouse > Keyboard Shortcuts tab > scroll down to Input Menu > check box: select the previous input source. Type in the command you want and you're set for quick switching between languages. (Image below.) Joe Weaks at http://macbiblioblog.blogspot.com/ has handy tips for unicode as well.
Exactly! I teach classes of mixed Mac and Windows-users (the majority of students at my university are Windows-users), so I am always on the look-out for browser-based applications that work for both Windows and Mac... but if everybody were a Mac user, it would all be so much simpler because there is such a great community of people to sharing ideas and handy little utilities.
It would be great if people piled up a bunch of keyboard tips here for Latin macrons and Greek so that people could quickly find what they need here on this discussion page! We are off to a good start already - thanks, guys! :-)
Windows is relatively easy to workaround if you are using Microsoft Word, which I think most people are doing. I'm not sure about an OS-wide solution like the Mac OS language tools, but in Word you can easily set new shortcut keys for special characters through the special character map. I set my vowels-with-macra to be triggered by ctrl+shift+vowel. It is a little uncomfortable, so I am thinking about changing, but just as easy as option+a+vowel, I think!
On the PC, I go to the MS Word "Insert" menu, scroll down to "Symbol" and set my macrons to Alt+vowel. Works great!
On my Mac, this doesn't work for some reason, so I have to use the character palette, which doesn't allow short cuts. I tried your method, Andrew, and it didn't work for me--could you please go step by step?