The Lumber Room

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Typing Kannada on Mac OS X

with 27 comments

(Thanks to this and this.)

Turns out it’s very easy, and we can basically use the same input method (UIM) as in Linux.

  1. Get MacUIM from its website
  2. Install it.
  3. Go to System Preferences -> Language & Text -> Input Sources System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Input Sources, and turn on MacUIM. (Click + and add “MacUIM (Roman)” under English.) Tick “Show Input menu in menu bar” too. Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 12.33.19 AM
  4. I now have three input methods: US, EasyIAST (see earlier post), and MacUIM (Roman).
  5. Go to System Preferences -> MacUIM -> General, and in Input method, choose m17n-kn-itrans
  6. Go to System Preferences -> MacUIM -> Helper, tick “Use Helper-Applet”, and in the list at the right, tick m17n-kn-itrans.
    Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 5.45.57 PM
  7. [Just for me] I have some changes to kn-itrans.mim, to make it closer to HK (and remove nonsense like “RRi” or whatnot just to type ಋ): download this file kn-itrans.mim, and remove the pdf extension. It goes into /Library/M17NLib/share/m17n/kn-itrans.mim

Written by S

Sun, 2013-04-07 at 01:14:35

Posted in compknow

27 Responses

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  1. Unfortunately, there are very few options for typing phonetically in Mac OS X. I also found LipikaIME ( to work well. The additional advantage here is that you can also use the same scheme in windows (


    Sun, 2013-08-11 at 01:48:02

    • We don’t need multiple options; we just need one thing that works well. And MacUIM works well for me.


      Sun, 2014-08-10 at 19:51:33

  2. Waste of time not working for me in my macbook pro.


    Wed, 2014-09-17 at 00:08:17

  3. I used type Kannada using Windows and Baraha.. after I start using Mac Airbook, I simply cannot do this (use an English QWERTY key board to type Kannada intuitively and phonetically. I have now switched to primitive technology; write on paper using a pencil and eraser.. ugly.. I am going to switch back to my PC for my own language, and use MAC for work in English.. I cannot learn a new key board at my age.. thanks, Ullas Karanth

    Ullas Karanth

    Wed, 2014-09-17 at 20:16:20

    • Computers exist to make our work easier, not harder. :-) The beauty of this UIM solution is that if you prefer some other keyboard layout, like that of Baraha, it’s very easy to make it use the Baraha layout or whatever you prefer. See my last point in the post for examples: I changed the keyboard layout so that typing Kannada is more intuitive for me. Good luck to you, hope you are happy with whatever you choose.


      Wed, 2014-09-17 at 20:57:14

  4. […] ಆಪಲ್ಲಿನ  ಮ್ಯಾಕ್ ಕಂಪ್ಯೂಟರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡ ತಂತ್ರಾಂಶಗಳು ಇಲ್ಲವೆಂದೇ ಹೇಳಬೇಕು. ಹಾಗೆಂದ ಮಾತ್ರಕ್ಕೆ ಆಪಲ್ಲಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡ ಬರೆಯಲು ಬರುವುದಿಲ್ಲ ಎಂದಲ್ಲ. ಅದು ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಕಷ್ಟಕರ. ಮ್ಯಾಕಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆಯುವುದು ಹೇಗೆ ಎಂದು ಈ ಕೊಂಡಿಯನ್ನು ಒತ್ತಿ:  ಅಥವಾ […]

  5. I have OSX-El Captain. When I install MacUI, i am not able select “Use Helper Applet”. Even if I select, it automatically deselects. Any idea?


    Wed, 2016-02-10 at 19:56:45

    • Unfortunately I’m still on the previous version, OS X Yosemite. Will comment here when I upgrade, if I figure out!


      Wed, 2016-02-10 at 22:28:04

  6. You can check this link for typing Kannada in Mac:

    I was able to comfortably type Kannada in my MacBook Pro OS X El-Capitan


    Mon, 2016-02-29 at 18:28:49

    • I haven’t looked into the details of this LipikaIME, but is it easy to change the keyboard format (e.g. change which keys get mapped to which characters)?


      Mon, 2016-02-29 at 18:52:04

      • No. I couldn’t find a straightforward way to do that. Since it supports typing with Baraha transliteration I was ok typing in with the default set of options.

        This is all what I did:

        1. Installed the Package. Added the Lipika IME Keyboard in Keyboard Prefs. A toggle to choose keyboard appeared in the top menu bar.
        2. I chose the Lipika IME Keyboard, Input scheme: Baraha, Output Scheme: Kannada and I was good to go.


        Mon, 2016-02-29 at 19:25:55

      • Yes it does. See
        However it is not “easy” as Indian Languages are intrinsically complex.

        Daiva Jnanam

        Mon, 2016-03-07 at 08:09:00

      • LipikaIME v2 has a companion app called LipikaApp that supports easy editing of the mappings.


        Thu, 2019-09-26 at 18:36:19

    • ಶ್ರೀನಿಧಿ ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು…ಬರಹ transliteration scheme ಇರುವುದು ತುಂಬಾ ಅನುಕೂಲಕರ :-)


      Mon, 2016-04-18 at 21:23:35

  7. ತುಂಬ ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು. ಕೆಲಸವಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ನಾನು OSX Yosemite ಹಾಕಿಂಟಾಷ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ಟಯಿಪ್ ಮಾಡಿದೆ.


    Sat, 2016-04-23 at 08:38:59

  8. ಲಿಪಿಕಾ ಇವಾಗ iOS ಮೆಲೆ ಕುಡ ಉಪಲಬ್ಧವಾಗಿದೆ:


    Tue, 2017-04-11 at 16:52:39

  9. Thanks for this Shreevatsa. Nice to see your page again. You had answered couple of my questions in Quora earlier.


    Fri, 2017-12-01 at 09:41:14

  10. I have been using lipikaIME. I have not been able to figure out how to type big ra ottu, as in the words kartru. I can only type it as ಕರ್ತ್ರು. Secondly, how do I punch the full stop. It simply does not take it. I need to punch it twice and then erase one full stop.

    kanarally post

    Fri, 2018-05-25 at 22:01:34

    • Big RA ಒತ್ತು ಅಂದರೆ ಯೆನು? ನುಮಗೆ ಋ ಅಕ್ಷರದ ಒತ್ತು ಬೆಕೆ? ಕರ್ತೃ ಅಂತ? ಬರಹ ನಲ್ಲಿ ಅದಕ್ಕೆ Ru ಅಂತ type ಮಾಡಬೆಕು.


      Wed, 2018-08-15 at 10:40:25

  11. ಪದದ ಮೊದಲ್ ಅಕ್ಷರ “ರ್” ಬಂದರೆ, “ಅರ್ಕ‍” ಬರದೆ ಇರೋ ಹಾಗೆ ಏನಾದರೂ ಮಾಡಬೊಹುದೆ?
    ಉದಾ:‌R‌ank -> ರ್ಯಾಂಕ್ – (ರ‍್ಯಾಂಕ್) ಎಂದು ಬರಬೇಕು.


    Tue, 2019-07-30 at 03:09:54

    • If you install LipikaIME v2, it has support for typing something like ಸೂರ‌್ಯ. In Baraha, you would type sUr^ya.


      Thu, 2019-09-26 at 18:32:43

      • Link for LipikaIME v2 here:


        Thu, 2019-09-26 at 18:33:42

        • ಲಿಪಿಕ‌IME ಉಪಯೋಗಿಸಿದ್ರೆ – ಬರಹ ರೀತಿಯ ಕೀಲಿಮಣೆ ಉಪಯೋಗಿಸಬೊಹುದೆ??


          Tue, 2019-10-01 at 07:43:31

          • ನಿಮಗೆ ಕೀಲಿಮಣೆಯೇ ಬೇಕೆಂದರೆ mac os ಜೊತೆಗೆನೆ ಬರುವ Kannada QWERTY ಅಧವ Kannada System Preference -> Keyboard -> Input Sources ಒಳಗೆ ಉಪಲಬ್ಧವಾಗಿದೆ.


            Sun, 2019-10-06 at 22:56:07

      • ಬರಹದಲ್ಲಿ ಆಗತ್ತೆ. ಆದ್ರೆ ಅದು ಮ್ಯಾಕ್ ಗೆ ಇಲ್ಲ. :-(


        Tue, 2019-10-01 at 07:41:31

  12. I am unable to type in Kannada phonetically on Mac. Kindly help. Thanks.


    Thu, 2020-10-01 at 01:54:25

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