Changing keyboard from US to British on MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by red42, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #1
    Hello All,

    I'm been given a MBA for free so I'm not complaining. However its an American keyboard layout.

    Is there a way to get the keyboard changed to the British layout? I'm happy to pay for this.
     
  2. celticpride678

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #2
    System Preferences>Language and Text>Input Sources>Find your country.
     
  3. macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Do you want to physically change the keyboard? Or just what the keys do?
     
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #4
    No sorry I didn't make it clear. I want to change the physical keys so I have a £ sign and a British layout.

    Yes mate, I want to do away with the American layout on the keyboard. I'm used to a British layout. Since I got it for free I might as well get it changed. I'm just wondering how to go about doing it like?
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Location:
    Harrow North West London
    #5
    Actually Apple keyboards sold in the UK still have the @ and \ swapped over when compared to STD PC UK keyboards.Get used to it.

    You can not change this

    I switch all the time without problem.

    All the rest of the common keys are the same.

    Cepting that the UK layout has a € created by clicking the option key with the 2 key.
    Doing this on the US key produces ™

    YOu can change the layout of ANY Mac keyboard right on the machine.

    I actually set to azerty regularly for french correspondence.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    #6
    Contrary to sintra - You *can* change the keyboard - I got a sweet deal in Canada on a French Keyboard SSD RevB Air and had a Mac Repair centre change the keyboard to a US-English keyboard.

    The process is called a "topcase replacement" and costed me about $200 CAD. It replaces the whole top case - keyboard, trackpad, etc... but you get the right physical keyboard that you want. Good luck.
     
  7. macrumors demi-god

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    Keep your eye on eBay for a new UK top case. There's a listing up now with two keyboards and a display for £250 but that's been on for at least a month now because it's a bit overpriced. Another top case and base went on eBay for £41 a few weeks ago: link.

    The problem I have with US keyboards is the shape of the enter key. It takes some getting used to otherwise you keep hitting the wrong keys.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #8
    Is it really worth it?

    Really minor differences - you press option-3 to get £ instead of shift-3. And to get € you press option-shift-2. I didn't even notice the different shape of the enter key (I guess I press it at the right edge).

    I have a harder time switching from mac to pc keyboards than us to uk.

    If you look at Keyboard Viewer, and click option or option-shift, you'll most of the the alternate symbols and where they are placed.
     
  9. macrumors demi-god

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    Having a US keyboard would really bother me purely because of the different enter key. I found myself hitting wrong keys all the time but people who type differently likely wouldn't have such a problem. I don't mind the different locations of £ and stuff because I just set the OS's keyboard layout to UK. I can touch type so that wouldn't bother me. The enter key messes up my touch typing. I only had a US keyboard for a week on an MBA that I fixed up and sold on but it convinced me that I couldn't live with it if it were my machine.
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    Fizzoid

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Actually, contrary to you, sintra's right, the " and @ keys on a UK Mac are actually the wrong way round, they're in US format and you CAN'T change it
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    #11
    Actually, contrary to you, both fyrefly and Spanky Deluxe are correct that what is required here is for the upper case of the MBA to be completely replaced with an upper case that has a UK keyboard. (The aluminium upper case, keyboard and trackpad with associated control boards come as one integrated part.)

    This CAN be done by an Apple Authorised Service Provider (they'll just need to order in the part for you, which may take some time if you're not in the UK), or it can be attempted yourself if you can manage to score a UK upper case off eBay as Spanky Deluxe suggested. In the case of the former, I'm unsure if doing this replacement will affect the warranty status of the MBA.
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    Fizzoid

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    How's it contrary to me, are you saying the @ and " keys are the right way round now on a UK Mac keyboard? I don't think so, and I'll say it again, you CAN'T change it
     
  13. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #13
    Guys is there anyway i can change the @ and the " inside software? I hate having the @ in the number 2 position. :confused::confused::confused::confused::(
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    #14
    Is there no way to change the keys one by one on the macbook air?
     
  15. macrumors demi-god

    Nugget

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #15
    Huh, that's weird. I've got the opposite problem -- I bought my MBP in London on a business trip and I've been plagued by the goofy UK enter key ever since. :)

    What's the current UK layout look like? My UK keyboarded MBP has the @ above the 2 just like I'd expect it to. (pic).
     
  16. macrumors demi-god

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    Yup, the keyboard's still the same. The US enter key seems to odd to me compared to all the other keyboards I own that have an L shape enter key. I kept hitting the "/|" key on the US MBA I had for a while.
     
  17. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #17
    There is a utility called Ukulele that will allow you to remap all your keys, but it isn't that straightforward to use.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #18

    Map your keyboard to UK instead of US.
    And buy some "uk keyboard sticker" in black off of ebay to get the pound sign etc etc. and put them on the keys that need to be changed. If you dont want to put the stickers permanently on your US keyboard, get a silicone cover for your keyboard then stick the vinyl sticker on top of that.
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #19
    Here's a similar thread with some pictures, too.
     

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