French Canadian keyboard in the UK

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jemesouviens, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. jemesouviens macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2012
    Hi there

    First time poster here - be gentle, people!

    My OH ordered a MBA 13 this weekend and was told "no problem" when she asked if it would be possible to have a French Canadian keyboard. Card duly charged she waited with baited breath for the arrival of the dream machine that would replace her ancient iBook.

    However this morning, four agonising days later, she got a call from Apple instead, saying they weren't able to customise the keyboard after all. She's understandably devastated. Sales staff she's talked to don't seem able to deviate from their rather regimented procedures and customer services seem disinterested.

    Just wondering has anyone in the UK managed to get Apple to provide a computer intended for a different locale? Surely someone at Apple UK is willing to go the extra mile for her?

    Any suggestions / experiences would be very welcome!
  2. rbrian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    The online store allows you to configure British, American, German or French keyboards. Is the Canadian French keyboard different from French French, in the same way that American English is different from British English? If so, I don't think there's any way to get it over here. You could either make do with the French or American keyboards, or get one from Canada, which is probably much too complicated and expensive to do.

    It might be worth combining a shopping trip with a visit to relatives, if you were going anyway. You could have a relative, or a re-shipping service send it to you, but that will be very expensive, particularly if customs open it.
  3. jemesouviens thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2012
    Thanks so much for replying.

    Yes, unfortunately the French Canadian layout is different to the French layout - it uses a modified QWERTY instead of the French AZERTY, with special characters on different keys.

    We're not going to Montreal this year so buying one over there isn't a possibility and as you say shipping it is prohibitively expensive.

    I guess it's a sign of how Apple has changed - they used to move heaven and earth for you if required, but they have now streamlined their supply side so much that they're unable to cope with a pretty straightforward request.

    The Apple staff I've talked to are little better than automatons with call scripts - I never thought I'd say this but I've received better and more personal service from Dell!

    As she simply must have a Mac we are now considering defacing a £1000 machine by adding keyboard stickers to an English keyboard...
  4. Seamaster macrumors 65816


    Feb 24, 2003
    Surely she can just use a standard UK keyboard — it's dead easy to do accents on any Mac keyboard, their location is perfectly intuitive...

    `= ALT +`
    ´= ALT + E
    ç = ALT + C

  5. jemesouviens thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2012
    Unfortunately not - she's a touch typist used to having accents and special characters in certain places, so it would require relearning this skill - bit silly given that Apple produce an excellent French Canadian keyboard built in to the MacBooks sold in Quebec.

    Unfortunately it's a question of going that extra mile for your customers and Apple are failing at this in our experience. In today's world people are more mobile than ever and to restrict the purchase of localised hardware to the point of geographical origin takes no account of this.

    All Apple would need to do is ship over a set of French Canadian keys and swap them over but it seems completely beyond them!
  6. rbrian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Keyboard stickers is probably the way to go then, in the short term at least. You can set the software keyboard to any international variant, so what's actually printed on the keys is irrelevant. It is possible to buy single replacement keys, but I don't know how easy it is to swap them.
  7. jemesouviens thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2012
    Yes exactly, that was my thought too - change the mapping in software and use stickers - but it does sully the user experience a bit.

    I looked on youtube and it actually looks pretty straightforward to swap the keys out, but the keys themselves are ridiculously priced - one place had them at $25 per key!

    A friend suggested I email Tim Cook, so I'll give that a go, it'll be interesting to see what response (if any) there is to my plea!
  8. CyrusKafaiWu macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2011
    The English Canadian and the French Canadian Multilingual Keyboard both have the same design of keys. If you are able to type without looking, you can go into system preferences and select "Langue et Text", then select the Canadian French layout. I do that often with computers I use that use the english layout.
  9. zeiter macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2008
    False, the french canadian keyboard has a different "enter" key and ù key....hence why i can never buy a refurbished mac laptop because they only ship in english :( even in Canada

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