How can I reliably type the letters ő and ű in OS X?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by baryon, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. baryon macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    I often switch between English and Hungarian while typing, and it would be inconvenient to swap keyboard layouts mid-sentence as many the keys are in different places and I can't memorize them all.

    I realize that OS X has the "press-and-hold" special character feature, but this feature doesn't contain all the Hungarian letters when using the English keyboard layout.

    In Yosemite, it was possible to edit the .plist file that governed which characters appear in the press-and-hold menu. However, when I installed El Capitan, it got reset to defaults, and now to change it I need to disable rootless, which is a pain considering that I'll have to do this all over again soon when installing Sierra.

    I can easily type í, ú and é because I can press Alt+E and then press any letter and it will give it an accent. I can also type ü and ö easily with the same method with Alt+U. But there is no such function for double accents like ő and ű that I'm aware of. Any way to change this?

    I tried using substitutions which can be set up in System Preferences, so that it would substitute o'' with ő. Strangely, it works for ő and Ő, but it doesn't work for typing a lowercase ű. It always becomes an uppercase Ű even though I have set up substitutions correctly, seems like a bug. Also, this method gets ignored in Photoshop and many other non-standard apps.

    The "Emoji & Symbols" viewer that appears when pressing Ctrl+Cmd+Space doesn't always work in every app either. For example, Photoshop and many other apps don't support the Emoji & Symbols viewer.

    Basically there are countless ways to do this in theory, but none of them work reliably in practice in all apps and all circumstances. It's as if OS X was trying very hard to make it impossible to type these special characters.

    So I want a quick and reliable way to type the letters ő and ű while using an English keyboard layout. Currently I have to Google a Hungarian website, hunt for a word with the letter I need in the required case, and copy paste it. It's not fun. Any ideas? Any small apps? It would be nice to press a key combination and have it type the desired letter, or something like that.

  2. Androzani macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2016
    Try one of the extended keyboard layouts:

    System Prefs > Keyboard > Input Sources > + > English > ABC Extended > Add

    This gives you a fairly standard English keyboard, but with several additional dead keys for accents.

    eg. alt+j followed by o gives you ő.

    (Use the Keyboard Viewer to see them all).
  3. baryon thread starter macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    WOW thank you so much! This was exactly what I needed! :D
  4. WillNN macrumors member


    Feb 26, 2016
    If alt+j then o is too complicated:
    This is pretty obvious, but it took me several years to stumble on it. I was typing a lot of em dashes (long dashes) the key combination is something like Option-Shift-dash. I was always hitting the wrong key combination.
    Then it hit me. What if I just (in my word processor Nisus Writer Pro) made a correction for dash-dash that was space-em dash. No more multi-key combinations I often messed up.
    So perhaps you might make o-o-o correct to your Hungarian o. Or if there are situations where you might type three ooo's together do something else h-n-o-o-o. I've been slowing changing a lot of shift+Key combinations for punctuation to double and triple keys. I make fewer mistakes and it speeds up my typing.
    Also there are some proper names that I use a lot that I get double caps. HArris. The double caps fix seems to create as many mistakes as fixes so I turned it off. For common double caps proper names I add the correction so HArris automatically becomes Harris. Most other double caps are too infrequent.
  5. baryon thread starter macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    But this doesn't work system wide. I need an option that works even when renaming files or typing on Facebook. The text substitution feature built into OS X only works until a reboot, after which it stops working. The Alt+J thing is pretty perfect for me, for anything better I'd simply need to get a native keyboard or something.
  6. WillNN macrumors member


    Feb 26, 2016
    Good point. I'm not sure where the spell checker in my word processor and system spell checker cross paths. I'd say get the Hungarian keyboard. It's probably super cool. If I had been in Japan in the last couple of weeks I'd have definitely bought the 2017 MacBook Pro there, just to get the mini-Hiragana characters on the otherwise English keyboard.
    That's weird about text substitution in OSX.

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