Vietnamese Fonts on a Macintosh

Use these instructions to begin typing in Vietnamese on an Apple computer.

These instructions will help you to install the proper Vietnamese characters on an iMac, eMac, PowerBook, Mac Mini, or Power Mac running Mac OS X. Actually all the fonts you need are already installed and you simply need to enable the Vietnamese font input method on the Macintosh.


To write in Vietnamese on an Apple computer with Mac OS X, follow these instructions:

Click on "System Preferences". The icon looks like a light switch next to an Apple in the dock as shown below:

Preferences Icon

In the System Preferences window, click on "International" as shown below:

Preferences Window

In the International Window, click on the tab labeled "Input Menu" to see all the possible languages on the Macintosh. This window is shown below:

Input Methods

As shown above, check the box next to "Vietnamese". Also check the button "Allow a different input source for each document". Finally verify the box next to "Show input menu in menu bar" is checked. Compare your International Window to the sample above. When correct, close the International Window.

Now open any word processor. You will use this word processor to test the Vietnamese font.

In the upper right of the display, look for the US flag (or your country's flag). It is normally next to the clock. See the screen sample below. Click on the flag to change it to the Vietnamese flag. Each program will have its own flag. If you select the US flag for a particular window, you will be able to type in English in that Window. If you select the Vietnamese flag for a particular window, you will be able to type in Vietnamese in that Window. In your word processor, select the Vietnamese flag.

Select Flag

After you select the Vietnamese flag, you will use the number keys and bracket keys to write the following Vietnamese characters and tones:

 ă   â   ê   ô   \   ?   ~   /   .   đ 
 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   0 
 ư   ơ 
 [   ] 

The keys shaded in light green are tone marks. The tone mark is added to the prior vowel. For example, the sequence 2-5 makes the character ầ.

Use the shift key to get upper case Vietnamese letters.

Hold the option key to disable the Vietnamese translation and force the key to be interpreted as an English letter or symbol. Hold the option key and the shift key to enter the characters above the numbers such as !@#$%^&*() and also the characters {} which are above [].

Change to the US flag at any time to type in English again.