4.5 Using KeyMan

When using language documentation software like SayMore or just typing examples in a Word document in order to share your findings, you may need to type characters not found in font sets used for English. If you need this for a smaller document, you can go to ipa.typeit.org to insert the characters you need. However, if you have to type a lot of special characters, you will want to download a keyboard and use keystrokes to type the characters. One keyboard program that works well with the FLEx and SayMore software is Keyman which can be used with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.

Installing and Configuring Keyman

Here are some simple steps to installing and using Keyman.

  1. Download Keyman from https://keyman.com/desktop/download.php
  2. Install
  3. Once you install the Keyman, you will see an icon on the bottom right-hand side of your taskbar– looks like a Mayan pyramid. If you don’t see this, type Keyman in your search bar.

keyman icon

  1. Open the app
  2. Go to configuration

screenshot of the Keyman home screen

  1. Click the “Download keyboard…” button and download keyboard you want to use. For example, this could be IPA or it could be for another script like Dev Nagari. If IPA is needed, then choose non-language keyboard. Choose SIL-IPA keyboard.

screenshot of keyboards in Keyman

  1. Once you have downloaded the keyboard, click on “Install keyboard…” and select the keyboard file you downloaded.
  2. Once you have installed the keyboard, you simply have to select it. You can download and install a number of keyboards. 

screenshot of languages installed in Keyman

Using Keyman

The next step is to start typing using the characters you need. Once you have selected the IPA keyboard, you should be able to type these characters. For example, to get a schwa, you would type the letter ‘e’ and then hold down the control key and the # key. When you do this many times, your brain will automatically connect schwa with that sequence of keystrokes and you’ll be typing them in quickly.

A full tutorial can be found here: https://help.keyman.com/products/desktop/current-version/docs/start_tutorial. You can also find additional characters for IPA in the following guide by Alan Bickford: https://help.keyman.com/keyboard/bu/2006-05-18/bu