Typing IPA symbols

Here are a few ways you can easily type IPA characters.

((Prerequisite: ))Fonts

You may need to install an IPA-capable font. If the following symbols appear properly, you may already have an IPA font installed:

æ, β, ɕ, ɖ, ɛ, ɸ, ɣ, ħ, ɪ, ʝ
ɬ, ɱ, ɲ, ø, ʀ, ʃ, ʈ, ʊ, ʋ, ʍ

A popular, easily-accessible IPA-capable font is Doulous SIL, which you can download from SIL.

Follow these instructions to install the fonts on your computer:

Online keyboard (((easiest method)))

Perhaps the easiest option is to use an online keyboard. I recommend the Int IPA keyboard. Simply click on the symbol you want to type, and it will appear in the box at the top of the page. Just copy and paste into your document.

Keyboard layouts

Another way to type IPA symbols is by using a keyboard layout. These map the keys on your keyboard to a different set of symbols, usually through the use of key combinations or key sequences. This is more convenient than an online keyboard if you're going to be doing a lot of typing, but there is a bit of learning curve, so it may not be worth your time if you are only taking an intro linguistics course.

SIL IPA keyboard for Keyman (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and web)

Keyman is an application that manages keyboard layouts, and works on most modern devices. SIL has produced an IPA keyboard layout for Keyman. Follow the instructions for your operating system to install Keyman, then Install the IPA keyboard layout. Follow the instructions for your OS to see how to enable Keyman. Consult the IPA keyboard documentation to see which sequence of keys will yield which symbol (e.g., < z > followed by < = > will produce [ʒ]).

nslxipa (Mac only)

I like Nathan Sanders's nslxipa keyboard layout for Mac. Check out the documentation for installation and usage instructions.

IPA Unicode keyboards from SIL (no longer maintained)

SIL used to maintain a number of Unicode IPA keyboards for Mac, Linux, and Windows. They no longer maintain them, but most of them still work if you'd like to give them a try.

IPA Palette for Mac (((discontinued but may still work)))

I really like(d) the IPA Palette app for Mac. It provide(s/d) an IPA chart interface to insert characters into any Mac app. The app still works, but the developer is no longer updating it—this means it will probably stop working at some point.