Macrons are an important part of writing te reo Māori accurately. They indicate vowel length. Vowel length can change meaning.
To type a macron, tap the ~ key followed by the vowel that you wish to place a macron above. eg, ~+a = ā; ~+A = Ā
Note: the ~ key, or tilde key, is just below the Esc key in the upper left corner of the computer keyboard
Macrons will only work if you have first enabled macrons on the computer or device you wish to use macrons on. To configure your Outlook email to display macrons consistently you need to set Outlook’s Options to use something called Unicode UTF-8 encoding. Never heard of it? I hadn’t either! Don’t worry, it’s a simple process and here’s how:
MAC: Go to your Mac’s Outlook Preferences > Composing. Then look for the label Preferred encoding for new messages and select Unicode (UTF-8).
My colleagues and I have written some other Tech Tips for macrons that you may find useful too: Te tohutō: The macron and how to enable the Māori keyboard Type on an iPad using Macrons with a Bluetooth keyboard Type on an iPhone or iPad using Macrons Type on a Samsung Galaxy S4 using Macrons
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