How to type in Hungarian on the computer (including ő and ű)

macOS and Windows come with different keyboard layouts to choose from. So you could change your settings to use a Hungarian keyboard layout, or Russian, Arabic, etc. But this is not convenient, because it forces you to re-learn the keyboard. So let's see a better way...

To type non-English characters, you can use the so called U.S. International – PC keyboard layout, available out of the box on both Mac and Windows. It's a standard QWERTY keyboard layout, except that it lets you type many special characters easily. For example, it'll let you type:

  • ' (single quote) then o to get Hungarian ó
  • ' (single quote) then c to get French ç
  • ~ (tilde) then n to get Spanish ñ


Only problem is: it does not include any way to type Hungarian's long double accents (ŐőŰű)! But there's a way to add those...

How to type ő and ű on the Mac? (using a custom keyboard layout)

On Mac, keyboard layouts are available in System Preferences › Keyboard › Input Sources. I strongly advise to tick Show Input menu in menu bar.

Use my own custom Hungarian keyboard layout

This is the easiest way.

If you're happy with the P.C. International keyboard layout, want to type ŐőŰű, but don't care about being able to type Õõ (O with tilde), then just use my keyboard layout:

  1. Download the file:
  2. US International Fab.bundle.zip12.1KB
  3. Unzip it and install it
  4. Choose U.S. International – Fab in the keyboard preferences.

Et voilà!

This way, you will be able to type all the following Hungarian characters:

áéíóú by pressing ' (single quote)followed by the vowel

öüï by pressing " (double quote) followed by the vowel

őű by pressing ~ (tilde) followed by the vowel

And also (useful for French or Spanish):

àè by pressing ` (backtick) followed by the vowel

ê by pressing ^ (chevron) followed by the vowel

ç by pressing alt+c

ñ by pressing ~ (tilde) followed by the vowel (or: alt+n followed by n)

œ by pressing and holding o

The custom keyboard lets you press a special key to input ű, ő, and a variety of special characters.
The custom keyboard lets you press a special key to input ű, ő, and a variety of special characters.

Create your own keyboard layout

You can also create your own custom keyboard layout for Mac, using a program called Ukelele. This is useful if your computer does not have a QWERTY keyboard or if you need additional special characters.

Here is how I created mine: I took the default "U.S. International – PC" keyboard layout, but added special keys for ő and ű. Below are the step by step instructions.

After downloading and installing Ukelele from SIL:

  1. Launch Ukelele. Close the empty keyboard layout that shows up.
  2. From Ukelele, set your keyboard layout to English "U.S. International - PC" from the Input menu in the menu bar (the little icon with a flag.)
  3. Use File › New From Current Input Source then, in the window that opened, double click U.S. International – PC copy.
  4. Have a look at the keyboard layout…
    • It shows so called "Dead Keys" in red… use Shift and Alt to see all of them.
      • Dead keys are special keys that modify the meaning of the next key you press.
      • e.g. ' is a Dead key that lets you turn ' followed by o into ó.
  5. Pick a key to use as Dead key.
    • I chose to use ~ located next to left Shift. So I pressed Shift then double-clicked on ~ to find out what Dead State value (number) it's linked to. It told me:
    • Currently it goes to state "6"
  6. Enter the given Dead State by clicking the Enter button then choosing the dead state value you'd like to use (6 in my example with the ~ key.)
  7. Now edit the keyboard. The brighter blue keys are keys that are already assigned to something, but it's OK to reuse them if you don't need them. To edit, just double click the keys you'd like to use and paste in the characters you want. Remember to use Shift + double click to access upper case letters as well. In my case:
    • I replaced õ with ő;
    • I replaced Õ with Ő;
    • On u, I added ű;
    • On U, I added Ű;
    • You may want to add additional keys based on the languages you regularly type in.
  8. Save your hard work!
    1. Click the Info button to give your new keyboard a name. e.g.: U.S. International – Bob.
    2. Save the bundle. e.g.: U.S. International – Bob.bundle
  9. Install your new keyboard by double clicking the bundle file.

Et voilà!

NOTE: this is a one-time thing. Now, if you need to use your new keyboard layout on another computer, just copy the .bundle you created and install it there.

How to remove a custom keyboard layout

  • Switch your current keyboard to one you don't want to delete;
  • Go to /Users/‹your-user-name›/Library/Keyboard Layouts.
  • It's accessible from the Finder: hold down the Alt key, click on the Go menu and go to Library. Then look for the Keyboard Layouts folder.

  • Move the layout you don't want to use out of the folder (or delete them.)
  • Restart your computer.

How to type ő and ű using "press and hold" on Mac?

The Mac comes with a pretty neat way to type characters: just press and hold a key and a pop-up, letting you click (or use the keys 1-8) to insert special characters.

Here's an example with the 'o' key:

Pressing and holding the 'o' key on Mac will show this beauty!
Pressing and holding the 'o' key on Mac will show this beauty!

This works great for a bunch of letters... Problem is: again, this does not include all of the Hungarian letters by default!

You can customize these keys by editing a system file. It works great, but is a bit complicated as it requires you to disable System Protection Integrity, something not everyone may feel comfortable doing. Here's a tutorial for it:

Adding Press and Hold Characters to macOS (OS X)

(Or see here on AskDifferent for a detailed discussion of the topic.)

Memo – the file to edit is:

/System/Library/Input Methods/PressAndHold.app/Contents/PlugIns/PAH_Extension.appex/Contents/Resources/Keyboard-en.plist

It's convenient, especially for characters/languages you rarely use. But it does make things a bit slow to type, so I'd recommend using a custom keyboard layout instead if you type Hungarian on a daily basis.

Tip: this approach can also be used to add non-letter special characters, such as math symbols, emojis, etc.

How to get ő and ű on Windows?

On Windows, you can also create a custom keyboard layout. The procedure is the same as described above, except you need to use Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (MSKLC) instead of Ukelele.