IPA Fonts and Keyboards

In order to type our IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) transcriptions into our linguistic databases and into a program such as Microsoft Word or LibreOffice, we need to install fonts that have the IPA character set in them, and also a keyboard to easily type the symbols.


These are installed already on CanIL lab machines.

There are three freely available SIL font families that have the entire IPA character set.

We recommend using Doulos SIL which is very similar to Times New Roman.

Windows font installation: Download the Windows installer (.exe file) from the links above and run the installer.

Mac or Linux font installation: Download the Mac/Linux ZIP file (.zip) from the links above, unzip the file, and install the fonts by double-clicking on them.

Windows Keyboard Layout for IPA

  • Download the installer here: Link
    • You will need to unzip the file and then run the installer, then install the keyboard.
  • Keyboarding reference charts
    • One page double-sided reference: Link
    • Color-coded reference: Link
    • Full 4 page reference all keystrokes: Link
    • CanIL website: Link

For more information refer to: https://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?item_id=UniIPAKeyboard#b47f8dfb

Macintosh Keyboard Layout for IPA

  • Download the installer here: Link
    • You will need to follow the directions found here: Link
  • Keyboarding reference charts - use the same as the Windows keyboard

For more information refer to: https://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?item_id=UniIPAKeyboard#79dbd88a

Tutorial Guides

Advanced topics

https://scripts.sil.org/ is a site dedicated to script, font, encoding, and keyboarding issues.