Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Custom Russian Phonetic Keyboard Layout for Mac OSX

Most of my developer life I worked on Windows, and other operation system were strange for me.
But since about year ago I am working on projects for mobile platforms (Android and iOS) and naturally became a Mac OSX user. To make my life with OSX to be the same comfortable as with Windows, I needed to find several tools and features, which replace my "lovely" windows analogs.
One of them is custom keyboard layout.

I am a Russian speaker living in Israel where I use to use English-Hebrew keyboard. For typing in Russian I use Russian phonetic keyboard layout available from this site:

Mac OSX has built-in Russian phonetic keyboard, but the layout is slightly different. Sounds like there is not a big deal to learn new layout, but if I switch between Windows and Mac, it become annoying to adjust my mind for layout differences.

Fortunately, there is a way to customise keyboard layout on Mac OSX using "Ukelele" software.

Using Ukelele I took built-in Russian phonetic keyboard layout and changed several keys to make it the same as on windows.

Saved "Russian - phonetic - ZH.keylayout" and "Russian - phonetic - ZH.icns" files into "/Library/Keyboard Layouts", and was able to select it from "System Preferences > Keyboard >  Input Sources"

Vualah! My OSX word is friendly for me!

I am happy to share it with you, please download my custom Russian keyboard layout from here: