Installing the Navajo Keyboard Layout on OS X

Question: How do I type in Diné Bizaad on my computer?
Question: How do people post Diné letter characters on Facebook?

These are popular questions from Diné language teachers and language enthusiasts throughout my travels. I have a answers to both, but want to focus on the first question in the this post.

In 2013, I transitioned from working in a PC environment to an Apple environment. I liked how the operating system worked seamlessly within it’s own ecosystem. When buying my first MacBook Pro it kept it’s value and continues to be ultra portable.

Adding to all the personal perks, I was able to compliment my Diné language projects by installing the Navajo Keyboard Layout on my MacBook Pro. Servicing school campuses these past few years, the questions below are most popular by teachers and language enthusiasts.

So, let’s get started.

This 14 step video tutorial shows the installation on OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 and you will have to play around with system preferences if you have earlier or later machines. Comment below if you get stuck and/or view the screenshots.


1. Open this page here.

2. Download the Diné Bizaad zip file
3. Unzip the downloaded file


4. Open a new Finder window and select SHIFT+CMD+G
5. Copy and paste this line and select Go: /Library/Keyboard Layouts
6. A new window should open showing the folder Keyboard Layouts
7. Open your Downloads folderŁ Mac_SouthWestAthabaskan > drag & drop the mac_dinebizaad into the Keyboard Layouts window
8. Enter your password to authenticate the change


9. Go to System Preferences and select Keyboard
10. Select the Input Sources tab
11. Select the + icon and browse/select Dine Bizaad (Navajo)
12. On the same window select the ‘Show Input menu in menu bar’ box


13. On your menu bar on your computer you should see an American flag icon. You can toggle between your installed keyboards


14. To learn how to use the Navajo Keyboard Layout, downloaded the PDF file here.

About the Author
Kialo Winters

I blog about Diné language preservation, indigenous language news and education technology resources. I advocate gender equality and indigenous cultural authenticity. Follow me @techKialo.

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