Mac OS X Transliterated US Keyboard for Russian

This keyboard layout (resource file) is based on the "* Translit" keyboard distributed with cRussifyMac for Mac OS 9, by It has been updated and repackaged to work on Mac OS X Jaguar (10.2 and higher).

The basic layout:

Key Caps diagram of '* Translit' Transliterated Keyboard

How to obtain & use:

0. The computer must be running Mac OS X 10.2 (or greater)

1. Download the Keyboard Installer Package (.zip file) -OR- (.sit file)

2. Install the Package (requires "Admin" status)
Be sure to select the main startup disk as the installation disk.

3. Restart

4. Enable the keyboard in the Keyboard menu.
Open 'System Preferences' (under the Apple Menu), select 'International' and choose the 'Input Menu' tab. Find the '* Translit' keyboard and click its checkbox.

5. Use the keyboard.
From selected applications, change the keyboard setting from US to Translit by using the Input Menu shown in the menu bar across the top of the screen, often depicted as a small flag icon.

6. For more information, download a short reference guide (PDF).

Known limitations, notes, &c.:

To use this keyboard, cyrillic fonts must be installed on the computer. Typically, the best of these fonts have special 'CY' designations in their names. Most default installations of Mac OS X should have these fonts.

The operation of the Translit keyboard is founded on the legacy input technology, WorldScript. Specifically, this keyboard uses the "Cyrillic" script, just like the Mac OS X Russian Keyboard setting. This is good for users of certain 'Carbon' applications, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, that are not yet Unicode-input aware.

NOTE: As of Mac OS X 10.4, there is a system-supplied alternative to the '* Translit' keyboard: the "Russian – Phonetic" keyboard layout available as part of a default installation offers a very similar key layout, consult the PDF reference above for details.

January 2003, information updated September 2007
Compiled by Matthew Taylor (
Multimedia Learning Center, Northwestern University