Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar System
Non-Americans using the Input Menu are often irritated by the US flag in the menu bar. Unfortunately, if you use the default keyboard that came with your Mac, chances are you must use the US keyboard layout (e.g. I live in Canada, but the "Canada - CSA" layout will not work for me unless I switch keyboards, which is a little hard to do on a PowerBook!).

In 10.3.x, however, I discovered a way around this. In the Input Menu configuration panel (under International in System Preferences), activate Kotoeri (the Japanese input method) and select Romaji. While Romaji was meant to allow Japanese to be written phonetically using western (i.e. Roman) alphabets, there is no reason you cannot use it for your day-to-day needs as an English speaker, for example. Selecting Romaji in the Input Menu replaces the flag with a non-presumptuous capital A icon, and you can configure it to work with various keyboard layouts, though the default is US.
    •    
  • Currently 1.50 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (4 votes cast)
 
[16,108 views]  

Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar | 39 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: alisdair on May 27, '04 09:48:59AM

Or just turn off the input menu (System Preferences -> International -> Input Menu -> Show input menu in menu bar)...



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: twofiveone on May 27, '04 10:14:00AM

I changed it to the British flag (union jack). I think I have a standard US keyboard. What exactly happens if I change it to the British flag?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: hamarkus on May 27, '04 10:30:12AM

I'm using the British flag as well and don't have any problems with that set-up (actually my keyboard is Swiss-German, but as a touch-typer I don't really mind what is printed on those keys).

Strangely enough, on a new user I created the British flag was unavailable for a few days, it's now back.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Or try the Austalian flag
Authored by: hamarkus on May 27, '04 10:35:02AM

Or try the Austalian flag.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Or try the Austalian flag
Authored by: Utilitaritron on May 27, '04 06:18:27PM

Or Brazilian or Dutch. These three seem the same as the US (from Keyboard Viewer/Keycaps). I think the British one switches the currency symbols around (remember, they need £) somewhat.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: JKT on May 27, '04 11:21:15AM

The same thing that happens if you change it to any other keyboard - the mapping for certain keys will change. You can see which ones by using Keyboard Viewer - open Keyboard Viewer (aka Key Caps) and switch the flags while holding down different modifier keys. The major difference between UK and US is that # (hash, shift-3) in the US layout is £ (GBP) on a UK keyboard (and option-3 is #). Option key input differs for other things slightly as well.

---
iMacDV 400MHz, sl DVD-ROM, 10.3.1, 640MB RAM



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: cheeseworm on May 27, '04 05:09:51PM

Those who don't wish to see the US flag may not care for the British one either. I use the Irish flag.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: lookmark on May 27, '04 10:18:13AM

Well, one would assume that this hint is for people who like the easy access to the Character Palette and Keyboard Viewer palette -- but are annoyed by the bitmapped American flag in the menu bar (be it for either aesthetic or political reasons).

Another solution is to use CharViewer over at http://www.macparc.ch/mirror/CharViewer/ . This handy AppleScript, which can set to a keyboard macro or via your launcher utility (LB, QS), will launch the Character Palette.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: kevinp on May 30, '04 07:46:12PM

There's a lot less reason to keep the character palette in the input menu these days. Since the introduction of Panther we've had it at the bottom of the Edit menu (disguised as "Special Characters..."). Although there's no other simple way to get the Keyboard Viewer, it's frankly not all that useful these days. Only a few hundred of the available Unicode character are there and it's probably easier to pick them from the character palette anyway.

---
Kevin Patfield



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: subscriber3 on May 27, '04 02:10:50PM

here is an older hint:

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20030902145623743&query=flag



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: Anonymous on May 27, '04 10:24:56AM

So what is different about the Canada-CSA layout that you CAN'T use it? (I don't doubt anyone, just curious).



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: pete on May 27, '04 10:29:24AM

It's French. Whole different keyboard layout that irks English-typing Canadians!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: iomatic on May 27, '04 10:54:55AM

.

...alternatively, command-drag that sucker right out of the menu bar...


.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: aaronrp on May 27, '04 11:44:27AM

Seems to me this is exactly the sort of US domination Al Gore was arguing against about in his recent speech. Isn't he on the Apple board of directors? Maybe somebody should talk to him. I'd hate to think of Apple as an agent of US imperialism...

.. Anyway, another alternative keyboard layout is "US Extended", which displays Ä and ? (er, A-umlaut and e-cedilla) instead of a flag. Non-option characters are identical, and even many of the option characters are also identical, although there are a larger range of keys allowing entry of characters with diacritical marks.

Now if only somebody would figure out how to make the keyboard viewer resizeable so you could actually see which mark is meant by these five lit pixels...



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to make it bigger
Authored by: hamarkus on May 27, '04 02:30:07PM

You can switch between two sizes by clicking what would be the green(+) button in a real window.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Bigger keyboard viewer
Authored by: Uncle Asad on May 27, '04 02:42:33PM

The Keyboard Viewer is expandable...a little bit. Click on the "expand" button (or whatever the green globe is called). This makes it fairly legible on my 17" AlBook, though only for Roman layouts. I wish it would grow another 30-50% though :-(



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: zimmerleut on May 27, '04 12:49:56PM
You could also build your own keyboard mapping file, a procedure which was covered by this hint: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20040517070817474. Create a standard US keyboard with all keys mapped. Save the xml output to a folder.

Follow http://developer.apple.com/technotes/tn2002/tn2056.html to learn how you can add a custom icon to your new keyborad layout file.

(I've made a German Keyboard for use with LaTeX, based on the standard German Powerbook layout, providing Greek letters and mathematical symbols via the alt-key. Drop me a line if you want to get it)

jonas

[ Reply to This | # ]

Y'all're kidding, right?
Authored by: McBainLives on May 27, '04 01:29:14PM

I can't believe that-

1) as mentioned above, there are people who read this site and don't know how to get the keyboard menu out of the menu bar.

2) there are people out there who would actually be bothered by this! If you really hate the US of A that much, then why are you spending your hard-earned money on our products? There are plenty of other countries that manufacture... well, there's Japan if you want a computer. And there's Linux if you want a non-US OS. Just don't forget to check the components inside- there might be some evil American chips and wires in there. Macs are even known to use clock batteries made in Israel (Zionists! Eek!!!)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Calm down
Authored by: karnat10 on May 27, '04 02:37:42PM
  1. It is the purpose of sites like this to educate beginner or average users into powers users. Just because you now all the tricks doesn't mean others do.
  2. Don't project your frustration about your sex life / boss / government on others. I think the Input Menu is annoying because of the bright flag colors, regardless of which flag it is. I prefer to have unobtrusive colors on the parts of the screen which are visible all the time, and I think the original poster had the same reason.


[ Reply to This | # ]
Y'all're kidding, right?
Authored by: hamarkus on May 27, '04 02:44:48PM

If this consoles you, I, as a German, can't stand the German flag on my computer screen, I don't hate Germany or Germans, I simply feel uncomfortable with it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Has nothing to do with hating the USA
Authored by: klktrk on May 27, '04 03:32:23PM

this does not necessarily have anything to do with hating the USA. Just think of it from the other side. Would you like to have a bright and rather ugly rendition (non anti-aliased etc) version of, say, Uganda's flag on your menu bar at all times?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Reply from original tipster
Authored by: ekc on May 27, '04 05:26:34PM
1) Um...did I not mention right at the beginning that this tip applies to people using the Input Menu? If you don't need the Character Palette or Keyboard Viewer, then fine: Apple-drag the thing off into a puff of smoke. I use the CP from time to time, and since I speak Japanese (which is how I clued into the Romaji trick in the first place), I even switch to Hiragana or Katakana on occasion. If there is anything I would change in the tip, it would be the part about non-Americans. I forgot that there are Americans who dislike the flag icon as well. Sorry for my oversight.

2) Look, I'm not anti-American. In fact, I am a dual citizen (born in the USA). But as an American, would you really want to be staring at say the Union Jack all day, even if you have nothing against the British? Heck, even the American in me is not thrilled by the flag. The 16x16 pixel square makes it look cheesy. I mean, since when have there been only 9 states? ;-)

[ Reply to This | # ]
Reply from original tipster
Authored by: Spades on May 28, '04 10:52:26AM

The Union Jack wouldn't bother me at all. The flag is just used as a simple representation of the language currently in use. Being an American company, Apple chose the American flag as that representation. If they had chosen something else, just as long as it was an obvious symbol for the English language, that would have been fine. Maybe they should just show the whole name of the layout, instead of using a smaller iconic representation.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Y'all're kidding, right?
Authored by: interlard on May 28, '04 12:43:33AM

Hilarious! I wondered where the ignorance would start to fly, and who would break first. Congrats. to all the calm responses.

All we need now is a Mac OS X Hint to make certain people more tolerant of other people's opinions. Free speech, anyone? ;-)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Y'all're kidding, right?
Authored by: ibroughton on May 28, '04 02:47:55AM

It's an ICON, no need to get all stressed about it!

---
--
The server is up but the site is down and I don't know which direction you are trying to go



[ Reply to This | # ]
Y'all're kidding, right?
Authored by: interlard on Jan 24, '06 09:03:21AM

What if we set fire to the icon? ;-)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Y'all're kidding, right?
Authored by: nielkmot on Oct 29, '04 06:21:10PM

i don't hate the us, i just can't stand stupid americans who refuse to fly the canadian flag. after all, the canadian flag is newer, nicer, and a huge improvement over that dated "american look".

i also find it remarkable how hard it is for some folks to say: "gee, i don't know!"

as for the original question, it looks like a corrupted prefs file problem. but i don't know which file to kill. (the extra keyboard isn't even checked most of the time, but the menu behaves as if it is!)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Re: Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: pattokun on May 27, '04 07:02:38PM

I want to use the British English keyboard layout, but I don't want the Union Jack in the menubar, mostly because it's the only coloured menubar item and it stands out too much.

I also use the Kotoeri layout for typing in Japanese, but I don't use its Romaji option, as the diactritcal marks etc. are not the same. I switch between Kotoeri for Japanese and British English for English.

Can anyone tell me how I can simply give the British English layout the white-on-black 'A' icon from the Kotoeri Romaji layout? Maybe a few files I can modify?

Thanks.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Re: Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: zimmerleut on May 28, '04 09:47:59AM
See http://developer.apple.com/technotes/tn2002/tn2056.html for further information by Apple.

Jonas

[ Reply to This | # ]

Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: pukupi on May 27, '04 09:29:46PM

I've built my own keyboard layout you can download an enjoy:

Code Junky Keyboard Layout

It is basically the US keyboard layout with a more interesting flag. To install, unstuff the two files into your /Library/Keyboard Layouts/ folder, log out and in then select Code Junky from your input menu.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: pukupi on May 30, '04 01:43:31AM

BUG: Adobe Illustrator (CS) does not recognise the command key with a non-Apple keyboard layout, including Code Junky.

WORKAROUND: With Illustrator open, switch to an Apple keyboard layout, use the command key then switch back to your non-Apple keyboard layout. Illustrator will then recognise the command key with any keyboard layout.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: jonbauman on May 28, '04 12:36:15PM

Everyone should just learn Dvorak. Its icon is nice and neutral.

---

jon

[ Reply to This | # ]

Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: phlops on Jun 01, '04 12:29:58AM

Agreed! :D

The simple DV looks very nice in the menubar.

---
/phil



[ Reply to This | # ]
Dvorak power!
Authored by: andpoul on Jun 03, '04 02:49:35AM

DV power!

I'm one of 3 (known) users at my school in CA. The problem with only knowing DV is that you can't change to it on the PC workstations at school due to NT restrictions (and a couple of the OS 9 Macs).



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: skippingrock on May 28, '04 02:27:29PM

Or you could buy Spell Catcher. You get a great spell checker that even works in Web forms and you get an nice check icon instead.

Cheers,
Andrew.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: asan102 on May 28, '04 08:12:48PM
I solved this problem by writing a little applescript to launch the character palette and keyboard viewer. Here it is, and much simpler than the application that was linked to earlier in the thread: To launch Keyboard Viewer:
try
	do shell script "killall -m \"KeyboardVi\""
end try
tell application "KeyboardViewerServer"
	activate
end tell
And for the Character Palette:
try
	do shell script "killall -m \"CharPalett\""
end try
tell application "CharPaletteServer"
	activate
end tell
Just save each of these as a script with an appropriate name. To conveniently access them, you can use your hotkey or menulet application of choice (my personal choice is Another Launcher, which lets you do Hot-keys and Menus. I personally have them in a menu with a bunch of other things, but you could give them their own menu, with an icon of your choice, to emulate the Input Menu). If you also want the Show International Preferences item, just add the file at /System/Library/Localization.prefPane to the menu. When you click it it will open the International Preferences. Assigning the correct icons to the Character Palette and KEyboard Viewer scripts can be kind of tricky, depending on what program you are using for the menu, but it is possible.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: Anonymous on Jul 13, '04 11:11:30PM

I tried these but I get a Syntax Error: "Expected end of line but found identifier." Then KeyboardVi or CharPalett is highlighted. Since I'm a Script Editor neophyte, I don't know how to resolve this. Suggestions?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: Saint1 on Jun 02, '04 01:05:13AM

This whole thread seems like a big waste of space to me. Is the flag icon that big of a deal? If you don't have a problem with the American flag because it is bright or whatever, then no icon is going to make you happy, whether it be Germany, Japan, whatever...

I guess someone should write an AppleScript to get rid of that bright blue apple in the menu too........







[ Reply to This | # ]
Avoid the Input Menu's US flag in the menubar
Authored by: wilhemhyral on Jul 14, '04 04:38:20PM

Hi!

I'm new to these forums, but when I saw a topic about the Input Menu's Flags, it caught my eye.

You see, I have a similar problem with my Dual 1,25 GHz G4 at work, but the issue at hand is not patriotism nor a sense of aesthetics. As I live in Canada, I use the Canadian CSA Input Menu instead of the US one. So, when I installed 10.2.4, I indicated that I only wanted to use the Canadian CSA Menu and Character Palette.

Everything was fine until I updated to 10.2.8. When I booted as a single user, I foun out that the US flag appeared in the menu bar. I checked the Input Menu pane and, curiously, the US menu WASN'T checked on. I looked around the International Preferences and to my horror I discovered that EVERY International preferences (Date, Time and Numbers) were out of whack, listing as being Canadian while they were clearly US (for example, the Numbers Region was Canada (French), yet the preferences were US).

Nothing was helping. Reseting my prefs and restarting didn't work out. Copying International prefs from another Mac either. The only means I found to be working was to create another, completely useless, user and log MANUALLY into my regular user. However, trying to log in automatically, even with the two users gave me the same result: International prefs out of whack.

And my Mac at home does the same dreaded trick once in a while and after a couple of restarts, it reverts back to its orginal prefs... So, when I see those "bloody" flags in any menu bar, it spook the hell out of me...

As you see, I've only be able to fix the problem temporarily. Notwithstanding the old answer "switch to Panther", I would like if someone could tell me what's wrong with my office Mac and if someone could give me a permanent fix to this nasty bug... I don't need TWO users at work, and I would really love to log automatically!

Thanks for hearing me...!



[ Reply to This | # ]