Macrons & Romaji

One of the most difficult things about properly writing Japanese words in rōmaji is inserting macrons (eg. Āā) easily. This is further compounded by different operating systems, input styles, and localizations. Most guides written are based on people using a typical USA QWERTY keyboard, but for those of us who use a JIS Keyboard and commonly input text in Japanese, many of the workarounds are inconvenient or unusable. There are many instructions, mostly for people typing in Latin where they use Māori input or ALT Codes to put macrons. Māori input adds another input for your OS adding another language to choose from. ALT Codes do not seem to work well when using a JIS keyboard. So! Below are the best ways that I have figured out how to quickly and painlessly type macrons using a JIS Keyboard. (Only Win11 now. I have Chromebook, Linux and Mac methods also which I'll include later.)

Windows with IME

For Win11 I followed the advice and adapted the instructions from the Rômazi Aiueo site. While they use the "hat" character still favored by school boards and MEXT, in the English language world and Wikipedia the macron bar appears to be more widely adopted. The workaround is quite simple by editing the IME user dictionary. Note: There is probably a way of doing this with Google IME or ATOK, but I do not have either installed on my computer to test it out.


Download this text file or cut and paste the text below into a new text file. Make note of the name and location of the file.

!Microsoft IME Dictionary Tool!Version:!Format:WORDLIST!User Dictionary Name:!Output File Name:!DateTime: 2013年10月04日 00:00
ああ Ā 独立語 ローマ字用ああ ā 独立語 ローマ字用あー Ā 独立語 ローマ字用あー ā 独立語 ローマ字用いい Ī 独立語 ローマ字用いい ī 独立語 ローマ字用いー Ī 独立語 ローマ字用いー ī 独立語 ローマ字用うう Ū 独立語 ローマ字用うう ū 独立語 ローマ字用うー Ū 独立語 ローマ字用うー ū 独立語 ローマ字用ええ Ē 独立語 ローマ字用ええ ē 独立語 ローマ字用えー Ē 独立語 ローマ字用えー ē 独立語 ローマ字用おお Ō 独立語 ローマ字用おお ō 独立語 ローマ字用おー Ō 独立語 ローマ字用おー ō 独立語 ローマ字用


Find your Microsoft IME settings through the Control Panel. Click on the "Learning and Dictionary" 


Click on the "Open the user dictionary tool


Click on Tool->Import from Text File 

In the dialouge that comes up choose your textfile from above.

Note: Your dictionary will most likely be blank. The screen shot here is my desktop with this workaround already installed.


Type a macron by switching to Japanese input then typing the vowel you want to type twice (e.g. "aa" for ā or Ā). Select the uppercase or lowercase letter like you would choose a kanji.

I'll upload similar instructions for typing Macrons when using JIS keyboards on Chromebooks, MacOSX, and Linux in due time.