Nearly twenty years ago I was involved in the development of the “HI” font standard while working at Hale Kuamo‘o, the Hawaiian Language Center at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. These fonts addressed the lack of support for the ‘okina (glottal) and kahakō (macron) in fonts of that time. For many years we offered HI fonts for both Macintosh and Windows. These fonts are still available on the Kualono website, but are no longer supported. Some commercial vendors, such as Guava Graphics, also adapted this system, so you can switch between their fonts and “HI” fonts easily.
Since that time, both Apple and Microsoft have embraced the Unicode technology that enhances support for different languages and character sets without the use of customized fonts. Starting in 2002, Apple included a Hawaiian keyboard with every installation of OS X that they shipped (learn how to activate and use the built in Hawaiian keyboard layout here). For Windows users, there is a Unicode keyboard for Windows available for download from Kualono. Be sure to download and read the instructions! While not all fonts on Macintosh OS X and Windows have the kahakō and ‘okina characters, some fonts do. I’ve created lists of those fonts that I’ve found that do have the kahakō and ‘okina. They are available as .pdf documents below:
- Macintosh OS X (10.6) Fonts with ‘Okina and Kakahō
- Windows Vista (10.6) Fonts with ‘Okina and Kakahō
- Windows 7 Fonts with ‘Okina and Kakahō
These lists were generated from computers that I have access to, and I offer no assurance that every Macintosh and Windows install will contain all of these fonts or that they will have the characters. Your mileage may vary. More detailed information on the use of Hawaiian on Mac OS X and Windows may be found under the menu items for those platforms under the ‘Ōlelo-Tech menu item.