Tools for Generating Keyboard Layouts

What's New

Version 2.1.3


Bug Fixes

  • Swift 5.8 is fully supported and new compiler warnings have been resolved.

macOS • Windows • Web • Ubuntu • tvOS • iOS • Android • Amazon Linux • watchOS



SDGKeyboardDesign provides tools for generating keyboard layouts.

עַתָּה בּוֹא כׇתְבָהּ עַל־לוּחַ אִתָּם וְעַל־סֵפֶר חֻקָּהּ וּתְהִי לְיוֹם אַחֲרוֹן לָעַד עַד־עוֹלָם׃

Now go, write it for them on a tablet and record it in a book so it will survive until the last day, forever and into eternity.



  • Generates native keyboard layout bundles for macOS.
  • Supports localized metadata.
  • Provides a sophisticated symbol key (¤, Symbol.key), which enables entry of symbols by spelling out their names.

Example Usage

SDGKeyboardDesign is a Swift library and can be used in many ways, but even if you are unfamiliar with Swift, you should still be able to create a keyboard for yourself by modifying the following example.

  1. Make sure you have Swift installed.
  2. Download the source code of this repository. (Click “Clone or download”, then “Download ZIP”.)
  3. Find the file with example below under “Tests/SDGKeyboardDocumentationExampleTests/ReadMeExampleTests.swift” and edit it however you desire.
    • Don’t forget to give the bundle a real name. (If you leave it as “Example Keyboards” it won’t work.)
  4. Open a terminal and navigate to the repository root.
    1. Type cd and a space.
    2. Drag the main downloaded directory into the terminal.
    3. Press enter. The prompt should now include the directory name.
  5. Paste the following command into the terminal. When it finishes, there should be a keyboard bundle in the Downloads directory.
    swift test --filter ./testReadMeExample
  6. Move the keyboard bundle into “System/Library/Keyboard Layouts”. (Create the directory if it does not exist yet.)
  7. Open System Preferences, go to “Keyboard”, then “Input Methods” and click the plus sign. Your custom keyboard should be somewhere in the list.
enum ExampleLocalization: String, InputLocalization {
  // This is the list of localizations to provide metadata for.
  case englishCanada = "en\u{2D}CA"
  case françaisCanada = "fr\u{2D}CA"
  // This localization will be used when none match the user’s preferences.
  static let fallbackLocalization = ExampleLocalization.englishCanada

let exampleLayout = KeyboardLayout<ExampleLocalization>(
  name: UserFacing<StrictString, ExampleLocalization>({ localization in
    switch localization {
    // These are the names of the keyboard layout in each localization.
    case .englishCanada:
      return "Example Keyboard"
    case .françaisCanada:
      return "Clavier exemple"
  // This URL points to a local “.icns” file to use as the icon.
  icon: URL(fileURLWithPath: #filePath)  // Starts at this file.
    .deletingLastPathComponent()  // Backs out to the directory.
    .deletingLastPathComponent()  // Backs out another directory.
    .appendingPathComponent("Test Specifications")  // Enters a directory.
    .appendingPathComponent("MockIcon.icns"),  // Specifies the file.
  layers: [
    // These are the character arrangements.
    // (Keys can be safely omitted, and the order doesn’t matter.)
    .noModifiers: [
      .leftOutsideTopISO: "",

      .leftLittleTop: "1",
      .leftRingTop: "2",
      .leftMiddleTop: "3",
      .leftIndexTop: "4",
      .leftInsideTop: "5",

      .rightInsideTop: "٥",
      .rightIndexTop: "٤",
      .rightMiddleTop: "٣",
      .rightRingTop: "٢",
      .rightLittleTop: "١",

      .rightOutsideTop: "",
      .rightDoubleOutsideTop: "",

      .leftLittleUpper: "α",
      .leftRingUpper: "β",
      .leftMiddleUpper: "γ",
      .leftIndexUpper: "δ",
      .leftInsideUpper: "ε",

      .rightInsideUpper: "ה",
      .rightIndexUpper: "ד",
      .rightMiddleUpper: "ג",
      .rightRingUpper: "ב",
      .rightLittleUpper: "א",

      .rightOutsideUpper: "",
      .rightDoubleOutsideUpper: "",

      .leftLittleHome: "a",
      .leftRingHome: "b",
      .leftMiddleHome: "c",
      .leftIndexHome: "d",
      .leftInsideHome: "e",

      .rightInsideHome: "",
      .rightIndexHome: "丿",
      .rightMiddleHome: "",
      .rightRingHome: "",
      .rightLittleHome: "",

      .rightOutsideHome: "",
      .rightDoubleOutsideHomeISO_JIS_RightTripleOutsideUpperANSI: "",

      .leftOutsideLowerISO_LeftOutsideTopANSI_JIS: "",

      .leftLittleLower: "а",
      .leftRingLower: "б",
      .leftMiddleLower: "в",
      .leftIndexLower: "г",
      .leftInsideLower: "д",

      .rightInsideLower: "ر",
      .rightIndexLower: "د",
      .rightMiddleLower: "ج",
      .rightRingLower: "ب",
      .rightLittleLower: "ا",
    .shift: [
      // In many cases, uppercase characters will be inferred automatically.
      // But where it is ambiguous, or there is none, the shift layer can done manually.
      // Explicit entries will override automated values.
      .leftIndexHome: "I",
      .rightIndexHome: "",
    .option: [
      // These are the characters produced when option (⌥) is pressed.

      // Characters can be specified either directly...
      .leftIndexUpper: ".",  // ← A full stop.
      // ...or with their Unicode hexadecimal identifier:
      .leftInsideUpper: "\u{002E}",  // ← Also a full stop.

      // Unicode combining characters are better than dead keys...
      // (These are pressed after the character they modify.)
      .leftLittleHome: "\u{300}",  // ◌́ (acute)
      .leftRingHome: "\u{301}",  // ◌̀ (grave)
      .leftMiddleHome: "\u{302}",  // ◌̂ (circumflex)
      .leftIndexHome: "\u{303}",  // ◌̃ (tilde)
      .leftInsideHome: "\u{304}",  // ◌̄ (macron)

      // ...but dead keys are also possible when Unicode provides no combining character.
      // (These are pressed before the character they modify.)
      // Several common dead keys are provided.
      .rightInsideHome: DeadKey.stroke,
      .rightIndexHome: DeadKey.hook,
      .rightMiddleHome: DeadKey.descender,
      .rightRingHome: "Inversion",  // Custom. See below.

      // The symbol key allows inserting symbols by spelling their names.
      .rightDoubleOutsideHomeISO_JIS_RightTripleOutsideUpperANSI: Symbol.key,
    // More layers are available:
    .shiftOption: [
      .leftIndexHome: "⇧⌥"
    .capsLock: [
      .leftIndexHome: ""
    .capsLockShift: [
      .leftIndexHome: "⇪⇧"
    .capsLockOption: [
      .leftIndexHome: "⇪⌥"
    .capsLockShiftOption: [
      .leftIndexHome: "⇪⇧⌥"
    // Beware that rearranging the command layers affects hotkeys!
    // (If omitted, they will be automatically filled in according to ANSII.)
    .command: [
      .leftIndexHome: ""
    .shiftCommand: [
      .leftIndexHome: "⇧⌘"
  deadKeyLabels: DeadKey.defaultLabels.mergedByOverwriting(from: [
    // This specifies a label for the custom dead key above.
    "Inversion": ""
  deadKeyMappings: DeadKey.defaultMappings.mergedByOverwriting(from: [
    // This specifies the mapping for the custom dead key above.
    "Inversion": [
      "a": "ɐ",
      "c": "ɔ",
      "e": "ə",
  symbols: Symbol.defaultDictionary.mergedByOverwriting(from: [
    // This adds symbols to the default symbol key list (or overrides them).
    // To use the symbol key, press it once, then start typing the name of the symbol.
    // You won’t usually have to type the whole name.
    // It will be replaced with the symbol as soon as it is unambiguous.
    "euros": "",
    "dollars": "$",
    "roubles": "",
    "pounds": "£",
  // This must be a unique identifier for the layout.
  uniqueIdentifier: 1_234_567,
  // This is the encoding that will be used in non‐Unicode applications.
  script: .latinWestern,
  // Optional. This requests that the operating system associate the layout with a particular language.
  targetedLanguage: .englishCanada

let exampleBundle = KeyboardLayoutBundle(
  name: UserFacing<StrictString, ExampleLocalization>({ localization in
    switch localization {
    // These are the names of the bundle in each localization.
    case .englishCanada:
      return "Example Keyboards"
    case .françaisCanada:
      return "Claviers exemples"
  // A bundle can contain multiple layouts.
  // (But this only includes the layout above.)
  layouts: [exampleLayout],
  copyright: UserFacing<StrictString, ExampleLocalization>({ localization in
    switch localization {
    // These are the copyright notices in each localization.
    case .englishCanada:
      return "©0000 John Doe"
    case .françaisCanada:
      return "©0000 Jean Dupont"
  // This is a unique identifier for the bundle.
  // (Apple recommends using reversed domain name notation.)
  bundleIdentifier: "tld.domain.example"

// This specifies the directory where the exported bundle should be saved.
let exportURL = URL(fileURLWithPath: NSHomeDirectory())
// This exports the layout bundle.
try exampleBundle.generate(in: exportURL)

Some platforms lack certain features. The compilation conditions which appear throughout the documentation are defined as follows:

.define("PLATFORM_LACKS_FOUNDATION_FILE_MANAGER", .when(platforms: [.wasi])),
  .when(platforms: [.wasi])


SDGKeyboardDesign provides a library for use with the Swift Package Manager.

Simply add SDGKeyboardDesign as a dependency in Package.swift:

let package = Package(
  name: "MyPackage",
  dependencies: [
      name: "SDGKeyboardDesign",
      url: "",
      from: Version(2, 1, 3)
  targets: [
      name: "MyTarget",
      dependencies: [
        .product(name: "SDGKeyboardDesign", package: "SDGKeyboardDesign"),

The module can then be imported in source files:

import SDGKeyboardDesign


The SDGKeyboardDesign project is maintained by Jeremy David Giesbrecht.

If SDGKeyboardDesign saves you money, consider giving some of it as a donation.

If SDGKeyboardDesign saves you time, consider devoting some of it to contributing back to the project.

Ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τοῦ μισθοῦ αὐτοῦ ἐστι.

For the worker is worthy of his wages.



  • Swift Tools 5.7.0
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Last updated: Fri Sep 22 2023 16:37:04 GMT-0900 (Hawaii-Aleutian Daylight Time)