Mac Keyboard Driver for Old Korean


Those working with Old Korean (basically pre-1900 Han'gŭl) on Macintosh computers will require a special keyboard driver to input these special Unicode font characters. Recently this came up on the KoreanStudies Discussion List. Here a summary of how-to instructions:

You can type Old Korean on the Mac, of course, but you do need a keyboard driver to help you with the input. If you download John Brownie's Ukelele editor (, the best such editor there is for editing keyboard mappers (keyboard layouts) and at the same time the easiest one to use, then you can edit all the standard keyboards for the Mac. Unfortunately, for the so-called CJK group of languages--Chinese, Japanese and Korean--this will not work. As the author of above script explains in his user guide: "These differ from keyboard layouts in that they usually use some sort of secondary window for assembling a character from a series of key strokes. (...) there is apparently no way to customise them. Editing a keyboard layout that is used in conjunction with one of the input methods and installing it does not seem to work."

Well, there is a way to edit these "keyboard layouts" that are more than just keyboard layouts. But doing so requires rewriting code, using Apple's main development tool, Xcode, and also Interface Builder (now completely integrated into Xcode). That kind of editing goes beyond the quick edits that Ukelele allows, takes far more time, scripting knowledge, and logistic considerations. But a programmer--Suh Sanghyuk, his nickname is han9kin, has done the job for Old Korean. You can simply download and install the Hanulim keyboard driver (하늘입력기, version 2.2) package from 2008; it includes a so-called "Dubeol Archaic" keyboard driver ("Dubeol" = 두벌식):
After de-compressing the downloaded ZIP file you will see a file named "Hanulim." Push this "Hanulim" file into the folder "Input Methods" (that is a sub-folder of the "Library" folder (which resides directly on your hard drive).


You may have to reboot your Mac--better you do. After that, go to the Apple menu, to "System Preferences" and there to "Language & Text" and click onto the "Input Sources" tab. Make sure to put a checkmark in front of the box "Dubeol Archaic." It will then appear at the usual spot, upper right of your screen.

Old Korean Input for Mac

Since these "Hanulim" keyboard drivers were last updated in 2008 for Mac OS 10.5, the "Keyboard Viewer" will not work with them if you are already under OS 10.8 (Lion), so you will have to try things out. Otherwise it works, as far as I can tell. I see there is an attempt to further update the Hanulim drivers at a new project site at GitHub:
However, it seems this project was deserted in 2011. I see that some problems and limitations with even the latest uncompiled development version 2.3 are discussed here: -- about 2/3 down that page, comment by user 'gulbee' and follow-up comments. Still, the Hanulim driver seems the only choice for Mac users.

I have compiled the just mentioned developer code posted for version 2.3 (Sept. 2011) into actual program files (compiling a version for OS 10.7 and one for 10.8). Download them here. The only small difference (between the OS 10.7 and OS 10.8 versions) are the developer library versions they were compiled against--this may or may not make a difference. But there certainly are various differences of how e.g. the preferences are set between the published version 2.2 and this newly compiled v.2.3 (as you will already detect when comparing the second and third image on this page). You can test it. BELOW a copy of the README text that comes included:

Attached files derive from (using Xcode) an development version of an unfinished Korean keyboard driver project done by a developer under the nickname han9kin (Suh Sanghyuk).
The project's unencoded files are posted here:

All credit should be given to han9kin.

What are then these files attached here?

This is an actual COMPILATION of the program files, based of the above developer code, version 2.3, build 44. However, this project does not seem to have been developed any further since September 2011, and at the time it was done for Mac OS 10.5. The attached program files, on the other hand, where compiled with newer Xcode developer libraries for (a) OS 10.7 and (b) OS 10.8 (Lion).
I have *not* done any thorough testing, just had a brief look. There might not be any advantage when compared to the older version 2.2 that can be downloaded here:
In short, this is only for TESTING. Maybe it is helpful, maybe not.

Make sure to ONLY install one version at the same time, either the older version 2.2 or one of the newer versions based on v2.3 included here. (In order to push an installed version into the trash you first need to de-select Hanulim in System Prefs, Language & Text, Input Sources.)

Frank Hoffmann

Hanulim v2.3 compilation


Frank Hoffmann