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[If you are unfamiliar with SAMPA and X-SAMPA codes, you may prefer the alternative, more intuitive, approach used in our IPAuto software.]


No special keyboard or font needed—just start typing.

Your computer can already display IPA text

SAMPAType is an add-in for Microsoft® Word (Word 2003 and higher) for typing IPA phonetic symbols. There are no difficult keys to master: input is by SAMPA codes—which can be typed on a standard European or American keyboard (for example QWERTY or AZERTY).

    [SAMPA is an internationally recognized format, and is widely used in e-mail and on newsgroups because only the standard ASCII characters will reliably get through to all recipients and readers, whatever their operating system.

    For example, the broad phonemic pronunciation of the English word thing would be indicated by typing /TIN/, where uppercase T, I and N stand for the IPA symbols θ, ɪ and ŋ.]

Using SAMPAType you'll type IPA seamlessly in Microsoft Word by pressing the appropriate SAMPA keys. Your IPA text can then be further edited and formatted using Word commands in the normal way.

Most computer systems are now supplied with fonts (eg Lucida Sans Unicode or Arial Unicode MS) capable of displaying IPA symbols. Please check that you can read the word ˈdʒʌmpɪŋ = "jumping".
[Information on downloading fonts]

Major SAMPAType features include:

  • uses widely-available fonts: neither you nor your audience (reading your documents) need to use specialist phonetic fonts

  • intuitive input: IPA symbols for all major European languages are typed with SAMPA (standard keyboard) codes: eg T for the th sound (IPA θ) and S for the sh sound (IPA ʃ).
      The remaining IPA symbols are typed using X-SAMPA codes (eg ?\ for the pharyngeal ʕ and r\` for the retroflex ɻ). No symbols are typed with code numbers.

  • drop-down menus, logically arranged to ensure that you can rapidly find the symbol you want.

  • speed-typing option allows you to eliminate repetitive, tiring use of the Shift key by using double lower-case letters (for example ttiinn for θɪŋ).

  • full Help system, including sortable tables to help you find symbols rapidly. For example, consonants can be arranged by their place or manner of articulation, or "pseudo-alphabetically" by the shape of their IPA symbols.



As an example, you can try typing the word photolithography in IPA(ˌfəʊtəʊlɪˈθɒgrəfi) in these boxes.

    To run these demonstrations you must enable JavaScript in your browser. [How to enable JavaScript (opens a new window)]
The normal SAMPA encoding is %f@Ut@UlI"TQgr@fi. You can type it here:

Using speed-typing you can type using lowercase letters (55f''uut''uulii22ttqqgr''fi) in the next box. [Note that since the codes 2 and 5 reflect the layout of the UK keyboard they may not work on other keyboards.]


SAMPAType is priced at £26 (approximate conversions are shown below). You can try out the program using our free 15-day trial offer.

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Free 15-day trial offer

System requirements: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Office 2003 or later

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