Frequently Asked Questions

How do you display the ‘okina and kahakō on the Internet like Kualono does?
Using Unicode is the best way to properly display the ʻokina and kahakō on the World Wide Web. Read this document which explains how to properly display Hawaiian in web documents.

General Technology FAQ

General Technology Answers

Why should I use the ‘okina and kahakō?

The ‘okina (glottal) and kahakō (macron) came into use in the 1940s and 1950s with the assembling of the Hawaiian language dictionary by Dr. Samuel Elbert and Mrs. Mary Kawena Pukuʻi. Though native speakers of the past and even those still living did not use them, it is a great help to those learning Hawaiian as a second language. Their use is now accepted as standard in the written form of the language by all university and private offices involved in Hawaiian language education. To omit the ʻokina and kahakō in print or in computer representations of the language is to do the language a great injustice, and we consider this omission of the ʻokina and kahakō in words where they do exist to be a misspelling of those words.

Until the past 8 to 10 years there were no tools for properly and easily representing the ʻokina and kahakō on the computer. With the availability of the tools on this website and available from commercial developers, there is no longer an acceptable excuse for not using the ‘okina and kahakō.

Where can I find... ?

All of the computer resources and tools available for the public from the Hale Kuamo‘o are listed on the Technology Resources page. If you don't see it listed there it is not available from us.

What about other companies selling Hawaiian language software?

Though we will happily provide links to companies that provide software for Hawaiian language speakers, it should not be construed as an endorsement of those products. If your company sells software that is of interest to Hawaiian speakers, please send email to

Guava Graphics sells Hawaiian fonts, both text and picture, as well as collections of clip art, photographs, and a Hawaiian screen saver collection. Their fonts use the same system as Hale Kuamo‘o's HI fonts, therefore, any documents typed using their fonts can be printed using our HI fonts, or vice versa.

Coconut Info also sells Hawaiian fonts, clip art, and educational software for the Hawaiian language. Last we checked, Coconut Info's fonts still used their own font system, which is not compatible with Hale Kuamo‘o's. This can be simply and quickly rectified using the find/replace function of nearly any word processor.

Can I hire the Hale Kuamo‘o to create or modify specific fonts for me?

No, we do not do such work. If you need special fonts beyond the four basic fonts that we provide, we suggest that you contact either Guava Graphics or Coconut Info. They may already sell what you need, or be able to create or customize a font for you.

Why doesn't Hale Kuamo‘o provide technical support for these Hawaiian computer resources?

The primary function of the Hale Kuamo‘o is to develop curriculum for and support the Hawaiian Medium Education schools ("Hawaiian Immersion"), the Papahana Kaiapuni Hawaiʻi. Most of the software tools that we have developed are done with these schools in mind, and we make them available to the general public whenever possible. However, we do not have sufficient staff to support everyone, and must focus on the Hawaiian medium schools.

We do welcome feedback and questions, and will try to address them as best as possible in this FAQ, however, you will probably not receive a personal response to your email queries, and we will not provide technical support by phone. Please do not call our office with questions on installation and use of any of the computer resource found on Kualono. Send your feedback to