You don’t need a special keyboard to type in Korean – you can use a standard English keyboard. However, if you are a PC user, you may need to install the Windows Asian language packs to be able to see and type Hangeul letters.
If this text: 안녕 doesn’t match the image to the right, you need to install the language packs.
KOREAN KEYBOARD SETUP FOR WINDOWS VISTA, 7 & 8 ^
This page has highly user-friendly step-by-step instructions to set up Korean keyboard options for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Note that Windows 8 comes first on the page, so scroll down if you are running one of the older operating systems.
The official Microsoft setup instructions for Windows Vista are not as user-friendly.
KOREAN KEYBOARD SETUP ON A MAC ^
This article explains Korean keyboard setup on OSX 10.3 (Panther), which is pretty old, but it comes up first in search results, so I’m guessing people are still finding it useful. If not, try these more recent instructions for Mountain Lion (scroll down to see the thread).
Note the link in the last post of the instructions thread to this page, which discusses the different Mac options, Gongjin Cheong method for Romaja, or 2-set input if you just want a standard keyboard with Korean characters. Ignore the ad for $7 keyboard stickers, however – you can get them for way less (read on).
KOREAN KEYBOARD SETUP FOR WINDOWS XP ^
The Hanguladay blog has a nice Windows XP Language Bar setup article with easy-to-follow steps and screenshots. Many installation and usage questions are answered in the comments below the post.
If you’re a glutton for punishment, here are the official Microsoft instructions for activating the Language Bar in Windows XP.
HANGEUL KEYBOARD STICKERS ^
I bought my Korean keyboard stickers on eBay, from a user named “keyboardsticker.” There are several different colors and styles (and languages) available. Here is the eBay store. After a year, the 7 most heavily used letters were fading ever so slightly, but the adhesion was still 100% when I retired that keyboard after 2.5 years.
TIPS FOR TYPING IN HANGEUL ^
Hangeul letters are typed in blocks of 2 or more letters. Each block represents a syllable. I went nuts trying to maneuver the letters into their correct position in the block with the shift key and space bar before I figured out that the language pack does this for me. If it doesn’t, it’s an indicator that I have misspelled the word. The software knows the rules of Korean spelling better than I do!
Don’t worry if a letter doesn’t jump into the right block as you type it, just keep typing. The software has to “see” the whole word to know how to arrange things. There should be no space between blocks in the same word, but do space between words.
HANGEUL FONTS ^
Windows includes several Hangeul fonts, which will become visible in the font menus inside Windows programs once you have activated the language bar and installed the Korean language packs. You may need to have the IME set to Hangeul for them to show. If you want more, there is a selection of free Hangeul fonts here.
OTHER WAYS TO TYPE IN HANGEUL ^
There are a lot of web-based virtual keyboards where you can type in Korean, and then copy and paste your text. I mostly use the Google translator keyboard for this, but this page is designed specifically for that purpose, and offers some Hanja options that Google does not.