accented characters from the keyboard
Séamas Ó Brógáin
sob at iol.ie
Tue Dec 6 11:04:10 UTC 2011
Just to expand slightly on what PleegWat and others wrote:
The method that Udvarias Ur mentioned does exist, but with some
conditions. There is a method of entering individual characters by
number that is supposed to be universal (it’s a formal international
standard), but it only partly works with Ubuntu (or I should say with
You hold down [control] and [shift] and then type [u]; you then type the
Unicode reference of the character––a four-figure hexadecimal number.
(The Unicode tables are freely downloadable from
With X11, however, and therefore Ubuntu, you cannot have this function
as well as the [compose] key: you must choose one or the other.
(Strange, but true.)
In your /etc/environment file you must have a line like this:
or any other input method: ibus, scim, uim, etc.
For the [compose] key to work, on the other hand, you have to have
And you cannot have both.
To see which input method is active at the moment, in a terminal window
There is a roundabout method of having both functions. (1) Install the
extension “Compose Special Characters.” (2) Allocate a suitable function
key––say [F9]––to the “Unicode shortcut” in this extension. (3)
Customise your keyboard layout (as I explained in an earlier message and
can do again if anyone is interested) so as to allocate F9 to a suitable
key, say [AltGr]. Hey, presto! A “Unicode key.”
I should add that I am not an expert in these matters but discovered
these tricks through long and often fruitless searching. If anyone can
point out any errors, or add information, I would be very happy to hear
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