Typing special symbols on a Linux keyboardEdit

At least in the Colemak layout, the following[1] are compatible with all the hacks I’ve got in place to make the Linux keyboard behave at least somewhat similarly to how the Mac does. Additionally, as of 9c241271b715a939, I have some macOS-style dead-key bindings in place, noted in the appendix.

Dead letters

These ones work:

  • AltGr + Backtick = ~ (mnemonic, "tilde"): so, to produce ñ, type AltGr + Backtick then n.
  • AltGr + d = " (mnemonic, "diuresis"): so, to produce ü, type AltGr + d then u.

These ones do not, because they clash with my mappings:

  • AltGr + t (acute accent, clashes with "New tab"):
    • To type á, you’re out of luck; not even typing Ctrl + u then 00e1 works.
    • To type é, type AltGr + e.
    • To type í, type AltGr + i.
    • To type ó, type AltGr + o.
    • To type ú, type AltGr + u.

Other mappings

These ones work:

  • AltGr + Shift + Minus = (em dash).
  • AltGr + Shift + Space =   (non-breaking space).
  • AltGr + Shift + 9 = (left double quote).
  • AltGr + Shift + 0 = (right double quote).
  • AltGr + 9 = (single left quote).
  • AltGr + 0 = (single right quote).
  • AltGr + Shift + Plus = ÷ (division).

These ones don’t work:

  • AltGr + Minus = (en dash, clashes with "Decrease zoom").
  • AltGr + Plus = × (multiplication, clashes with "Increase zoom").

Appendix: macOS-style bindings

As of the commit mentioned earlier, I currently have these shoe-horned into my set-up (plus some extras, but the ones listed below are the ones that you actually have to type in Spanish from time to time) by a combination of Interception Tools and ~/.XCompose (man 5 Compose):

  • Option-n n = ñ
  • Option-Shift-n n = Ñ
  • Option-e a = á
  • Option-Shift-e a = Á
  • Option-e e = é
  • Option-Shift-e e = É
  • Option-e i = í
  • Option-Shift-e i = Í
  • Option-e o = ó
  • Option-Shift-e o = Ó
  • Option-e u = ú
  • Option-Shift-e u = Ú
  • Option-u u = ü
  • Option-Shift-u u = Ü
  • Shift-Option-Minus = (em dash)
  • Shift-Option-2 =

I made a couple of screencasts describing my efforts to set up Linux with these and other macOS-style keybindings here:


  1. As described in "Multilingual" on the Colemak wiki. ↩︎