Tech > ComposeKeys

Compose Keys

A compose key is a special type of modifier key that tells the operating system to use two or more subsequent keystrokes to compose a character not found on the keyboard.

This document provides basic information about using Compose Keys on X11, specifically in a Debian environment.

On Debian 5.0 (Lenny) and 6.0 (Squeeze), /usr/share/X11/locale/compose.dir describes which files are used for which locales, e.g. en_US.UTF-8/Compose is used for en_GB.UTF-8, so /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose defines the characters that can be typed using the compose and dead keys. E.g. <Multi_key> <comma> <c> is defined as 'ç' ccedilla.

Common Combinations

Some common combinations preceeded with the compose key:

Sequence         Character  Description
---------------  ---------  --------------------------------------------------
space space                 nobreakspace # NO-BREAK SPACE
.   .            …          ellipsis # HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS
.   minus        ·          periodcentered # MIDDLE DOT
.   equal        •          enfilledcircbullet # BULLET
!   ^            ¦          brokenbar # BROKEN BAR
p   !            ¶          paragraph # PILCROW SIGN
s   o            §          section # SECTION SIGN
x   o            ¤          currency # CURRENCY SIGN
?   !            ‽          U203D # INTERROBANG
plus minus       ±          plusminus # PLUS-MINUS SIGN
colon   minus    ÷          division # DIVISION SIGN
^   1            ¹          onesuperior # SUPERSCRIPT ONE
^   2            ²          twosuperior # SUPERSCRIPT TWO
^   3            ³          threesuperior # SUPERSCRIPT THREE
1   4            ¼          onequarter # VULGAR FRACTION ONE QUARTER
1   2            ½          onehalf # VULGAR FRACTION ONE HALF
3   4            ¾          threequarters # VULGAR FRACTION THREE QUARTERS
- - period       –          U2013 # EN DASH
- - -            —          U2014 # EM DASH
?   ?            ¿          questiondown # INVERTED QUESTION MARK
o   e            œ          oe # LATIN SMALL LIGATURE OE
a   e            æ          ae # LATIN SMALL LETTER AE
apostrophe <     ‘          U2018 # LEFT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
apostrophe >     ’          U2019 # RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
quotedbl   <     “          U201c # LEFT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK
quotedbl   >     ”          U201d # RIGHT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK
quotedbl comma   „          U201e # DOUBLE LOW-9 QUOTATION MARK
e   equal        €          EuroSign # EURO SIGN
c   bar          ¢          cent # CENT SIGN
c   slash        ¢          cent # CENT SIGN
L   minus        £          sterling # POUND SIGN
Y   equal        ¥          yen # YEN SIGN
o   o            °          degree # DEGREE SIGN
o   c            ©          copyright # COPYRIGHT SIGN
o   r            ®          registered # REGISTERED SIGN
t   m            ™       U2122 # TRADE MARK SIGN
grave   a        à          agrave # LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH GRAVE
acute   a        á          aacute # LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH ACUTE
apostrophe   a   á          aacute # LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH ACUTE
asciicircum   a  â          acircumflex # LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH CIRCUMFLEX
asciitilde   a   ã          atilde # LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH TILDE
quotedbl   a     ä          adiaeresis # LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH DIAERESIS
o   a            å          aring # LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH RING ABOVE
comma   c        ç          ccedilla # LATIN SMALL LETTER C WITH CEDILLA
cedilla   c      ç          ccedilla # LATIN SMALL LETTER C WITH CEDILLA
grave   e        è          egrave # LATIN SMALL LETTER E WITH GRAVE
acute   e        é          eacute # LATIN SMALL LETTER E WITH ACUTE
apostrophe   e   é          eacute # LATIN SMALL LETTER E WITH ACUTE
asciicircum   e  ê          ecircumflex # LATIN SMALL LETTER E WITH CIRCUMFLEX
quotedbl   e     ë          ediaeresis # LATIN SMALL LETTER E WITH DIAERESIS
grave   i        ì          igrave # LATIN SMALL LETTER I WITH GRAVE
acute   i        í          iacute # LATIN SMALL LETTER I WITH ACUTE
apostrophe   i   í          iacute # LATIN SMALL LETTER I WITH ACUTE
asciicircum   i  î          icircumflex # LATIN SMALL LETTER I WITH CIRCUMFLEX
quotedbl   i     ï          idiaeresis # LATIN SMALL LETTER I WITH DIAERESIS
d   h            ð          eth # LATIN SMALL LETTER ETH
asciitilde   n   ñ          ntilde # LATIN SMALL LETTER N WITH TILDE
grave   o        ò          ograve # LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH GRAVE
acute   o        ó          oacute # LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH ACUTE
apostrophe   o   ó          oacute # LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH ACUTE
asciicircum   o  ô          ocircumflex # LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH CIRCUMFLEX
asciitilde   o   õ          otilde # LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH TILDE
quotedbl   o     ö          odiaeresis # LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH DIAERESIS
slash   o        ø          oslash # LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH STROKE
s       s        ß          ssharp # LATIN SMALL LETTER SHARP S
grave   u        ù          ugrave # LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH GRAVE
acute   u        ú          uacute # LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH ACUTE
apostrophe   u   ú          uacute # LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH ACUTE
asciicircum   u  û          ucircumflex # LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH CIRCUMFLEX
quotedbl   u     ü          udiaeresis # LATIN SMALL LETTER U WITH DIAERESIS
acute   y        ý          yacute # LATIN SMALL LETTER Y WITH ACUTE
apostrophe   y   ý          yacute # LATIN SMALL LETTER Y WITH ACUTE
t   h            þ          thorn # LATIN SMALL LETTER THORN
quotedbl   y     ÿ          ydiaeresis # LATIN SMALL LETTER Y WITH DIAERESIS

Using

e.g. Choosing 'Menu is Compose', then to produce a 'ç' on most english keyboard layout, you type the menu key, then type the comma ',' key, then type the 'c' key.

Unicode Input

http://www.enotes.com/topic/Unicode_input

Emacs

  M-x ucs-insert

-- Frank Dean - 12 Aug 2011

Related Topics: DebianTips, GnomeTips, LinuxHintsAndTips, X11KeyboardTips