Friday, February 15, 2013

Complicated letters

HOW TO KEY in é, ñ, and other such special characters had been a problem for me until I discovered the use of AltGr keys in Ubuntu.

Go to System > Preferences > Keyboard. You'll see something like this. Click Layouts.

Click Add. A list of keyboards will show up. Choose USA International (AltGr dead keys). Click Move Up to make it the default keyboard. It should appear first on the list. Click Apply System-Wide so all users of your computer can use it by default.

AltGr is the right Alt key, just beside the spacebar. In the diagram below, it's equivalent to the Compose button.

Once it's activated, it's easy to key in é without any hassles. Just press AltGr and e together. The capital Ñ? Shift+AltGr+n. Have fun with the other key combos.

Shifting from one keyboard layout to another can be a bit of a hassle, though, so I installed Keyboard Accessibility Status on my panel. Right click any blank area on the panel, then Add, then find Keyboard Accessbility Status.

To switch keyboard layouts, just click on the keyboard icon and choose the layout you like best--and you're good to go.

I know, I know. My desktop is freakishly clean. I like to keep it that way.

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