Re: OT: Need howto info for typing accented chars on US keyboard in Linux

From: Julian Bradfield <>
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2013 08:19:57 +0000 (GMT)

On 2013-01-13, Leslie Turriff <> wrote:
> I've been searching the web for information about how to type accented
> characters (French) using a US 104-key keyboard. I understand that a compose
> key is involved, but everything I've found so far has involved adding
> character<=>key mappings using xmodmap, whereas it appears that one does not
> need to do that; but there seems to be an assumption that just saying "press
> the compose key and..." magic happens.

As others have said, most modern distributions are set up to do this
by default.
The thing to beware of is that GTK+, the toolkit used by many
applications such as Firefox etc., does its own thing with compose
processing, rather than relying on the underlying X processing.
(Sadly typical of GTK+.)
So if you succeed in working out how to change the X mappings (which
is not trivial), it won't work with GTK+ applications.
Emacs also has its own facility, but it also uses the native X compose
mappings before its own.

In summary, if your needs are just commonplace accents, it should just
work, and in most cases the compose sequences are obvious, and if
they're not, they're in the Wikipedia article.

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Received on Sun Jan 13 2013 - 02:24:20 CST

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