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#1 2018-08-22 12:43:05

orcrist
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From: Dachau, Bayern
Registered: 2015-12-31
Posts: 6

(SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

My netbook's keyboard is a Greek one. I have already configured my /etc/default/keyboard file in order to use both US and Greek but I also need to type in German. I could add the "de" xkblayout together with the "qwerty" xkbvariant but it would be much more convenient for me to have to press a key (say right ALT) in order the characters a, o, u, =  to change into the letters ä, ö, ü, ß accordingly while on the US mode. Any help would be highly appreciated.

Last edited by orcrist (2018-09-03 07:00:09)

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#2 2018-08-22 13:00:07

earlybird
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Registered: 2015-12-16
Posts: 605
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Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

The hard way is to learn the ins and outs of XKB keyboard layouts and create a custom layout: https://michal.kosmulski.org/computing/ … s-xkb.html.

The was a neat GUI tool which could save you a lot of work: https://github.com/simos/keyboardlayouteditor (if it still works).

Another alternative might be IM managers like ibus and fcitx. At least with the latter, you can create a completely custom IM method using the table lookup engine, meaning when typing with that input method active, you could make alt+o emit ö, with the input method acting as an overlay for the currently active main keyboard layout.

Alternatively, using an IM manager, you can easily manage 3+ standard keyboard layouts and quickly toggle between them.

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#3 2018-08-23 01:33:58

johnraff
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From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 4,677
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Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

There is a more generic solution (so many ways to do this!) using a "Compose" key.
For example, to turn your CapsLock key to a Compose key run:

setxkbmap -option compose:caps

(or add

XKBOPTIONS="compose:caps"

to /etc/default/keyboard.)

Now you can hit CapsLock then "o to get ö. You can enter any unicode character this way. ♥
A non-exhaustive list: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/GtkComposeTable
Full list on your system probably at /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose
If you only use a few it shouldn't take long to learn the sequences.


John
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#4 2018-08-23 05:10:54

ohnonot
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Registered: 2015-09-29
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Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

i have the same problem, both on a scandinavian and an american layout keyboard.
on the scandinavian, i can press a key (it's labeled with the umlaut dots), followed by 'u', and get 'ü'.
isn't there some already existing key combinations for us keyboards, that would give me äöüß?

on my us keyboard computer, i have opted for a virtual german keyboard:

XENVIRONMENT=/etc/X11/app-defaults/XVkbd-german xvkbd

(bound to a hotkey)
because i'm too stupid/lazy to figure out custom layouts and/or compose keys...

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#5 2018-08-26 18:38:25

orcrist
Member
From: Dachau, Bayern
Registered: 2015-12-31
Posts: 6

Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

Thanks to everyone for your answers and especially johnraff.
I have added "compose:ralt" to XKBOPTIONS (suits me better) and the key combinations are:
Rightalt (release it) - a - ", for ä
Rightalt (release it) - o - ", for ö
Rightalt (release it) - u - ", for ü
Rightalt (release it) - s (double pressed), for ß

There are of course the German quotation marks yet to find out...

Last edited by orcrist (2018-08-26 18:48:51)

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#6 2018-08-28 05:24:31

ohnonot
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Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

thanks, this worked for me too on ubuntu 16.04.
(johnraff's post #3)

orcrist wrote:

There are of course the German quotation marks yet to find out...

you mean to compose äöü?
on my scandinavian keuyboard it's Shift-2, on my US keyboard it's Shift-' (that's just left of the enter key).

this key combo is a little complex for these often-used letters; i wonder if i can tell the system to use just
<compose_key> - a for ä etc.?

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#7 2018-08-28 06:54:03

johnraff
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From: Nagoya, Japan
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Posts: 4,677
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Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

^I think you can copy  /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose to a user directory and edit it.


John
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( a boring Japan blog , Japan Links, idle twitterings  and GitStuff )
In case you forget, the rules.

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#8 2018-08-29 15:24:03

orcrist
Member
From: Dachau, Bayern
Registered: 2015-12-31
Posts: 6

Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

ohnonot wrote:

thanks, this worked for me too on ubuntu 16.04.
(johnraff's post #3)

orcrist wrote:

There are of course the German quotation marks yet to find out...

you mean to compose äöü?
on my scandinavian keuyboard it's Shift-2, on my US keyboard it's Shift-' (that's just left of the enter key).

this key combo is a little complex for these often-used letters; i wonder if i can tell the system to use just
<compose_key> - a for ä etc.?

No, I have already figured out these letters as I have explained on my previous post. I mean these two symbols: „ and “, the german quotation marks!

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#9 2018-08-29 15:44:18

orcrist
Member
From: Dachau, Bayern
Registered: 2015-12-31
Posts: 6

Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

orcrist wrote:
ohnonot wrote:

thanks, this worked for me too on ubuntu 16.04.
(johnraff's post #3)

orcrist wrote:

There are of course the German quotation marks yet to find out...

you mean to compose äöü?
on my scandinavian keuyboard it's Shift-2, on my US keyboard it's Shift-' (that's just left of the enter key).

this key combo is a little complex for these often-used letters; i wonder if i can tell the system to use just
<compose_key> - a for ä etc.?

No, I have already figured out these letters as I have explained on my previous post. I mean these two symbols: „ and “, the german quotation marks!

I have just found half of it:

Ralt (release it) (then) , (then) " (for „)
... assuming that the compose key is set to Right Alt.
I still cannot find the combination for “...

Last edited by orcrist (2018-08-29 16:12:55)

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#10 2018-08-29 16:45:04

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
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Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

^ sorry, i never use these (except in libreoffice, with autoformating).

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#11 2018-09-01 00:49:17

johnraff
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From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 4,677
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Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

Everything's in (or should be in) /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose


John
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( a boring Japan blog , Japan Links, idle twitterings  and GitStuff )
In case you forget, the rules.

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#12 2018-09-01 15:34:16

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,197
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Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

^ haven't you posted that a few days ago already?
starnge, it shows up as "Today" (1st of September)...

I will get round to it eventually, but it's not a priority (little-used laptop).

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#13 2018-09-02 09:08:00

johnraff
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From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 4,677
Website

Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

^I reposted the filepath for @orcrist who must have missed the first one, and was still looking for a particular character.


John
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( a boring Japan blog , Japan Links, idle twitterings  and GitStuff )
In case you forget, the rules.

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#14 2018-09-03 06:59:19

orcrist
Member
From: Dachau, Bayern
Registered: 2015-12-31
Posts: 6

Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

Thanks a lot johnraff. I had already looked at the file you had said in the first time but the first 47 lines are empty so I had thought there is nothing in it! But today I bothered looking further and finally found it.

Now to cut the long story short and for anyone who might be interested:

Compose Key (release it) - a - ", for ä
Compose Key (release it) - o - ", for ö
Compose Key (release it) - u - ", for ü
Compose Key (release it) - s (double pressed), for ß
Compose Key (release it) - , - ", for „
Compose Key (release it) - > - ", for ”

I am very happy that I have finally found the solution. Thanks a lot 10,000 times!

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#15 2018-09-04 06:06:57

johnraff
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From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 4,677
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Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

orcrist wrote:

I had already looked at the file you had said in the first time but the first 47 lines are empty so I had thought there is nothing in it!

Yes, I did the same. roll


John
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( a boring Japan blog , Japan Links, idle twitterings  and GitStuff )
In case you forget, the rules.

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#16 2018-09-04 20:38:15

hhh
That's easy!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 6,106
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Re: (SOLVED) Special German characters on US keyboard

johnraff wrote:
orcrist wrote:

I had already looked at the file you had said in the first time but the first 47 lines are empty so I had thought there is nothing in it!

Yes, I did the same. roll

Lol!

wags finger and grins slyly You... you...

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