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Curly Turkey

Joined 27 December 2005
This user is no longer active on Wikipedia.
Thanksgiving episode of Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland

Multi-language input setup

I often have to input diacritics and other characters (more off-Wiki than on), so I have my computer set up to handle these things.

I'm a Linux guy, and prefer Debian. I'm sure there are methods similar to the following for Windows or Mac, but I don't know them. As I live in Japan, I use a Japanese keyboard; most of the keys are the same as on an American keyboard, but some puctuation marks are in different places, and there's a button for switching between Roman and Japanese input. For Japanese input I use kkc with Fcitx.

To input diacritics, I have made my Insert key into a Compose key—the Compose key is common on European keyboards. To do this, I have added the line keysym Insert = Multi_key to my ~/.xmodmap file and run $ xmodmap ~/.xmodmap at startup. Of course, this could be done with any other key on the keyboard I don't use. The Compose key makes input of diacritics a snap—for example:

  • Compose + ' + e = é (great for French)
  • Compose + " + o = ö (great for German)
  • Compose + - + a = ā (great for Japanese)
  • Compose + a + e = æ (great for words like encyclopædia, though you won't get away with this on Wikipædia)
  • Compose + - + - + - = — (an emdash—I love these)
  • Compose + - + - + . = – (an endash—used on Wikipædia for date ranges: 1899–1943)

I'm always discovering new uses for the Compose key. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to support IPA, which I use all the time off-Wiki (and sometimes on-Wiki), I don't know an easy method to input IPA characters, so I guess I'm stuck with copy & paste.

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