[TriLUG] Compose key (or "How do I make that funky character?")

Kevin Otte nivex at nivex.net
Tue Jun 19 14:27:44 EDT 2007

In a previous thread someone asked how to make an accented character.  I
thought I'd throw a quick tutorial out here.  These directions are for
GNOME, so they should work in the latest Ubuntu, RHEL, etc.

Main Menu -> System -> Preferences -> Keyboard
Go to the "Layout Options" tab
Expand the "Compose key position"
Check the desired box.

Now when in nearly any app, press (not hold) the compose key, then type a
digraph.  Digraphs are two key sequences that represent the symbol you want. 
Some examples:

ó = o'
ü = u"
° = 0^
¿ = ??
ß = ss

The full list of digraphs can be found at:

Another tutorial I found in this vein:

If you are running an older distro, you may run into encoding issues,
especially in your terminal emulators.  You'll want to make sure you are set
up for UTF-8 across the board.

Kevin Otte, N8VNR
nivex at nivex.net


"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." 
-- George Santayana

"It seems no one reads Santayana anymore."
-- Cdr. Susan Ivanova, Babylon 5

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