Compose key (windows) special characters
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Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 4060
Location: East Coast, West Coast? I know it's one of them.
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To create non standard characters with the keyboard compose/windows key plus keys combination, try this:

:: Code ::
# for left win/compose key:
setxkbmap -option compose:lwin
#for right win/compose key:
setxkbmap -option compose:rwin

Then test to see if it's working ( any one that works means they will all work probably):

win key then ` then a should result in: à
win key then o then a: å
win key then a then e: æ
win key then ' then o: ó
win key then < then <: «

and so on.

If it did, then set this to always be present in your x user session.

Check to see if you have either ~/.xinitrc, ~/.xsession in your home directory. If you have one of them, add the command, if you have none of them, just do:

echo "setxkbmap -option compose:lwin" > ~/.xinitrc

This will make the command run each time you log into your user x session on your desktop.

Thanks to for this. Note that I had this issue because I'd been using KDE, which had a built in selection to trigger that, but when KDE became so unstable and unusable with the 5.x plasma desktop series, I had to move to XFCE4, which is by the way a lovely lighter weight desktop.

List of compose key combinations. Alternate list of compose key combinations.
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