Typing Spanish letters in kde using english default keyboard
Status: New User - Welcome
Joined: 08 May 2005
Posts: 4
Reply Quote
Does anyone know how to write the spanish letters while using sidux running kde?

ie accents, tilde, etc.
Back to top
Status: Assistant
Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 594
Reply Quote
That's a good question, which I also hadn't gotten around to learning yet.

<note: updated response to give actual solution, which I finally got some people to explain to me...>

The actual method that works, as follows - kde create character combinations

Please note: these steps are for kde only, I don't know how it's done in gnome and I don't particularly care to be honest. One day gnome may be a grown up, full featured, window manager, but that day is not today, so I'll focus on kde.

  1. Open up kde control center. [ the k/s button on task bar], select control center.
  2. Select 'Regional & Accessibility
  3. click on keyboard layout
  4. click on the 'Xbd Options' tab, then scroll down the list to: Compose key position. Make sure that Compose Key Position is checked. Now go down and check either right or left Win-key is compose. This will now enable functionality for the windows key, which otherwise isn't used in linux/kde for much.

You have now enabled a key to control the creation of special characters, and you create those by doing the following:

Hit the windows key you selected, right or left one, one time, do not keep it depressed, then use the following combinations, after you release the windows key:

  • ?? =
  • !! =
  • 'e =
  • 'a =
  • 'i =
  • 'o =
  • 'u =
  • `a = and so on...
  • "u =
  • << =
  • >> =
  • ^a =
  • ,c =
  • ~n =
  • (c =
  • (r =

You can find a pretty complete list of these character combinations here.

If you want to learn what this compose key you, if you are like me, have never even heard of before, is, read this wiki thing, which you'll notice gives the opposite order for the keys for kde, which would have really helped confuse you, but both directions seem to work.

I won't bore you with how I finally learned this method, but it's something that advanced linux users consider so basic that it's not even necessary to explain it.

Happily, after plowing through the useless methods, there did turn out to be one really good one, that is in fact better than windows defaults, so that's a nice thing to learn for us.

Anyway, that's how you do it, I won't waste your time with the more arcane options I had to plow through first before the question was actually finally answered, like obscure editing configuration files, using the below methods, none of which are workable at all, especially the deadkeys thing, which is about as user unfriendly a method as any I've come across.

But happily, our good friend kde makes this easy, as usual, hopefully gnome has some comparably easy way to do this, but if not, who cares.

But all is not rosy in linux kde land... what about openoffice.org?
This method doesn't work, because openoffice, along with a few other applications, are not actually controlled by kde, which is too hard to explain the reasons for.

That will require further research. It does however work fine in kword, which is part of koffice, firefox, and thunderbird. But not openoffice.org.

One day desktop distributions are going to realize that this just doesn't cut it, you need full integration, but believe me, it's radically better today than it was 2 years ago in terms of full desktop integration, and it's gettting better almost monthly, literally, but there are still holes, like this one.

I'll see if I can find the ooo method, but for now you can use kword or kate to write in I guess. I did find this, creating special character macros in ooo, but really, I mean... why can't ooo just read the damn input kde gives it? That will work, but it means you have to manually program in each and every character combination with the windows key ilke the article describes. That sucks, and just isn't a good solution, but it may be all you can do for now.

A bad set of options, none of which is of any use to normal humans
There's some options, first you can use the standalone application:

that's just a way to get any character you want to the clipboard, but that's probably not what you want.

This by the way applies to all of kde desktop, not just sidux, so I'll edit your topic header to reflect that.

Alt GR means the same as alt + ctrl by the way, but it doesn't seem to work the way it's supposed to.

For more reading on alt codes

kde, as your default window manager in sidux, has this way to handle accents etc.

:: Quote ::
Start by firing up kcontrol, the KDE control center. Under "Regional & Accessibility", select the submenu for Keyboard Layout. Over on the right hand pane, you'll see a bunch of flags from different countries listed. Click "Enable keyboard layouts" to un-gray these choices. The default is to provide you with "U.S. English". I always add "U.S. English w/deadkeys" to that list. Click the image below to see a full size capture of this dialog....

When you are on the "U.S. English w/deadkeys" layout, you can touch the single quote before entering an "e" and a "e" with an acute accent will appear. Same trick works for the "c" with a cedilla. Now, for an accent grave, use the back quote before the
character and so on.

The grave accent is the back quote while the circumflex accent is your basic Shift-6. Cool? Best of all, I don't have to remember Alt+somedarncode to enter a "" at the end of my name. The only catch is that you have to return the keyboard to normal (U.S. English) before you continue or you'll find that things don't work the way you expect them to. A single or double quote won't enter when you expect it to.

Thanks to this page for the links that answered the question.

Here's another page dedicated to the same question, mac, windows, and linux.

And linuxquestions. org page

:: Quote ::
* Alt Gr + ; applies an acute (forward-leaning) accent to the next vowel: .
* Alt Gr + ' applies a circumflex (hat) accent to the next vovel: .
* Alt Gr + # applies a grave (backward-leaning) accent to the next vowel: .
* Alt Gr + [ applies an umlaut or diaeresis (two dots) to the next vowel: E .
* Alt Gr + ] applies a tilde to the next A, N or O: .
* Alt Gr + = applies a tail under the next C or S: ş Ş
* Alt Gr + shift + [ applies a ring to the next A:

You can check what accent a key produces by pressing it twice.

Other characters are produced using a single keystroke. The diagram below shows the relationship between each key and the characters it produces (top row is shifted):

| ⅛ ⅜ ⅝ ⅞ ˛
| { [ ] } \
` 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 - =

Ω Ł E Ŧ ↑ ı ˚
@ ł e ŧ ← ↓ → " ~
Q W E R T Y U I O P [ ]

Ŋ Ħ J & Ł ˝ ˇ ˘
đ ŋ ħ j ĸ ł ' ^ `
A S D F G H J K L ; ' #

n ˙
< > ` ' N
Z X C V B N M , . /

Retrieved from wikipedia

Back to top
Status: New User - Welcome
Joined: 28 Jun 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Gulf-Coast TX/MX
Reply Quote
You can do all the above methods if you aren't doing a lot of spanish I supose it would be fine. But there's an easier way to accomplish the spanish typing.

You can changed the keyboard map when you want to type spanish and change it back if you like to type english.

There is a keyboard map called "USA International with dead keys" add that to your keyboard layout. With that layout you just type normal when you need the accent such as ' or ~, you just hit that key, nothing will appear on the screen (hince dead keys), until you hit the vowel, which will then place your spanish charactor with the vowel.

If you want the ' or ~ you just hit it twice.

To get your ? upside down hold right alt plus the ? without the shift key. The ! is the same right alt with the ! key without shift.

Here is the full list of charactors it prints.

That sites for windows, but the maping is the same in Linux.
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   

All times are GMT - 8 Hours