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US keyboard with non intrusive easy accents

I'm always using a US keyboard. However, I still often need to write french text with those keyboards, hence needing accents. Of course, I don't like when what's written on the keyboard doesn't match what it does :-)

On classical linux, there is an international version of the US layout. However, it modifies "standard" behaviour; i.e., if you want to do a double quote, you need to press it twice because in this intl layout, it is, by default, a dead key. Same applies for a couple of other symbols, such as the simple quote or tilde. So, I've made a custom version of the US layout, providing easy access to accent through alt-gr (both with dead keys and common accents in french), but without modifying standard behaviour of keys.

It's partly based on us-intl, with deadkeys removed from default bindings, and the following bindings added (mainly):

  • altgr-` : dead grave accent
  • altgr-' : dead acute accent
  • altgr-^ : dead circonflex accent
  • altgr-" : dead diaresis
  • altgr-a : à
  • altgr-e : é
  • altgr-c : ç
  • altgr-u : ù

Using setxkbmap, you need to copy the attached file "us-custom" file to /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols and then just do:

    setxkbmap us-custom

Otherwise, with xmodmap, just get the attached file and run:

    xmodmap us-modmap

(I think xmodmap is supposed to be deprecated ; xmodmap version might not work with recent versions of ubuntu. Both mapping are slightly different but the main shortcuts are the same)

Pierre Palatin,
Aug 12, 2012, 2:42 PM
Pierre Palatin,
Aug 12, 2011, 12:50 PM