Pierre Palatin random posts.

US keyboard with non intrusive easy accents

Posted at — Sep 26, 2008

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 :-)

This provides a custom US keyboard layout for Linux, using unintrusive deadkeys for accents.

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):

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

    setxkbmap us-custom

Otherwise, with xmodmap, just get the file us-modmap 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)