Diacritic marks

How can I enable the diacritic marks?

OrangeSuse wrote:
> How can I enable the diacritic marks?

in emails? in a browser? look in each program’s font setup section…i
use “Western ISO-8859-1” and get all i need, i do not know what you
will need…what language are you not getting the right marks in, and
what ISO do you now have set?

maybe if you say someone here will know what you should use…


Your question i indeed vague. Can you read the following:
meeëten, etagère, überhaupt.

Or do you mean, how do I enter these characters using the keyboard?

OrangeSuse wrote:

> How can I enable the diacritic marks?

You mean how to input ä, ë… in a US-layout keyboard? :-?



Yeah, I wan’t to write that. I can’t do that now. Not in e-mails nor FF or a texteditor.

Do a search on this forum or the Net on how to activate the Compose Key in the Desktop Properties. It’s usually mapped to Right-Alt but I prefer to use the Win key, thus using a normally useless key. After you have mapped it, you can then enter ö as Compose, ", o; € as Compose, =, C and so forth.

OrangeSuse wrote:

> Yeah, I wan’t to write that. I can’t do that now. Not in e-mails nor FF
> or a texteditor.

Not sure (I’m using Spanish keyboard layout), but try pressing ‘"’ (quote
mark) and then the desired vowel to get the diacritic sign, as wikipedia


That should work while using an US-Intl. layout, though…



Hm, it is a bit difficult how I did it and there may be a more user friendly way of doing this.

The tool *xmodmap * tells the X-server how to interprete your key-strokes (see the manpage). Doing

xmod -pk

shows all the keys each with up to six (nowhere reached in the list) results. The six mean: key, shift-key, etc. Example:

     25         0x0077 (w)      0x0057 (W)

means: pressing the key with keycode 25 means a w and pressing shift with 25 this means a W (in this case we hope that the key with the W on it is the key that generates 25 :slight_smile: )

To get a compose key I made the following:

    109         0xffe4 (Control_R)      0xff20 (Multi_key)

to let key with code 109 (the right Ctrl key) be defined that it should be the Multi_key when hit together with shift.
You can use other combinations, I would suggest to take an unused one. In my list I also find:

    116         0xffec (Super_R)        0xff20 (Multi_key)

thus doing shift-Super_R will achieve the same, though I do not know what my Super_R key is (am I dumb).

What happens when you type Multi-key in this way? It will make a lot of keys so call “dead keys” which means that when you type them, nothing will happen until you type the next key, then a combination of the two keys will be generated. So for é the sequence is:
Shift-ControlR ’ e
A lot of dead keys are working in this way:
’ (single quote) for é É ú …
` (back quote, upper left) for À ì …
~ (tilde) for õ ñ
^ for Ô â ⁰ (surprise)
1 for ½ ¼
, for ç Ş
s for ß
And may be more that I did not found.

You have to get used to typing the extra combination (which one yuo may have chosen) but I after a while it goes automatic.

Now how do you change the entry with xmodmap? I must admit that I more or less have forgotten this. As a start it is for sure that I made a backup by saving the current situation into a file

xmodmap -pk >savexmodmap

I think just doing
xmodmap -e “109 0xffe4 (Control_R) 0xff20 (Multi_key)”
might do the trick. But check first if the resulting xmodmap looks allright.


Ken_yaps’ solution is of course much easier. I have KDE 5.3 ad using Desktop Configuration > Regio en togankelijkheid > Toetsenbordindeling (I guess youu have the dutch version there) brings you a list with “key Compose key position” at the top. But as I see it, you can only switch it on, not define where it is.

I suggest you first search in the forums with the keywords ken_yap gives.

Sorry, wrong terminology - diacritics are used in languages like Hebrew whose alphabets lack vowels to represent the vowels or in phonetic scripts.

Pretty well all accented characters are in the Unicode sequence somewhere; the problem is that most fonts only cover a limited number of them and you cannot be sure that the recipient of your email will have a font installed that can represent the character.

However, in KDE there is no problem producing the available characters anywhere that you want if you install the relevant keyboard with Configure Settings>Regional>Language.

What the relevant keyboard is will depend on what accented characters you want to use on a regular basis.

Either list the most common accents you want to produce here or experiment until you find the correct keyboard for you.

The only reliable way to ensure that any accented characters reach the recipient in the form you entered them is to use PDFs.

Diacritic is the accepted terminology for things like cedillas, grave and acute accents, umlauts, etc.

Diacritic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coffee is like Linux, only cool people use it. Tea is like Windows, only losers use it.


OI!!! OrangeSuse, you have just insulted most of the population of the UK, Ireland, China, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand etc. ie, most of the world’s population. Coffee drinkers IME are like ADHD children, tea drinkers are altogether nicer people.
Also, btw, have you ever been to a Linux convention? Many LINUX users have a lot of admirable qualities, but “cool” is rarely one of them. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyhow, I sometimes, even whilst drinking my tea, need to write in French, usually a short forum post etc, I do not wish to re-map my keyboard, or even to install a FR keyboard layout, as they use an AZERTY layout and I would be lost if the keys produced different letters to those printed on them. I looked at the wiki page suggested above, which blithely told me i should use AltGR + to generate accented characters.

Some interesting results from my UK/British English KB…


é = AltGr + ; + e
ê = AltGr + ’ + e
è = AltGr + # + e
ç = AltGr + + + e (ie Altgr and the plus sign followed by the letter)
ö = AltGr + + o
€ = AltGr + 4

ñ = Altgr + ] + n (bizarrely enough, not the tilde key!)

I found these by trial and error, I don’t know where I would find a complete or canonical list of these, and I guess they differ according to which regional KB layout you have installed, I suggest you have some fun with a text program and experiment, I dare say you can find some weird and wonderful characters!

Thank you, it worked for me.

Configurationcentrum > Toetsenbord > Indelingen

" Terugzetten naar standaaardinstellingen"
Afterthat "Indelingsopties >Bij Indelingsopties > Samensteltoets

I’ve the Dutch version, I think this will be in English

Configurationcentre > Keyboard > layouts

“Reset to basicsettings”
After that "Layoutoptions > Compose Keys.


Most people in Holland prefer Coffee above tea,

But I prefer tea. Maybe because I am from the non Holland part of the Netherlands rotfl!