Jeremy Sands

Res publica non dominetur

How to type special characters easily in KDE

One of the niftier but lesser known features it Windows is the ability to use Alt Code Sequences to type special characters, such as accented letters.   Anybody who has done work in a foreign language on a computer knows the value of having this functionality.   Good news … KDE allows you to do this but even easier and more intuitive than the cumbersome Windows “Alt + 130” style.   Here’s how:

Go into KDE System Settings.   Go to Input Devices.  With Keyboard selected on the left, choose the advanced tab on the right.   Under “Compose key position”, select which key you want to use as the equivalent of the Windows alt key.   I recommend using the Left Win key.   After selecting your desired key, Apply the changes.

Now you can type special characters by holding your Compose Key, then typing the relevant sequence.   Some examples:

?? = ¿
!! = ¡
‘e = é
‘a = á
‘i = í
‘o = ó
‘u = ú
~n = ñ
(c = ©
(r = ®

A full list of these sequences can be found here.