Character shortcuts

Polytropon freebsd at
Sat Mar 12 22:13:25 UTC 2011

On Sat, 12 Mar 2011 15:57:31 -0600, Antonio Olivares <olivares14031 at> wrote:
> Thanks Frank & Polytropon for your input.  I have students that bug me
> with how to put the characters on their responses to their instructors
> on the web pages via email.  I tell them to open OpenOffice and insert
> Special Character and then select the n with the tilde for the Spanish
> work. 

That's a workaround, but unhandy for text production.

> But they wanted an easier way sort of the way BILL GATES OS has
> it. 

You mean... easy like memorizing arbitrary numbers? :-)

> And I told them I would ask so they could do it also in FreeBSD
> and Linux land. 

It's no big deal.

> One student told me that it mattered which ISO Header
> were used?  ISO 8*? but I told him you gotta be kidding me. 

There are the ISO character sets ISO-8859-x. For example,
the standard german ISO set is 8859-1, Poland prefers -2,
if I remember correctly, and there are others. If you're
already encoding stuff in Unicode / UTF-8, all the characters
from the different sets should be in there.

For example, I'm currently using the german ISO set. But I
can enter ñ (tilde n), Ł (compose shift+L shift+7) or
€ (AltGr+E). So that doesn't seem to matter. Everything that
is needed is a key combination for that character (or a
similar way to input it per keyboard), and it has to be
displayable by the respective font. How it gets transmitted
is part of the encoding line, either ISO or UTF.

> There
> has to be an easier way.  The keyboards are standard US all using
> English keyboards.

With the default keyboard mapping of X?

> I know how to do it in \LaTeX{} or \TeX{},
> \~n, \'

Correct. This method makes the document source readable and
editable on ANY localization, e. g. Gr"u"se (where "u is
short for \"{u}, and "s for \ss{}).

> but it does not matter for me, it is for them.  They have to write to
> their spanish instructors in dual enrollment credit.  I tell them then
> to open another page with the special letter and highlight them and
> copy+paste them and they boo my answer :(

What happens if they just press the sequence tilde n? A ñ
should appear, given the requirement that pressing ~ alone
does NOT generate a ~ character. I assume that the generic
101 key layout for US should have many non-US characters
mapped to a different level (Alt, Alt+Shift maybe), such
as the characters I presented are not part of the regular
german character set.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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