Writing in French
Here are some ways to type accents in Linux:
If you use a lot of accents, the simplest way to type them is with the US-International or UK-Extended keyboard. You just need to select this keyboard in your System Settings, and then you can use it as described here.
Character Map (Ubuntu)
Go to Menu > Accessories > Character Map and click the necessary character.
Character Palette (Ubuntu 10.04)
- Right-click on the top bar
- Click "Add to Panel”
- Select and add “Character Palette"
The small arrow on the left will give a choice of palettes which you can modify to contain any accented letter or other character. Left-click a character, then hold down Control Key and type V to insert it at the cursor position.
Choose an unused key (e.g., the Windows key) to be the Compose Key, then you can hold it down and type e` to get è, or a” to get ä. The combinations are pretty intuitive.
Where to specify the Compose Key changes from system to system, for example,
- SuSE: Control Center > Accessibility Options > Keyboard Properties > Options > Compose Key
- Ubuntu 8.04 (Gnome desktop): Ubuntu menu > Settings > Preferences > Keyboard > Layouts > Layout Options > Compose Key Position
- Ubuntu 8.10 to 10.04 (Gnome): System > Preferences > Keyboard > Layouts > (Layout) Options > Compose Key Position
These instructions were provided to me by Linux users. If there are mistakes or omissions, please let me know.