Type Accents: Linux

Typing French accents
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Here are some ways to type accents in Linux:

International Keyboard

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)

  1. Right-click on the top bar
  2. Click "Add to Panel”
  3. 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.

Compose Key

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,

  • KDE
  • 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

 À noter

These instructions were provided to me by Linux users. If there are mistakes or omissions, please let me know.

 Don’t use Linux?

Type French accents in any operating system

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French accents

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2 Responses

  1. AndyB 22 October 2017 / 1:56

    Here’s a comprehensive list. For accented letters, you can type the either the accent or the letter first. Typing the accent first is a good habit because it will make your life easier if you ever switch to an international keyboard with “dead” keys.

    1. [Compose] `a = à (grave)
    2. [Compose] `A = À (grave with capital letter)
    3. [Compose] ‘e = é, etc. (aigu)
    4. [Compose] ^o = ô, etc. (circonflexe)
    5. [Compose] ,c = ç (cédille)
    6. [Compose] “i = ï (tréma)
    7. [Compose] oe = œ
    8. [Compose] <> = »

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