Ubuntu – type French accents with US international keyboard

keyboard-layoutspecial characters

I am running Lubuntu on my laptop and would like to write French accents with a US keyboard. I find the compose key solution ([Alt]+[accent] at the same time, followed by a [letter]) not that handy…

On Windows, there is a better solution: switch the keyboard layout to US-international and then type [`] followed by [a] to display [à].
Still on Windows, the software EasyType makes it even easier: press once [e] to get [e], twice [e] to get [é], three times [e] to get [è]…

Is there a way to achieve that on lubuntu? With a script or something?

PS: My keyboard is Vietnamese, but exactly corresponds to the US keyboard.

Best Answer

Use the keyboard layout called English (international with Alt Gr dead keys). (Do this by going to System Settings > Keyboard > Layout settings, and then add the layout you want with the + button on the bottom.)

This way, the keys to input the characters ', ", `, ~, and ^ become "dead keys" while you hold pressed Alt Gr. After releasing the key combination with Alt Gr, no characters will be print (hence "dead"), but inserting a letter afterwards will yield a variation of the base character of the letter, in accordance with the dead key you pressed before; for example, é, ë, è, , and ê for e (respectively). (If you have no explicit Alt Gr key, just use the rightmost Alt key.)

So in summary, to insert a symbol

  1. press and hold Alt Gr,
  2. press the modifier key / key combination; e.g., `,
  3. release all keys pressed so far, and
  4. press the base character key; e.g., E for è.

Note: You can also enter an acute accented vowel by just pressing Alt Gr + (vowel).

(Source: this post on french Ubuntu forums.)