[Scribus] US keyboard layout, but with German Umlaute

Craig Ringer craig
Fri Jan 4 19:08:00 CET 2008

claas kuhnen wrote:
> Hi all
> I found a mac tool which allows to mape ae, oe, ue, and ss onto a,o,u, and s
> with pressing the alt key in addition.
> a = a
> shift a = A
> alt a = AE
> Howvever I did not find such a tool for windows xp. does anybody here have a
> suggestion?
> Because I am working on a US macbook I want to stick to the printed key
> layout while mapping the extra characters (Umlaute)
> to selected keys.

Dead keys might do what you want. If so, switch to the "US 
International" / "United States-International" keyboard layout in the 
"Regional and Language options" control panel. It might be somewhere 
slightly different under XP - maybe keyboard?

Anyway, using the US International layout will delay the effect of the ' 
and " keys (among others) to let them be combined with other keys. To 
get the original keys you have to press space after them, eg quote-space 
for a quote. With dead keys you can type 'a to get ? , `a to get ?, etc. 
The dead " and ' keys take some getting used to, but you'll soon find 
that you type as fast with them as before. It helps that if there's no 
valid combination what you typed gets input exactly - so, for example, 
if I type 's I just get 's .

The US International layout also switches the right alt key to a compose 
key (you'll often see this referred to as AltGR), very much like what 
you're talking about. For example I can type ? by hitting right-alt-s 
and many others are similarly intuitive, including common "utility" 
symbols like ? (right-alt-c).

Unfortunately Windows doesn't offer you much control over dead keys & 
compose keys. You can't use just dead keys or just compose keys; you get 
both or nothing, and they're entirely tied up in the keyboard layout so 
you can't turn them on or off for different layouts. Still, the US 
International layout does an OK job, and you can hotkey switch to the 
default one if you run into a program that can't cope. I haven't needed 
to yet, and in fact disabled the hotkey since I'd trigger it 
accidentally and start typing with spurious spaces like " this" .

By the way, Mac OS X has built-in dead keys & compose keys, so I'm a bit 
confused about why you needed a 3rd party utility.

The layouts will not be the same with the stock US International layout. 
For example, right-alt-a under Windows is ? not ? . This could be 
annoying. Many are the same, though. ? is right-alt-n on Windows and 
option-n on Mac OS X, for example.

There's some information here that could help if you find that you want 
to try to get things more consistent:


As a final note, Scribus may not play properly with dead keys & compose 
sequences when editing directly on the canvas, as there have been some 
issues there related to specific configurations. It'll certainly behave 
in the story editor.

Craig Ringer

More information about the scribus mailing list