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Thread: Possible to change behaviour of the "^" key?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Possible to change behaviour of the "^" key?

    Hello,

    I'm coming from (or dual-booting) Win 7 and trying to get into Ubuntu since last night, so i'm completely newbie.

    Overall it seems quite neat, of course i need to build a basic understanding first but i think i'll figure that out over time via trial and error..

    Though i ran into a more or less annoying issue while chatting.

    My first question (and yes, i know its a ridicoulus one) is, if it's possible to change the behaviour of the "^" key so that it appears twice if pressing it twice instead of having to press it four times.

    I'd be thankful for help and looking forward to becoming part of this (as far as experienced/read in various forums) friendly and competent community


    enaecore


    PS: I hope i'm in the right section, i didn't really know where to post this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Re: Possible to change behaviour of the "^" key?

    That sounds like your keyboard has been configuered so that ^ is a dead key. This means that when you hit it once nothing happens, when you hit it followed by a character that can have an accent circonflexe you get that character with the accent (ô, ĵ, ê et cetera). To type the character itself you have to hit it twice, to type it twice you need to hit it four times. This gives some details on dead key behaviour.

    To solve your problem you can change your keyboard layout. Note that there are alternatives to dead keys, which I find easier to use (but that's just me).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Re: Possible to change behaviour of the "^" key?

    Thanks for your answer, i will look for those different layouts as soon as i'm at home. What do you mean by alternatives? Simply another key/-combination?

  4. #4
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    Re: Possible to change behaviour of the "^" key?

    My favorite is the compose key.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Austin, Texas, USA
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    Re: Possible to change behaviour of the "^" key?

    Quote Originally Posted by Impavidus View Post
    My favorite is the compose key.
    Some more information on using the compose key is in this thread.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Re: Possible to change behaviour of the "^" key?

    After reading those pages (if i understand right) i don't think they actually fit my issue.
    The ComposeKey is used to create special characters by typing certain keys after pressing/holding a certain key/key-combination (like CTRL+AltGr followed by eg. 123), or did i get it wrong? That actually seems to me being a higher effort than just pressing "^" multiple times.

    Maybe you got me wrong, what i want is to get "^^" by pressing "^" twice.

    In Windows it is a dead key as well but it triggers itself, by what i mean the appearance of the first "^" is triggered by the second press, following that, the second press reveals the second "^".
    Any way to set it that way? If not or not without going too deep, i'll be fine without it since i don't want to mess around with my system as a complete newbie yet.
    (oh and btw, the keyboard layout is german)

    nonetheless, thanks for your help so far!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: Possible to change behaviour of the "^" key?

    The idea behind the compose key is that you can type something line compose,^,g to get ĝ, instead of the sequence ^,g to get the same letter (red denoting dead keys), so that you can turn the ^ key into the ^, allowing you to type ^^ with just ^^. This saves some keystrokes when typing the isolated characters, but requires some extra typing when you need the accents. What's best depends on the amount of accents you need. In german you need quite a lot of Umlauts of course, but maybe those umlauted characters are already present on your keyboard layout.

    It may also be possible to configure your keyboard such that typing shift+^ produces ^ and shift+AltGr+^ produces ^, or something similar, to have the dead key and the live key both available. Shift+{^,^} would give ^^, shift+AltGr+^,h would give ĥ, the expected result with dead keys.

    I don't know of a way making it work the same way as windows, although I'm not really familiar with the internals of accent handling in keyboard input.

    Dead keys, compose sequences, the windows way of handling dead keys etc. all have their advantages and disadvantages, I think.

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