Entering special characters the same way on Windows and Linux

ctrlshiftu followed by the hex value of a Unicode character enters that character. For example, ctrlshiftu41 enters ‘A’, whose value is 0x41 in hex and 65 in decimal.

There’s also the compose key, which lets you enter digraphs (e.g. compose keye^ produces ‘ê’).

Unfortunately, neither of these works similarly to alt codes in Windows (where alt65 produces ‘A’). As a result, it’s challenging to develop muscle memory.

Is there a solution to this?

Asked By: glibg10b


You could install a Compose Key utility on your Windows system. That’s my preferred approach as I can create the same custom key combinations on my Linux-based and Windows platforms.

My preferred solution used to be AllChars (Sourceforge) but as it no longer works reliably on Windows 10 et seq, I moved to WinCompose (README) about six months ago.

As this is a Windows solution rather than a Linux/UNIX one I’ll not go into more detail here, but suffice to say it works very well.

Answered By: roaima

If the ability to enter a limited set of accented characters satisfies your needs and you are OK with the US keyboard layout, there is a method that is common to Linux and Windows: the US International keyboard layout. With this layout you enter accented characters directly using the right Alt key as an extra shift key. This is of course not a general solution for entering any Unicode character, since it only supports a fixed set of characters.

Answered By: Johan Myréen