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Old 02-25-2010, 10:42 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2010
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Special Characters - need for critical thinking class

I know how to insert the special character keys by way of the menu in open office however i am a shortcut type of guy. i like my alt-x,c,v,t etc. i am taking a critical thinking class / philosophy and the teach' starts busting out down arrows and diagonal arrows to map arguements..

clicking menu, then blah blah finding the symbol and before i know it class is over... no good enough

i see the codes like U + A0F5 or whatever and i can't get that to enter anything into document. i tried to read help before i bug you people but I can't get anything other than accented letter help.

how do i enter the codes on the keyboard?
how do i bind custom key combos for specific symbols?
Old 02-25-2010, 11:24 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 87

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A quick google search brings up the following links:

Also, some characters will be auto-replaced, like (c), (r), 1/2. This isn't as handy as MS or Apple software, perhaps it will be changed in the future.
Old 02-25-2010, 11:43 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2004
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Do you know of a way to bind those key mappings system wide? For example I have a US Keyboard layout so shift+4 gives me $. Can I bind ctrl+shift+4 to give me and have it work system wide?
Old 02-26-2010, 09:22 AM   #4
Registered: Jun 2009
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Sorry, but I don't. Maybe look for a good keymap? I've never needed to type a lot of special characters, maybe someone else on the forum knows how to set it up like you want.
Old 02-26-2010, 06:58 PM   #5
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You might be able to use the compose key. You can find out general information on that in this site's wiki. The list of combinations is at


This can be copied to $HOME/.XCompose and modified, and then that new table will be used instead of the built-in one. For example, you could add a line like

<Multi_key> <minus> <greater> : "→" U2192

and then you can use "Compose - >" to insert "→"

This will only work if you are using XIM for input. If you are using Gnome, then the default input module is GIM: googling will tell you how to switch (I've forgotten!).

Alternatively, set something like "AltGr ." using xmodmap (see man file) or even by altering /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/us or whatever keyboard drive you are using.
Old 02-28-2010, 02:39 AM   #6
Registered: Oct 2009
Location: Federal Way, WA
Distribution: openSUSE 11.4 x86_64, openSuSE 12.1, Fedora 15
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You could also try xbindkeys which binds keystroke combos into x. Info here:


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