On Sunday 21 March 2004 03:49 am, Gerard Seibert wrote:
> On Saturday, March 20, 2004 7:39:14 PM Kent Stewart <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> 
> |>Message: 38
> |>Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2004 16:37:50 -0800
> |>From: Kent Stewart <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> |>Subject: Re: special characters, ie spanish accents
> |>Cc: chip <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> |>Message-ID: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> |>Content-Type: text/plain;  charset="iso-8859-1"
> |>
> |>On Saturday 20 March 2004 03:46 pm, chip wrote:
> |>> How do I get the special characters to work, which work in MS
> |>> Windoze using the conbination of right-alt+4digit code? I need to
> |>> be able to use certain accents and characters found in spanish
> |>> writing. I am using FBSD-5.1 with XFCE window manager.
> |>> Thanks,
> |>> Chip
> |>
> |>I use kde-3.2.1, which allows you to set the
> |>regional and accessability > keyboard layouts. I use the es Spanish
> |>option. You don't have to do the terrible alt+keypad sequence..
> |> There are a lot of people that have used xdb to do the same thing.
> |> Do an archive search.
> |>
> |>BTW, you can do the same thing with W2K or XP. You choose the
> |> keyboard layout and you hold the right <alt><shift> down to
> |> switch. If you do a web search on keyboard layouts and go to the
> |> Microsoft site, you can grab images of the keyboard.
> |>
> |>Kent
> |>
> |>---
> |>Kent Stewart
> |>Richland, WA
> |>
> |>http://users.owt.com/kstewart/index.html
> ********** Reply Separator **********
> Sunday, March 21, 2004 6:43:35 AM
> I have no intentions of starting an argument, however I do seriously
> disagree with your assessment that using the <ALT>+<NUM-KEYBOARD>
> sequence is terrible. I find it to be a very ingenious and quick way
> to insert characters without going through he hassle of changing
> keyboard assignments, etc. This becomes even more important when
> there is the possibility that others may be using the same computer
> and are not aware that changes have been made to the system.
> Well that is my 2 {<alt><155>} worth.

It isn't something to argue about. What you are the most comfortable 
with is always the best way. I used the <alt><keypad> sequence for a 
number of years. I didn't make a real effort to switch to something 
else until I found that the <alt><keypad> sequence was not being 
interpreted on all computers as the same character.

I take a document sent from a Mac OS/X machine and convert it into html. 
The Mac bullets became a  on my FreeBSD system. Finding a sequence to 
make sed batch convert them into html bullets was interesting :).

If you are only going to add a few characters, your <alt><keypad> may be 
the most efficient. I have to press 2 at the same time and then press 2 
keys to get the special character. You are ahead at this point because 
I am going to have to press 2 more at the same time to switch back. If 
we are writing a paragraph or so, I will be ahead on keystrokes at the 
2nd special character. Speed wise, I may be ahead regardless since 
everything keeps my hands in the home key position.

If you are just starting out, it is a function of what makes you 
proficient with the least effort. Having to only memorize 10 
<alt><keypad> characters instead of 30 is a different matter. 

Have you ever used a keyboard layout with dead keys? For the Spanish 
acute's, you press the apostrophy and then the key you want to acute. 
You don't even have to take your hands away from the home positions to 
type them. The quote is also a dead key for characters such as , 
another one for , and etc. If you press a dead key and the space bar, 
you get the original character.

There is also an English International layout that gives you many of the 
dead keys and you still see the original layout for English keyboards. 
I think the right <alt> adds a number of characters to your choices. 
You have to memorize where they are on the keyboard. I really hate to 
memorize something when I have an intuitive choice with the dead keys. 

If I was starting over, this would have probably been my first choice 
for an alternate keyboard layout. Getting me to switch to this, at this 
point, would be as difficult as getting you to drop the <alt><keypad> 
sequences. It goes into my category of fixing something that isn't 

When you use layouts, you haven't really modified your keyboard but have 
added an additional one to your choices. You have to do something 
physical to switch from one to the other.

The xdb route gives you something like <alt>e for  and etc. I think it 
is the best choice but have been too lazy to change my keyboard 
assignment. You have a number of intuitive choices and not as much to 
memorize as you do with the <alt> keypad sequences.

If you use something like Adobe's GoLive to maintain html, it will 
switch your dead key typed  into &acute; and leave your html as 
something other computers recognize as an acute. It doesn't do this 
with the <alt><keypad> characters.

BTW, your  is a really good example because it is not available on 
either of the layouts that I use.


Kent Stewart
Richland, WA

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