can't you use deadkeys in LyX on Mac? 

You might also want to try changing the keyboard layout to US International:


"If you use the US International - PC keyboard layout, you instantly get the 
fast way of entering the letters with diacritics!

Go to System Preferences » Language & Text » Input Sources. Check the US 
International - PC
 input method in the list of Input Methods. (If you also use other Input
 Methods, uncheck the others or select the US International - PC method 
as the current Input Method.)

Now you can use the fastest way of entering these characters.
For á, é, í, ó, ú: press ' and directly after that, the vowel.For à, è, ì, ò, 
ù: press ` and directly after that, the vowel. (Note
 that ` is slightly different slightly different from ' ... on my 
keyboard, it is located right of the left-side Shift key.)For ä, ë, ï, ö, ü: 
press " and directly after that, the vowel.For ã, ñ, õ: press ˜ and directly 
after that, the letter. 

NOTE: Setting your keyboard layout to US International - PC 
could change the location of some other  symbols if you ordered your Mac
 with an other-than-International keyboard. In my case, everything was 
still where it should be, but check this and experiment a little with it
 and find out what best suits your needs."

> To: lyx-users@lists.lyx.org
> From: nos...@lisse.na
> Subject: Re: frage
> Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:29:33 +0100
> I also write on and off German language texts, and though I have a
> German Mac keyboard as spare at home and will connect it if I write
> something long, I really would like to be able to easily/quickly
> type the German Umlaute in lower and Upper case on the standard (US)
> keybopard.
> Alt-s is helpful, but I can't find the others.
> ERT is not only Evil, it also takes 4-5 Keystrokes for the price of
> one :-)-O
> Any ideas, perhaps for assignments to key combinations?
> greetings, el
> on 2014-08-19, 21:09 David L. Johnson said the following:
> > On 08/19/2014 10:33 AM, Stephan Witt wrote:
> >> Am 19.08.2014 um 16:08 schrieb Volker Steinbach
> >> <steine...@gmail.com>:
> >>
> >>> no joke : i wanted to know if there is a cheap solution tothe
> >>> problem : in german, we had a character called 'eszet' or sharp
> >>> s.  it looks almost like a greek beta.  i wondered if there is a
> >>> latex sign (beginning with \) that prints it.  i remember thirty
> >>> years ago i could use \3 for it !  thats it.
> >> And you don't have a keyboard with an "ß" ?
> >>
> >> In case you're using LyX you shouldn't have a problem to get it
> >> printed after you successfully typed it.  Ok, there are some
> >> problematic languages, but with german I don't know any.
> > Try \ss, making it "TeX mode", or what we call ERT.
> > 

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