Typing Characters from a Second Language with Debian-KDE

Goal: I wanted to be able to switch between German and English characters without the use of KDE's character selector, which grows laborious for long passages in a second language.

Enabling the Second Keyboard

Adding Debian locale

dpkg-reconfigure screenshot

Setting keymap to choose second language characters

New language icon on KDE toulbar

Using the Second Keyboard

The second language is now enabled in the system, but there is no way to select its characters from KDE.

How to select the second keymap

Enabling the Second Keyboard with Gnome

On Gnome installations of Debian, first install the locale, as noted above. Then add German as an "input source" in the Keyboard section of the Settings menu as show below.

Set 2nd language
							      as input source

Pick a key, here Right-Alt, as the "compose key."

Rely on compose key for

In order to use the new character, hit the compose key, release it, and then type 'a"' for ä, 'o"' for ö, 'ss' for ß and 'u"' for ü as described at StackExchange. Likely there is a way to use the "3rd-level" shortcut as for KDE, but I have not yet discovered it.

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alison@she-devel.com (Alison Chaiken)