Enter special characters
You can enter and view thousands of characters from most of the world’s writing systems, even those not found on your keyboard. This page lists some different ways you can enter special characters.
GNOME comes with a character map application that allows you to find and insert unusual characters, including emoji, by browsing character categories or searching for keywords.
You can launch Characters from the Activities overview.
A compose key is a special key that allows you to press multiple keys in a row to get a special character. For example, to type the accented letter é, you can press compose then ' then e.
Keyboards don’t have specific compose keys. Instead, you can define one of the existing keys on your keyboard as a compose key.
You need to have Tweaks installed on your computer to change this setting.
Define a compose key
Open the Activities overview and start typing Tweaks.
Click Tweaks to open the application.
Click the Keyboard & Mouse tab.
Click Disabled next to the Compose Key setting.
Turn the switch on in the dialog and pick the keyboard shortcut you want to use.
Tick the checkbox of the key that you want to set as the Compose key.
Close the dialog.
Close the Tweaks window.
You can type many common characters using the compose key, for example:
Press compose then ' then a letter to place an acute accent over that letter, such as é.
Press compose then ` (back tick) then a letter to place a grave accent over that letter, such as è.
Press compose then " then a letter to place an umlaut over that letter, such as ë.
Press compose then - then a letter to place a macron over that letter, such as ē.
For more compose key sequences, see.
You can enter any Unicode character using only your keyboard with the numeric code point of the character. Every character is identified by a four-character code point. To find the code point for a character, look it up in the Characters application. The code point is the four characters after U+.
To enter a character by its code point, press Ctrl+Shift+U, then type the four-character code and press Space or Enter. If you often use characters that you can’t easily access with other methods, you might find it useful to memorize the code point for those characters so you can enter them quickly.
You can make your keyboard behave like the keyboard for another language, regardless of the letters printed on the keys. You can even easily switch between different keyboard layouts using an icon in the top bar. To learn how, see.
An Input Method expands the previous methods by allowing to enter characters not only with keyboard but also any input devices. For instance you could enter characters with a mouse using a gesture method, or enter Japanese characters using a Latin keyboard.
To choose an input method, right-click over a text widget, and in the menu Input Method, choose an input method you want to use. There is no default input method provided, so refer to the input methods documentation to see how to use them.