On Arch Linux that currently has the mix of KDE 4/Plasma 5.

As a Web Developer I need to enter some Unicode Characters into Chrome for testing. I do not have a consistent set of character that I need to enter because, as an American, I usually have trouble convincing other people (my boss) that Unicode is worth paying attention to. I'd prefer to have a visual tool that allows me to select characters, without navigating to a website.

What tool can I use to do this? being that arch is minimalist is there any software I need to install that I might not have yet (don't assume that some thing that normally ships with KDE or Xorg is installed)?

  • 1
    I don't have kde around but usually you can Ctrl+Shift+u+2197+enter. If you see arrow then it works. – jimmij Aug 12 '15 at 14:11
  • ctrl+shift+u does not work for me, and how do you remember all those numbers. – ctrl-alt-delor Aug 12 '15 at 14:16
  • it appears I have to keep holding down ctrl+shift, but when it inserts it it also leaves the u2197 in the text area... so I'd have to delete that. – xenoterracide Aug 12 '15 at 14:58
  • There are many different input methods, depending on your prefered compromise between convenience (maximized by pressing a key with a label, but you can't get thousands of characters that way) and generality (maximized by typing the codepoint number, but it's hard to memorize; maximized by Gucharmap/Kcharselect but you have to hunt and click). What do you want? – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 12 '15 at 22:47
  • @Gilles for me personally, it's usually about testing software I'm developing. This means I usually don't need the full gammut of characters, because usually fixing one wide character bug will fix the others. At the same time there is some need for variety in testing. The hunt and click option is probably the best, I don't have to type these characters frequently (thus don't have an identified subset), and I don't want to generally spend time going to a website if I don't have to find their codes. – xenoterracide Aug 12 '15 at 23:05

I enabled the compose key, on my keyboard, it can be set to one of several rarely used keys.

Then you can type:

“hello” using «compose» «<» «"» hello «compose» «<» «"»,
… using «compose» «.» «.»
☺ using «compose» «:» «)»
♯ using «compose» «#» «#»
≠ using «compose» «/» «=»
≈ using «compose» «~» «~»
x⁶ using x «compose» «^» «6»
0°C using 0 «compose» «o» «o» C
ä using «compose» «a» «"»

etc. There are a load of pre configured combination, and you can add your own in the configuration file.

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    and how does one enable the compose key? and how does one find these preconfigured combinations? – xenoterracide Aug 12 '15 at 15:00
  • In the version of kde that I have, you enable by system settings → Input devices → Advanced → Compose key position. – ctrl-alt-delor Aug 12 '15 at 15:16
  • The config file in my directory is called ~/.Xcompose you may have to read the manual for Xcompose. – ctrl-alt-delor Aug 12 '15 at 15:19
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    I think ~/.XCompose is for custom additions. At the top of mine, it has include "%L", which imports the default Compose file for my locale. For me, that is at /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose. I suspect that if you don't have a file at ~/.XCompose, it'll just use the default configuration. – Sparhawk Sep 13 '15 at 10:15

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