How can I use Latin characters on Linux Mint? I've tried the alt key like on Windows but it doesn't work. I've searched and they say that alt doesn't work on Linux like on Windows.

I've tried other keys, but none seems to work.

  • Even on windows that alt-codes varies from code page to code page.. It's kinda silly to try to remember them. You should always use things like US-international, which generally makes more sense. Oct 15, 2015 at 12:58

2 Answers 2


You need to activate the compose key to use that. Go to the keyboard preferences, to the Layouts tab and click on the Options... button.

It will open a new pop up, there you'll have to search for the option Position of the Compose Key and there you have a list of keys that you can enable for that functionality like alt, ctrl, etc.


On Linux the shortcuts don't work like on Windows.

Imagine, if you want to type á you have to press alt + ' + a (assuming that alt is the compose key).

  • Ok Ive done that, but the codes dont work. I cant make the characters
    – Tahir Chak
    Oct 14, 2015 at 19:14
  1. Define a "Compose" key. This is in system settings > keyboard preferences > layouts > options

  2. Set the "compose" key to whatever you want. You might NOT want to use ALT because it is usually useful for other stuff. I set it to the little menu key on the right side of my keyboard, but you could use a windows key or whatever.

  3. To use the compose key, the sequence is this:

    • press the compose key
    • press some letter (for instance, try the E key)
    • press a modifier (for instance, try the ' key)
    • now you have just created a é character!

    Note that this is NOT all of those keys at the same time but in sequence. So to get the é character, or an ñ character, or whatever, I have tapped THREE different keys, one after another: compose, then e, and then '

Or compose, and then n, and then ~

This confused me for a while because on my old OS, the way you did it was option-shift-[some key]. But on Linux, its Compose [release] and then some letter [release] and then another key.

Try it!

More info: http://straightedgelinux.ml/unix/compose/?dir=unix

  • 1
    Thank you. The first solution worked too. I choosed the 2 if i could
    – Tahir Chak
    Oct 15, 2015 at 20:49

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