I'm using

setxkbmap -query layout us,in -variant ,tam

to be able to enter tamil characters. I've not used it before, so I can't find the keys on the keyboard very easily. I've used

xkbcomp /usr/share/X11/xkb/geometry/microsoft - | xkbprint -color -o - - | ps2pdf - > out.pdf

to view a map of the geometry of the keyboard. But I'd like to be able to view the actual unicode symbols on the keys. I see things like <AE00> on the pdf.


In the xkbprint man page, it shows..

-label type Specifies the labels to be printed on keys; legal types are: none, name,code,symbols.

I therefore assume that this should do the trick for you:

xkbcomp /usr/share/X11/xkb/geometry/microsoft - | xkbprint -label symbols -color -o - - | ps2pdf - > out.pdf
  • It gives the following error: Error: XKM file "stdin" doesn't have symbols. Cannot label keys as requested. Exiting – user128063 Feb 28 '17 at 23:47
  • that xkbcomp command only compiles a geometry file, hence the missing symbols. – quixotic Apr 2 '17 at 11:06

I've been playing with xkbprint recently for viewing modified XKB geometries.

  1. Generate a keymap file with setxkbmap -print. Add whatever layout/variant/options you're interested in -- for your case you might use -model microsoft -layout in -variant tam. The -print option shows what would be loaded with the given options but won't change your current settings. You'll probably get nicer output generating one layout at a time rather than using -layout us,in.

  2. Compile that keymap with xkbcomp.

  3. Convert that to a ps/pdf: xkbprint -label symbols foo.xkm - | ps2pdf - > foo.pdf.

All together:

setxkbmap -model microsoft -layout in -variant tam -print | 
  xkbcomp - - | 
  xkbprint -label symbols -color - - | 
  ps2pdf - > foo.pdf 

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