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In Microsoft Windows, the Hebrew keyboard layout has Hebrew characters in the basic state, English capital letters in Shift state or in Caps Lock state, but if you use Shift when Num Lock is on, you can enter Hebrew Niqqud - diacritical/pronunciation signs: Shift-Num-row-8 is Qamats, Shift-Backslash is Qubuts and so on.

Now, whether you think that's a good layout or not - I'm used to it. And I want it on Linux. In the olden days of XFree86 X11R6 I remember there was a way to mess the xkb to get a Hebrew layout variant that had something similar: SI 1452. But I don't see it mentioned in my Keyboard Layout dialog (XFCE on GNU/Linux Mint 18.2, based on Ubuntu 16.04). And Googling, I seem to only find highly outdated instructions.

What should I do?

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The SI 1452 keyboard layout variant has been adopted as the default layout for Hebrew, so one should be able to type Hebrew characters without changing the layout - but not the way OP is used to.

To type Niqqud, one has to hold down the AltGr key, which is the "Third Level" modifier key, when pressing the appropriate key. Some of these keys correspond to the first letter of the character they produce, e.g. ד ("Daled") for an emphasis mark (which in Hebrew is a דגש, "Dagesh").

See also this more detailed explanation in Hebrew.

  • I could not read the Hebrew at the link, but the keyboard picture and accompanying table there were very helpful. – Paul Lynch May 19 '18 at 22:42
  • @PaulLynch: You could use Google Translate on that page. – einpoklum May 19 '18 at 23:09

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