Foreign Languages

Various solutions exist for writing in foreign languages or inserting symbols. Many of these utilize the AltGr in combination with another key or a specific sequence. These methods are fully compatible with the ADM42 keyboard, utilizing the right Alt key.

However, as explained in detail below, the ADM42 offers a conveniently positioned Compose key that could better fulfill this objective.


A Compose key, sometimes referred as multi key, is a key on a computer keyboard that signals to the system that the subsequent (usually 2 or more) keystrokes will insert an alternate character.

Traditionally used for diacritics, the Compose key can now insert any Unicode character, providing a versatile solution for users.

Example of compositions (keys have to be typed sequentially):

  • Compose ' e → é
  • Compose ` e → è
  • Compose ` a → à
  • Compose ? ? → ¿
  • Compose ~ n → ñ
  • Compose < = → ≤
  • Compose < < → «
  • Compose : ) → ☺

To use this mechanism, a specific software has to be installed and the compose key, by default F19 on the ADM42, has to be declared as such. The compose key can changed to be Right Alt in System Layer.

The compose mechanism is configurable and custom (including shorter) sequences can be defined.

Language Optimized XCompose Files

In the sections below we provide some language optimized compose files containing one-key shortcuts for all the common composition used in these specific languages and a few ADM42 tweaks. These shortcuts are extremely convenient and greatly improve the composition experience.

See below for Spanish, French, Italian or German.

In these files, all the system default compositions that start with these shortcuts are disabled in order to avoid sequence conflicts and delays. They can be used with XCompose and all compatible systems.


  • Compose aá
  • Compose AÁ
  • Compose eé
  • Compose EÉ
  • Compose ií
  • Compose IÍ
  • Compose oó
  • Compose OÓ
  • Compose uú
  • Compose UÚ
  • Compose nñ
  • Compose NÑ
  • Compose ?¿

XCompose file for Spanish


  • Compose aà
  • Compose AÀ
  • Compose eé
  • Compose EÉ
  • Compose iï
  • Compose IÏ
  • Compose oô
  • Compose OÔ
  • Compose uù
  • Compose UÙ
  • Compose cç
  • Compose CÇ
  • Compose Tab aâ
  • Compose Tab eê
  • Compose Tab iî
  • Compose Tab oô
  • Compose Tab uû

XCompose file for French


  • Compose aà
  • Compose AÀ
  • Compose eè
  • Compose EÈ
  • Compose iì
  • Compose IÌ
  • Compose oò
  • Compose OÒ
  • Compose uù
  • Compose UÙ

XCompose file for Italian


  • Compose a -> ä
  • Compose A -> Ä
  • Compose o -> ö
  • Compose O -> Ö
  • Compose u -> ü
  • Compose U -> Ü
  • Compose s -> ß
  • Compose S ->

XCompose file for German

Linux Setup

To enable XCompose, simply map F19 as the compose key by adding the commands below to your startup script.

export GTK_IM_MODULE="ibus"
export QT_IM_MODULE="ibus"
export XMODIFIERS="@im=ibus"
xmodmap -e "keycode 197 = Multi_key"