Composition allows users to create new characters by combining multiple existing characters in a specific sequence. It is a generic mechanism that can be used on any keyboards and for any foreign languages. Learn more on Wikipedia.

The layout of the ADM42 has been designed to provide a Compose key (technically AltGr) at a very convenient position.

Example of compositions, all keys have to be typed sequentially:

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

The compose mechanism is configurable and custom sequences can be defined.


First check if AltGr is not already the compose key (it may be the default). If it isn't, set the compose key to AltGr with the keyboard configuration tool provided by your desktop environment.

In case you have to do it manually (and your are using ibus), use this in one of your startup scripts:

export GTK_IM_MODULE="ibus"
export QT_IM_MODULE="ibus"
export XMODIFIERS="@im=ibus"
setxkbmap -option compose:ralt