Foreign languages

Various solutions exist for writing in foreign languages. The majority of these involve utilizing a combination of AltGr with another key. These methods are compatible with the ADM42 keyboard using the right Alt key.

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


A Compose key, sometimes reffered as multi key, is a key on a computer keyboard that indicates that the following (usually 2 or more) keystrokes trigger the insertion of an alternate character.

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

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

To use this mechanism, a specific software has to be installed and the compose key, technically F19 on the ADM42, has to be declared as such.

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


Simply map F19 as the compose key using a keyboard configuration tool or 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"