gwalla (gwalla) wrote,

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Unicode keyboard now available: Smiley faces! Chess pieces! Obscure letters! And more!!!!1

Well, I've compiled my "Unicode keyboard". I've made a few changes since I presented an earlier draft: the B key was filled with B-with-topbar, the "reversed question mark" was removed (not the Spanish inverted one; that's still there),  "L With Middle Dot" was replaced with lambda, the AltGr+/ dead key was replaced with a simple fraction slash, and several characters (planetary and astrological symbols, card suits, etc.) were added to the backslash and pipe dead keys.

Unfortunately, a couple of changes seem to have been made for me: when compiling, it seems that MS KLC dumped a few of my dead keys. Fortunately, none were super-important, but still, it's annoying. AltGr+1 (roman numerals) was one of the ones that died. The others were AltGr+shift+space, which I was using for additional kinds of spaces, and AltGr+&, which I was using for some oddball stuff ("care of" symbol, "place of interest sign"/command key symbol, and a few others). The irritating part is that it didn't just drop the dead-key character lists, it actually left those key combos unassigned, so now trying to type them will make Windows beep at you.

(The instructions & such may seem familiar; they're copy-pasted from my previous keyboard postings, just altered to reflect this particular keymap)

This assumes a Windows XP system. Steps 1-3 are probably the same one all Windows systems, but I'm not sure how the Control Panel is arranged on pre-XP versions.
  1. Download from this link
  2. Open the zip file (with WinZip, or whatever you've got)
  3. Double-click on kbdUni.exe and hit "OK" (this installs the DLL so Windows can see it)
  4. Open the Control Panel, and go to Date, Time, Language, & Regional Options. There, open the Regional and Language Options control panel.
  5. Click on the Languages tab and then the Details button under "Text services and input languages"
  6. In "Installed services", under English, click on Keyboard and then click "Add"
  7. Make sure "Input language" says "English (United States)". Check the box for "Keyboard layout/IME", select "US Unicode" from the pull-down menu, and click OK.
The "unshifted" and "shift key" shift states are identical to the standard US-ASCII keymap, so it doesn't get in the way of your normal typing. The only difference is that shift spacebar, instead of being identical to unshifted space, is "hair space" (a very narrow space).

The keymap in the AltGr (right alt or ctrl alt) shift state:

And in the "AltGr+Shift" shift state:

The diacritics in the AltGr shift states are combining diacritics: you type them after the letter you want to apply them to—this is the opposite order from the dead-key-based Latin-1 keymap, but probably more intuitive, and more flexible as well: you can add as many diacritics as you like to a character.

Whenever possible, if a character comes in a case pair (has lowercase and uppercase versions), the shift state reflects this. Not all do, though.

I'll list the characters here, because it can be kind of tough to make them out in some cases. If only one character name is given, it's lowercase for AltGr and uppercase for AltGr+Shift. Otherwise, the first character listed by a key is reached by AltGr and the second by AltGr+Shift. Some explanations are given in parenthesis.

Numbers row:
`: combining Grave accent; combining Tilde
1: <NOT ASSIGNED>; inverted exclamation point (Spanish)
2: trademark; registered trademark
3: pound; euro
4: cent sign; yen
5: permille (per thousand); permyriad (per ten thousand)
6: combining Caron/Hacek; combining Circumflex
7: combining Rhotic hook; <NOT ASSIGNED>
8: infinity; dagger
9: combining Macron accent; combining Breve accent
0: combining Ring Above; combining Inverted Breve
-: en dash; em dash
=: equals sign (dead key: mathematical relations); plus sign (dead key: mathematical operators and misc. math)

Top row:
Q: O-slash
W: wynn (Old English equivalent to "w")
E: open e/epsilon
R: smallcaps R; Old Norse yr
T: thorn (Icelandic/Old Norse/Old English character for "th")
Y: psi
U: latin letter OU (used in Algonquin)
I: latin letter OI (pan-Turkic latin alphabets)
O: OE ligature
P: pi
[: left single guillemet (angle quatation mark); left double guillemet (chevron quotation mark)
]: right single guillemet (angle quotation mark); right double guillemet (chevron quotation mark)
\: backslash (dead key: single arrows & symbols); broken pipe (dead key: double arrows and symbols)

Middle row:
A: ash (ae ligature)
S: esh
D: eth (Icelandic/Old English character for voiced "th")
F: phi
G: yogh (Middle English "gh")
H: hwair (Gothic "hw")
J: ezh
K: kra (Greenlandic); glottal stop
L: lambda
;: combining Diæresis/Umlaut; combining Dot Above
': combining Acute Accent; combining Double Acute

Bottom row:
Z: long s (archaic German non-final small s); sharp S (German ess-zet, long s small s ligature)
X: schwa
C: combining Cedilla; copyright sign
V: upsilon
B: B with topbar
N: eng (velar N, like "ing")
M: micro sign; minim (or Scorpio sign)
,: combining Comma Below; combining Comma Above
.: combining Ogonek; combining Hook
/: fraction slash; inverted question mark

Spacebar: non-breaking space (dead key: spacing equivalents of diacritics, misc.); <NOT ASSIGNED>
Decimal point (number pad period): middle dot; figure dash

Technically, the rhotic hook (AltGr+7) is not a combining character, it's a modifier letter, but it's always attached to a preceding letter so it may as well be a diacritic.The dead keys provide extra characters (mostly symbols) that don't fit elsewhere. Hit the dead key combination and then another key to get the additional characters:

AltGr+space: spacing characters
  • any combining diacritic: spacing equivalent of the diacritic (mostly from Spacing Modifier Charatcers, but some from elsewhere)
  • hyphen: dictionary hyphenation point [‧]
  • P: pilcrow (paragraph symbol) [¶]
  • lowercase a and o: Spanish feminine and masculine ordinals (respectively) [ª º]
  • 1, 2, and 3: superscript equivalents [¹ ² ³]
  • 0 (number zero): degree sign [°]
  • tilde (non-combining): swung dash [⁓]
  • lowercase s: section sign [§]
  • semicolon: reversed semicolon [⁏]
  • 8: two asterisks stacked vertically []
  • asterisk: asterism (three asterisks in a triangle) []
  • infinity (AltGr 8): reference mark []
  • dagger (AltGr *): double dagger []
  • space: non-breaking space

AltGr+backslash: single arrows and symbols
  • numbers: basic arrows. This is intended for use with the number pad with numlock on. Each number gives an arrow pointing in the same direction on the numpad (2 is down, 6 right, etc.). 5 is a two-headed left-right arrow [], 0 is a counterclockwise circular arrow []
  • period/decimal point: clockwise circular arrow []
  • equals sign: left arrow over right arrow []
  • slash: left-down corner arrow []
  • asterisk: down-right corner arrow []
  • backslash: paired up and down arrows []
  • pipe: two-headed up-down arrow []
  • lowercase z: downward zigzag arrow []
  • parentheses: waning and waxing crescent moon symbols [☾ ☽]
  • M v e m j s u n p: planet symbols (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) [☿ ♀ ♁ ♂ ♃ ♄ ♅ ♆ ♇]. Venus and Mars are also the male and female symbols.
  • A T G C L V l S c Q P : astrological signs (Aires,  Taurus,  Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Saggitarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces) [♈ ♉ ♊ ♋ ♌ ♍ ♎ ♐ ♑ ♒ ♓]. Scorpio is AltGr M
  • Tilde: hot beverage symbol [] (should look like a teacup with steam)
  • Exclamation point: Emergency sign []
AltGr+pipe (shift backslash): double arrows and game symbols
  • numbers: thick (double stem) arrows. Same arrangement as with AltGr backslash, but no 0
  • pipe: two-headed thick up-down arrow []
  • k q r b n p: chess pieces (king, queen, rook, bishop, knight, pawn). Lowercase is white, uppercase is black [♔♕♖♗♘♙ ♚♛♜♝♞♟]
  • s h d c: playing card suits (spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs). Lowercase is natural colors (black spades/clubs, "red" (white) hearts/diamonds), uppercase is reversed colors. [♠♡♢♣ ♤♥♦♧]
  • Tilde: hot springs symbol (Japanese onsen mark) []
  • Parentheses: frowny and happy faces [☹ ☺]
  • Space: broken pipe [ ¦ ]
AltGr+equals: mathematical comparisons
  • tilde (non-combining): approximately equal to []
  • slash: not equal to []
  • less than, greater than: less than or equal to, greater than or equal to [≤ ≥]
  • lowercase e, uppercase e: member of the set of, not a member of the set of [∈ ∉]
  • lowercase schwa, uppercase schwa: contains, does not contain [∋ ∌]
  • square brackets: left and right single arrows [← →]
  • curly brackets: left and right double arrows [⇐ ⇒]
AltGr+plus (shift+equals): mathematical operators
  • hyphen: minus sign [−]
  • underscore: plus or minus sign [±]
  • lowercase x: multiplication (cross product) sign [×]
  • slash: division sign [÷]
  • asterisk: multiplication (dor product) sign [⋅]
  • ampersand: and operator [⋀]
  • pipe: or operator [⋁]
  • exclamation point: not sign [¬]
  • fraction slash (AltGr slash): division slash [ ⁄ ]

I hope somebody finds this useful.

I also hope it's gotten keymap-tinkering out of my system for a while.
Tags: keyboards, keymaps

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