Tagg’s 2010 Multilingual Keyboard
produced using KbdEdit software
Updated 2012-04-02

 

What’s the point of this keyboard?   Dead keys and what they do
   • Reassignment of keys   • Anomalies      
Personal Alt Gr key map   Downloading and essential software  
•  Diacritic graphemes overview  (smartphone size)


Top  What’s the use of this keyboard?

From one single keyboard layout I can produce all the following characters and symbols without having to change font.

–– HOVER OVER ANY COLOURED CHARACTER TO DISCOVER ITS OPERATIVE DEAD KEY COMBINATION ––

Aa Áá Àà Ââ Ää Åå Ãã Ăă Āā Ąą Ææ ª  Bb  Cc Ćć Čč Çç
Dd Ðð Ďď   Ee Éé Èè Êê Ëë Ěê Ĕĕ Ēē Ėė
Ęę  Ff  Gg Ğğ Ģģ  Hh  
Ii Íí Ìì Îî Ïï Ĭĭ Įį İı Īī  Kk Ķķ  Ll Ĺĺ Łł Ŀŀ Ļļ  Mm μ  Nn Ńń Ǹǹ Ňň Ññ Ņņ
Oo Óó Òò Ôô Öö Õõ Ŏŏ Őő Øø Œœ º  Qq  Rr Ŕŕ Řř  Ss Śś Šš Şş ß  
Tt Ťť Ţţ ™  Uu Úú Ùù Ûû Üü Űű Ůů Ūū Ųų  Vv  Ww Ẃẃ Ẁẁ Ŵŵ Ẅẅ 
Xx  Yy Ýý Ỳỳ Ŷŷ Ÿÿ  Zz Źź Žž Żż    
. , : ; …  • *  ' " ‘ ’ “ ” « » 
´ ` ^ ¨ °  ~  ! ¡ ? ¿ ( ) [ ] { } < >- – — _  / \ | 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  
¹ ² ³
 ¼ ½ ¾ + - × ÷ = ≈ ≠ ± ¬  ∞ ‰ ¦ % # @
$ ¤ ¢ € £ ¥
§ † ‡ ¶ © ®  ♯ ♭ → ↑ ↓ ↘ ↗  

Hover the cursor over any of the orange-coloured characters to find out which key combination produces it.

Click here to see directly which key combination produces the diacritic grapheme you need.

With this keyboard layout I can produce the correct graphemes for any European language whose script is based on roman letters. These languages include Catalan, Czech (á č ď é ě í ň ó ř š ť ú ů ý ž), Danish (å æ ø), Dutch, English, Estonian (ä ö ü õ), Finnish (ä ö), French (à â ç é è ê ë î ô ù û), Gaelic (Scottish or Irish), German (ä ö ü ß), Hungarian (ö ő ű), Icelandic (ð ø þ), Italian (à è é ì ò ù), Latvian (č ē ģ ī ķ ļ ņ š ū ž), Lithuanian (ą č ę ė į š ų ū ž), Norwegian (å æ ø), Polish (ą ć ę ł ń ś ź ż), Portuguese (ã â ç ê õ), Romanian (ă ş ţ), Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish (á é í ñ ó ú), Swedish (å ä ö), Turkish (ç ğ İ ı ş) and Welsh (ŵ ŷ). Please note that digraphs (e.g. Slovenian dž and nj) have each to be typed as  separate letters. However, the layout described here does include ♭ ♯.

This is all useful if you need  to mention Antonín Dvořák,  an E♭ alto sax, Bohuslav Martinů, or to quote Slavoj Žižek’s ruminations on Rasa Kaušiūtė’s performance of a Eurovision song in Łódź. It’s also useful if you want to settle your account with Dŵr Cymru, or write about something in F♯ minor, or if you want to distinguish between a rising fourth (e.g. f♯↗b) and a falling fifth (f♯↘b), or avoid calling Herr Åström Astrom, or writing lecon instead of leçon.  The keyboard layout presented here lets you type the right characters for all European languages based on the Latin alphabet and to enter a few musical (♭ ♯ ), mathematical (+ - × ÷ < > = ± ≈ ¬) and financial characters ($ € £ ¥ ¢). It also lets you author correctly edited books (see here) that use proper quotes (‘ ’ or “ ” or « » instead of " " or ' '), Em and En dashes (—, –), bullets (•), elipses (…), section signs (§) and suchlike. 
This keyboard layout can also be used to full advantage with the font taggdings.ttf which gives you keyboard access to another 200 symbols and characters.

Although I've personalised an Alt Gr key for my own use when editing text, all characters shown in the AltGr layout near the end of this page can be generated using the keyboard's six dead keys (explanation soon).  In fact, those dead keys help produce many times more characters than AltGr can on its own. Besides, AltGr keystrokes can cause all sorts of unforeseen problems when using  popular software like Adobe Photoshop. In short, I’ve found it best to keep character expansion and repertoire to dead key combinations.

Top  Dead keys

Six dead keys (highlighted below and explained after the keyboard map) are used in Tagg’s 2010 Multilingual keyboard. They are: ´ (acute accent),  ` (grave accent), ^ (circumflex accent), ¨  (Umlaut or diaeresis), º (degree sign/ring), and ~ (tilde). These dead keys are located as follows on a US laptop computer keyboard. The characters added in rectangles  exemplify what can be generated using which dead keys.
Dead keys on US keyboard

When a  dead key is pressed your computer waits for input from a second keystroke.  For example, pressing the tilde key (
~) produces nothing on its own, but ~ will generate ã if the next key you press is a, ñ if ~ is followed by n,  ç if followed by c and so on, as long as the second keystroke is set up to be combined with the ~ (see overview of tilde dead key combinations).

Please note that:
[1] A dead key followed by space produces the dead key character on its own.
[2] A dead key followed by a key not designated for combination produces the dead key followed by that second character. For example,
^z  results in ž and the combination ^e in ê but ^ j just produces ^j.

Top  Re-assignment of keys
~  (tilde), ` (grave) and ^ (circumflex) all have designated positions on UK and US computer keyboards but the three other dead keys —´ (acute), ¨ (Umlaut) and ° (degrees sign) — do not. This means that the 3½ characters (+ = ¬ ¦) ousted by the three dead keys ¨ ´ ° ` must be produced differently. 
Grave / ring key  ° ` dead Circumflex key ^ dead
6 normal
Acute / Umlaut key ¨ ´ dead Tilde key ~ dead
# normal
To produce
type this
To produce
type this
+
++ (¨¨)
=
== (´´)
¬
´ (=) then ° (|)
¦
´ (=) then `
`
` then space
~
~ then space
´
´ (=) then space
¨
¨ (+) then space
°
° (|) then space
^
^ then space

Top  Dead key combinations

Top 1.  ´ (acute accent) is assigned to the equals key (=).  Apart from  generating  Á á Ć ć  É é Í í Ń ń Ó ó Ŕ ŕ Ś ś Ú ú Ẃ ẃ Ý ý Ź ź etc., acute accent combinations produce many other symbols and characters.

Top 2.  ` — grave accent is located in its usual position. Apart from generating À à È è Ì ì Ò ò Ù ù Ẁ ẁ Ỳ ỳ and so on, the grave accent combines to produce slashed letters (e.g. Ðð Łł Øø Þþ).
- Grave + numbers 1- 5 generates £ ¤ £ € ¢ ¥.
- Grave + 7 8 9 0 - generates → ↑ ↓ ↘ ↗

Top 3. ^ — circumflex accent or caret, as usual at Shift-6, aside from generating  â Ê ê Î î Ô ô Û û Ŵ ŵ Ŷ ŷ and so on, is also used for hačeks or carons (Č č Ď ď Ň ň Ř ř Š š Ť ť Ž ž) and for the ligatures Æ æ (^ + Q/q) and Œ/œ (^ + P/p).

Top 4. ¨ — umlaut or diaeresis,  situated as Shift on the += key, does Ä ä Ë ë Ï ï Ö ö Ü ü Ẅ ẅ and Ÿ ÿ. ¨ (Umlaut) followed by s (lower-case  S) produces ß. ¨J and ¨j produces Turkish İ and ı.

Top 5. ~ – tilde is in its correct keyboard position and produces characters featuring a tilde (Ã ã Ñ ñ Õ õ), or a cedilla/ogonek (Ą ą Ç ç Ę ę Ģ ģ Ķ ķ Ļ ļ Ņ ņ Ş ş Ţ ţ Ų ų), or Hungarian long vowels (Ő ő Ű ű).

Top 6. ° — the degree sign is in the position of ¬ and is used to produce any character featuring a ring (Å å Ů ů © ®) or a breve (short sign: Ă ă Ĕ ĕ Ğ ğ, Ĭ ĭ Ŏ ŏ) or a dot (Ŀ ŀ Ż ż).  


Top  Dead key combination anomalies

The more dead keys, the more characters can be produced, but that means more characters have to be reassigned from their normal position on the keyboard. It would have been ideal to have separate dead keys for cedilla (ç etc.), ogonek (ę etc.), breve (ă etc.), double acute (ő etc.), caron (č etc.), dot (ż etc.), slash (ø etc.) and ligature (æ etc.), as well as for ´ `^¨~ and ° but that could not be done without radically altering the traditional keyboard layout. Avoiding that problem in turn necessitated the combination of several diacritical signs under one set of dead key combinations, for example circumflex, hačeks and ligatures all under ^. To minimise user confusion I’ve tried to ensure some logic in these hybrid dead key combinations. Unfortunately, trying to fit several diacritical glyphs into one dead key combination set resulted in some anomalies, especially for glyphs combining with A or O. If there was no room left on the vowel in question for a particular glyph it was assigned to a neighbouring free consonant key, usually from A to Q, from E to F,  and from O to P. Here’s a list of those anomalies.
Character = keystroke
Why?
Character = keystroke
Why?
Ă  is °Q
°A  is already Å
Ņ  is ~M
~N is already Ñ
Ą  is ~Q  
~A  is already Ã
Ő   is ~P
~O is already Õ
Æ  is ^Q
^A  is already Â
Ø  is `P
`O  is already Ò
Ā is `Q
`A  is already À
Œ  is ^P
^O  is already Ô
Ě   is ^F
^E  is already Ê
Ū  is `K
`U is already Ù, `J is İ
Ē   is `F
`E is already È
Ų  is ~J
~U is already Ű, ~K is Ķ
İ/ı is ¨J/¨j
¨I   is already Ï    


Top  Alt Gr map

The Alt-Gr key, just to the right of the spacebar, is not a dead key:  you have to press another key at the same time (not after, as with dead keys) in order to produce anything. Computers usually assign Alt-Gr combinations  numerical values that are identical to those produced by pressing Alt-Cntrl in combination with a third key. Such key combinations are often used as keyboard shortcuts to perform specific operations (e.g. Alt-Cntrl-Del), especially in applications, for example Alt-F in Word or Photoshop to bring up the File menu, in other software to do a Find (search). Some such combinations even close down the software without saving your work or delete chunks what you just did. It is for these reasons that I've largely abandoned Alt-Gr as a means of generating characters. Of course you can change keyboards when using Word, Photosop and so on, but I think that defeats the point of using one single layout for virtually everything you do at the computer. The only Alt-Gr combinations used in the keyboard layout explained are listed here (and I'll probably get rid of most of these in due course):
  ¡ ¥ £ ¢ €   ↑ ¶ ⇄ × – +        ¹ ² ³ ¼ ½ ¾ § † « » — ×  
~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ +      ` 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 - =
 
  + “ ”  …  ≈   Ñ  Ç É ¿        + ‘ ’ •  ñ  ç é à 
  P { }  :  "   N  < > ?        p [ ] ;  n  , . /
    

All these and all other characters are produced through dead-key combinations (especially those using the acute accent).  


Top  Software essentials (KbdEdit) and download

There´s no point in downloading the keyboard: [a] if you don´t really need it; [b] if you don´t want to spend €5 on the cheapest variant of the software essential to installation of this keyboard configuration.

The keyboard layout presented above was created using a reliable, professional, user-friendly, bug-free and reasonably priced UNICODE-based piece of software called KbdEdit, written and distributed by Ivica Nicolic in Dublin (visit www.kbdedit.com for more info). To create all the dead key combinations I needed the full version (20€) of KbdEdit but there’s a Lite version for €12 and a Player only version for €5. Anyone else linguistically eclectic or plain mad enough to want to use the keyboard layout presented on this page will need to download at least the Player version of KbdEdit (€5).

I've uploaded this 2010 layout to a *.kbe file (3k) on this site but it will be of no use to you if you can’t open it using the KbdEdit software. I  strongly recommend KbdEdit  to anyone needing to produce characters other than ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ 0123456789 etc. Iva Nicolic has much better and more radical solutions than mine, providing Full version buyers with such goodies as a Trilingual Serbian Cyrillic / Latin / Greek keyboard, a Multi-Lingual Hindi-US English keyboard, tips about how to disable the Windows key during gaming,  how to map function keys to produce, say, Greek or Cyrillic keys, and a whole host of other useful tools.

DOWNLOAD THE KEYBOARD CONFIGURATION FILE


Top

UK computer keyboard ‘as is’
except for the dead keys (blue on white)
UK Keyboard

Top  Diacritic graphemes: dead key overview

“Å=°A” means Å is produced by pressing ° followed directly by A, “Ă=°Q” that Ă is produced by pressing ° then Q.
N.B.  Lower case letters are produced in the same way, e.g. å is ° then a, ă is ° then q, etc.
—————————— Normal ————————— ———— Anomalous ————
´ ` ^ ¨ ° `/¨ °/¨ ~ ^
Á=´A À=`A Â=^A Ä=¨A Å=°A Ã=~A Ā=`Q Ă=°Q Ą=~Q Æ=^Q
Ć=´C Č=^C Ç=~C
D… Ð=`D Ď=^D
É=´E È=`E Ê=^E Ë=¨E Ĕ=°E Ę=~E Ē=`F
G… Ğ=°G Ģ=~G
Í=´I Ì=`i Î=^I Ï=¨I Ĭ=°I Į=~I İ=¨J ı=¨j Ī=`H
K… Ķ=~K
Ĺ=´L Ł=`l Ŀ=°L
Ń=´N Ǹ=`N Ň=^N Ñ=~N Ņ=~M
Ó=´O Ò=`O Ô=^O Ö=¨O Ŏ=°O Õ=~O Ø=`P Ő=~P Œ=^P
Ŕ=´R Ř=^R
Ś=´S Š=^S ß=¨s Ş=~S
T… Þ=`T Ť=^T Ţ=~T
Ú=´U Ù=`U Û=^U Ü=¨U Ů=°U Ű=~U Ū=`K Ų=~J
Ẃ=´W Ẁ=`W Ŵ=^W Ẅ=Ẅ
Ý=´Y Ỳ=`Y Ŷ=^Y Ÿ=¨Y
Ź=´Z Ž=^Z Ż=¨Z

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