The Living Thing / Notebooks :

EZ Typography

Mostly: emdashes for bloggers

NB: You will need to re-enable the compose key on modern ubuntu.

TODO: make this a table.

TODO: which things apply to US-English keyboards?

Dashes and spacers

en dash, –
⎇ - (Mac)
Compose - - . (Gnome)
em dash, —

⎇ _ (Mac)

Compose - - - (Gnome)
Ellipsis, …

⎇ ; (Mac)

Compose .. (Gnome)

Quotes, apostrophes

opening single curly quote, ‘

⎇ + ] (Mac)

Compose + < ' (Gnome)
AltGr + 9 (Any X?)
Closing single curly quote ( ’ )

⎇ + } (Mac)

Compose + > ' (Gnome)
AltGr + 0 (Any X?)
Opening double curly quote ( “ )

Alt + [ (Mac)

Compose + < " (Gnome)
Closing double curly quote

⎇ + { (Mac)

Compose + > " (Gnome)
Opening low quote „
Compose + , " (Ubuntu)


Bonus time: Where is the compose key?

Using ubuntu? The traditional instructions about compose keys, don’t work any more per default. Nor does the ISO_Level3_Shift method, aka AltGr.

You can re-enable Compose using gnome-tweaks

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

Then launch Tweaks 1. Go to Keyboard & Mouse. 2. Choose something other than disabled for the Compose Key option.

I set Compose to be Capslock because, like hundreds of millions of computer users, I have never pressed the capslock key deliberately to get capital letters and it seems unlikely that this will change. This all means that e.g I now type ü as Capslock+" u and as Capslock + < ". Which is reasonably mnemonic if you look at a US keyboard layout.

You can also enable ISO_Level3_Shift method .

Launch GNOME Tweaks

  1. Go to Keyboard & Mouse
  2. Click on Additional Layout Options
  3. Expand Miscellaneous compatibility options, check Enable extra typographic characters

Or you could memorize some 4-digit unicode code points. That would be a great use of your brief and precious time on this sweet, sweet earth.



Emoji are built-in via Emoji picker (right click), although AFAICT only on system dialogues, which excludes, e.g. the text editors where you especially need this stuff.

There’s also Character Map and Characters, two more-or-less interchangeable apps to find and type characters for you. Characters is nicer-lookin’ but has awful search, whereas Character Map has merely bad search.


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