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Compose key on OS X

Adapted from gnarf/osx-compose-key.

What is a compose key?

A "compose" key is an input method used for complex characters. It allows you to press your compose key (I bind mine to right-command on my mac keyboard), and then type something, for instance:

  • [Compose], /, o = ø
  • [Compose], a, e = æ
  • [Compose], ", o = ö

Compose key for multilingual typists

For those that type in multiple languages (that require non-english characters), the compose key can serve an alternative to constantly switching keyboard layouts. The keybindings in this repository cover at least the following languages:

  • Nordic languages
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Catalan

Feel free to submit pull requests for more characters.

Setting up a "Compose Key" in Mac OS X

Install Karabiner for remapping keys support, and download these files into the correct places:

brew cask install karabiner
mkdir -p ~/Library/Application\ Support/Karabiner
curl '' -o ~/Library/Application\ Support/Karabiner/private.xml
mkdir -p ~/Library/KeyBindings
curl '' -o ~/Library/KeyBindings/DefaultKeyBinding.dict

In Karabiner, enable "Send § for Right Command":


Your right command key is now a compose key.

Note: changes to ~/Library/KeyBindings/DefaultKeyBinding.dict require quitting and restarting any apps you want to test them in.


Compose key on OS X




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