Keyboard Layout for a German International

As you might know, I’m a German in India. And my everyday language is English. But sometimes, I get mail from my friends in Germany, in German, and some of them prefer if I reply to them in German, not in English.

The problem with that is that I don’t like switching keyboard layout, and that I don’t like the German keyboard layout. The German keyboard layout puts []{} in strange places and thus is much less comfortable for programming. But the English keyboard layout doesn’t provide the German characters äöüÄÖÜß and .

Today, I discovered a nice solution for that in KDE. There is a keyboard layout which is the English layout but allows easy typing of all these German characters. It can be easily configured in this way: - Go to start menu, open System Settings - In section Hardware, open Input Devices - In section Keyboard, go to tab Layouts - There, enable Configure layouts, and Add the layout EurKEY (US based layout with european letters). It can also be found under language German, Swiss.

The keys can be typed as follows:

keystroke   character
alt A   ä
alt shift A   Ä
alt O   ö
alt shift O   Ö
alt U   ü
alt shift U   Ü
alt S   ß
alt 5  

This is also a good default setting for companies which are mixed English / German.

Here’s the sequence in pictures:

Written on March 14, 2015