Software and Computer Engineering

Setting Up "English International" Keyboard Layout on XFCE

Windows has support for typing international characters using a regular English keyboard layout with their “English International”.

The “English International” keyboard layout is very useful when you need to type text on your native language -- which in my case is Brazilian Portuguese -- and you want to get the diacritics all correct without having to fully switch the keyboard layout (which may not even support all the keys of your physical one).

Similar support can be configured on any Linux using the XFCE4 display manager. Here are the steps necessary:

1. Open the “Keyboard” preferences within the “Settings” panel, then navigate to the “Layout” tab.

Keyboard preferences window

2. Uncheck “Use system defaults”.

3. Click “Add” below the “Keyboard Layout” list.

4. In the tree view, open the “English (US)” category, then select “English (US, alt. intl.)” and click “OK”.

Adding English International layout in

5. Optional: If you'd like, set up a key combination on “Change layout option” so that you can switch between the keyboard layouts without going to this window.

6. Bonus: Setting up “ç” and “Ç” for Brazilian Portuguese typing.

Create or append the following contents to the “.XCompose” file on your home directory: ~/.XCompose

<dead_acute> <C> : "Ç" Ccedilla
<dead_acute> <c> : "ç" ccedilla