Now, here is where it gets interesting. GTK overrides the default input for the X server and provides it’s own set of compose key sequences. This is nice for consistency, but the default configuration for the X server may provide compose sequences for characters that are not supported by GTK. Additionally, the X compose feature is configurable: you can add new sequences for characters you want to use. This is very convenient. It is possible to use the default X input method in GTK apps, but you lose the ability to input arbitrary unicode characters. If you prefer to use the default X input method, you can accomplish this by adding a line to your
You can also change this for a single app by entering the same thing on the command line in a terminal app and then launching the desired application from the same terminal. Now you will be able to use compose sequences such as Compose + #e to get a musical eighth note like this: ♪. You can also add your own compose key sequences by editing
/usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose. Personally, I think having a powerful, configurable compose key is more valuable than arbitrary unicode input, but I’m still looking for a way to have both.