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As a work-environment optimization, I'd like to switch the numbers and symbols at the top of the keyboard, so that when you press them you'd get the symbol by default and the digit when you hold down shift.

I have achieved this alone easily with Xmodmap.

TWIST: After working with this for a short period of time, I realized that I want alt+key to still send the number (with alt). So:

 Traditional     Sends     I want
           5         5          %
     shift+5         %          5
       alt+5     alt+5      alt+5

I think that maybe the path to do this is through xkb settings, but I haven't been able to figure that out. Has anyone done this already, or have any advice?

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I wanted the alt+n for my window manager, but I'm already thinking of giving up and just making my window manager use alt+!, alt+@, alt+#, etc. – awwaiid Mar 16 '11 at 13:15
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Well so far I haven't figured out how to do what I originally wanted. Instead I ended up configuring individual applications that expect alt+n to accept alt+symbol.

Here is a write up on the configurations for swapping number and symbol keyboard keys for my setup.

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