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I am writing in three languages and when translating some text I have to frequently switch between two of them in a given moment.

For example, for 15 minutes I have to switch between 1 and 2 every 30 seconds. For the next 15 minutes, I have to switch between 1 and 3. And at last, between 2 and 3.

The current "cycling" logic is not convenient, because I have to think about the current and the needed layout.

Maybe something like Caps+1 , Caps+2, Caps+3 will be ok, but I can not configure KDE in this way.

Am I missing something?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Your use case is strange enough that no one bothered to build an interface or configuration to accomodate you. However, you can macgyver something by setting up three different global key shortcuts to the following program:

#!/usr/bin/env perl
use 5.010; use strict; use warnings FATAL=>'all';
use Getopt::Long qw(GetOptions); use autodie qw(:all);
use Pod::Usage qw(pod2usage);

GetOptions(
    'layout=s@' => \my @layouts,
    'help|?'    => \my $help,
    'man'       => \my $man,
) or pod2usage(2);
pod2usage(1) if $help;
pod2usage(-verbose => 2) if $man;
pod2usage unless 2 == @layouts;

my $xkb_identifier = qr'[\w_:()]+';
my ($current_layout)
= qx'setxkbmap -print'
=~ /xkb_symbols   { include "$xkb_identifier[+]($xkb_identifier)/ms;

die "Layout '$current_layout' is active, but can only switch from: @layouts\n"
    unless $current_layout ~~ @layouts;

system 'setxkbmap', grep $current_layout ne $_, @layouts;

__END__

=head1 NAME

switchxkbmap - switch between two layouts

=head1 SYNOPSIS

    switchxkbmap -l xkb_identifier -l xkb_identifier
    switchxkbmap -l hr -l fr
    switchxkbmap -l 'de(nodeadkeys)' -l 'ru(phonetic)'

=head2 Options

    --layout, -l    (mandatory, twice) xkb identifier of a layout
    --help          brief help message
    --man           full documentation

=head1 OPTIONS

All options can be abbreviated, see L<Getopt::Long/Case and abbreviations>.

=over

=item --layout

Mandatory, option must be given twice. The value is an xkb identifier such as
C<hr> or C<de(nodeadkeys)>.

=item --help

Print a brief help message and exits.

=item --man

Prints the manual page and exits.

=back

=head1 DESCRIPTION

C<switchxkbmap> switches between exactly two layouts given as command-line
arguments. For example, to switch between Croatian and French, run

    switchxkbmap -l hr -l fr

If Croatian is currently active, French will be activated and vice versa.

Or to switch between German and Russian with specific variants:

    switchxkbmap --layout='de(nodeadkeys)' --layout='ru(phonetic)'

The program will abort if the current active layout does not match one
of the given layouts because it would not know to which one to switch to.

The exact names of layouts and variants can be found out by running the KDE3
Control Centre module C<kcmshell keyboard_layout> or by inspecting the files
under F</usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols>.

=head1 AUTHOR

C<daxim@cpan.org>

=head1 LICENCE

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy
of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal
in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights
to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicence, and/or sell
copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

This permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions
of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM,
OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN
THE SOFTWARE.
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KDE has settings for EVERYTHING. And yes, it even has special settings for your case.

Keyboard KDE Control Module ⇨ Layouts. Check Spare Layouts. Make 1 of your languages spare, and the other 2 ... not spare. Now you have those 2 languages on Alt+Shift, and if you need to access the other one, right click on the Keyboard Layout icon in system tray, select that language, and it replaces one of those 2. So now you have language 1 and 3 on Alt+Shift.

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