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For a while, I'd been using the US international layout, but then I had to switch to the German standard layout and am now accustomed to it, and that makes totally sense as thats the language I use the most on the web atm. Sticking to a German layout is also a UX-compatibility for me as I sometimes have to work at PCs with only German layout installed.

Now I increasingly need to be able to conveniently type Spanish and Polish, and am looking for an alternative German layout that would enable this much like the US international layout. The standard German layout already has some French characters, but, sadly, not the Spanish or Polish ones (different sorts of accents + ł, ą, ę in Polish). As I also have to type Cyrillic, I already have two different layouts installed and going for two more would make daily layout switching a mess.

I've heard about Neo, but I'm not sure that learning an entirely different layout is a sane option in my case. Besides, its implementation of "layers" is very similar to switching between multiple different keyboard layouts. Is there an German-based international layout I could use or any other tweak I could use to enable typing of these characters on a German keyboard?

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Assuming you are using Windows. Consider Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=22339) with which you can easily add ñ, ł, and ą, for instance, to your keyboard without sacrificing any existing keys. And even ¢ and € will come in handy.

If you do not feel happy about creating a custom layout, the Czech standard keyboard (https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soubor:Windows_Czech_keyboard_layout.svg) will give you the established QWERTZ layout and support adding the diacritics ˇ, ^, ˘, °, ˛, `, ·, ´, ˝, ¨, and ¸ among others. And it produces ł and Ł.

Comment on multiple layouts: I regularly write in three different languages and I regularly use three different layouts for those languages. I have found that my fingers assume the native layout for each language and there is no need for me to think about where to find each letter.

  • The Czech one indeed sounds promising. Is it possible to produce ñ and ą, ę ? – Dan Oct 9 at 5:57
  • I stand corrected. ñ and Ñ are not producible with the Czech layout, ą and ę are. – Mikko Oct 9 at 6:02
  • As for the latter, it's difficult enough for me to differentiate between German and English, and even more difficult it is for me to use punctuation in German and English layout. I'm doing trial and error every time, sometimes starting with the German location for ? and sometimes with the English one. Not to mention the Z and Y issue and the consequences it has for text editing (Ctrl+Y and Ctrl+Z being direct opposites). – Dan Oct 9 at 6:02
  • Welp, ñ is not so much of an issue as I could then use the Portuguese writing "nh", a sequence which also happens to be extremely rare in Spanish. – Dan Oct 9 at 6:03
  • Are you using Linux or Windows? In either case, you could use the Czech layout and add ñ and Ñ to the available Alt Gr + m and Alt Gr + M. For Windows, the layout creator is linked above, for Linux, people.uleth.ca/~daniel.odonnell/Blog/… should explain how to modify the layout. – Mikko Oct 9 at 6:04
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You could install a tool such as WinCompose (there are other similar tools, this is just one I have been using for the last few years).

Most special characters can be typed by pressing a special key followed by a combination of two keys, e.g. a, → ą , l/ → ł or n~ → ñ.

It is probably not be the best way to type a whole Cyrillic text, but for the occasional special character it's pretty convenient.

  • Thanks, I'll look into it. You misunderstood me a bit, I already have 2 layouts installed, between which I switch, a Cyricillic and a Latin one. – Dan Oct 9 at 9:25

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