Saturday, October 27, 2007

Quick Unicode Entry

This project doesn't have any direct use now, but it was fun to write, and might be useful for writing letters in Spanish. I can simply hit Alt-A to get an a with an accent, Alt-Shift-1 to get ¡, and define any other combination I want.

This program is a lightweight text editor intended for writing text in other languages. Most word processors have a "Insert Symbol" option for inserting a character, but this process is too slow. If you do all of your typing in another language, one can set the system language, but this will be a system-wide change and is not very customizable. In this program, on the other hand, it is simple to set up your own keymaps and choose what keys create which characters. One can also conveniently visualize these bindings.

Because some languages require access to more than 26 symbols, this program uses the concept of "modes." For example, the default keymap has a mode called Grave Accent. In this mode, typing a vowel like o will produce o with a grave accent. The program begins in Normal Mode, but you can press Control+L to enter Grave Accent mode. View the available modes for the current keymap by choosing List Modes from the Characters menu.

When you enter a mode, you stay in that mode until you press the key combination, typically Control+Space, to return to Normal mode.

Edit the current keymap by choosing "Edit key bindings" from the Characters menu. (Changes take place when the mode is selected from the Characters menu). Create a new map by creating a .py.js file in the keymaps directory.

The Code. Unzip and run "" Works in Python 2.5. Linux is not yet supported, as it seems the keycodes are different.

I spent some time coming up with good keymaps. It comes with a map for characters in Latin-1 and a very useful Greek map.

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