Compose Key on Windows

My last name is Stüvel, and it causes all kinds of issues on various systems. Since in the Netherlands people typically use a keyboard with US layout, there is no ü key. So how do I type my name? Compose key to the rescue.

On Linux I type the ü by using the Compose key. Since modern keyboards don’t have such a key, I’ve configured my right-hand Alt key to become Compose. To type ü, I press Compose, ", u. One after the other, I don’t have to keep three keys pressed at the same time.

I can hear you think: isn’t what US International layout is for? Yes, and no. With that layout I can shave off a key, and type ", u instead. However, every time I want to have just single or double quotes, I have to type ", <space>, doubling the number of keys necessary. As a software developer, this is unacceptable to me, because I have to type these quotes so often.

Additionally, the Compose key expands far beyond accented Latin characters:

Compose Sequence Result
", u ü
1, 2 ½
e, =
Compose Sequence Result
<, 3
o, c ©
^, 0

Now, most Linux systems have built-in support for the Compose key, but Windows does not. Fortunately I recently found WinCompose, which fills in that gap pretty well. It’ll now get installed by default on any of my Windows machines!

dr. Sybren A. Stüvel
dr. Sybren A. Stüvel
Open Source software developer, photographer, drummer, and electronics tinkerer