Esperanto has six letters with accents: c, g, h, j, and s can have a circumflex accent (^), and u can have a breve accent (similar to the lower half of a small circle).
All modern operating systems, word processing programs, etc., can handle these characters. Usually all that is required is to type some combination of keys to represent them. However, "dumb" terminals generally cannot overstrike accents with arbitrary characters, and so cannot display Esperanto's accented characters, or any other language with accents.
(Thanks to Arnold Victor and Dmitri Horowitz for preparing the following information.)
Fonts with Esperanto's accented characters are available for use under Mac OS. Due to the lack of a generally accepted standard encoding, several encodings are currently in use; however, ISO 8859-3 (also called Latin-3) is becoming more and more common. Apple has proposed a different standard encoding called "MacEsperanto".
To type Esperanto's accented characters conveniently, use an Esperanto keyboard layout. Each encoding corresponds to a particular keyboard layout; thus, if you are using a Latin-3 font, you must also use the Latin-3 keyboard layout.
Fonts are installed as follows:
Keyboard layouts are installed as follows:
To use Esperanto fonts in an application, do the following:
With most keyboard layouts, including Latin-3, the accented characters are typed by pressing the Option key together with the letter to be accented. For example, Option and lowercase c will type the accented letter c^, Option and uppercase C will type the accented letter C^, and so on. With some keyboard layouts, the accented character u^ is placed under Option-w.
You can check the location of the accented characters as follows:
A keyboard menu will let you switch between keyboard layouts more conveniently. It appears on the menu bar to the left of the application menu, which is itself on the outer right. It can be recognized by the small flag which shows the selected keyboard layout.
With Mac OS version 8, a keyboard menu appears automatically when more than one keyboard is selected in the Keyboard control panel (under Control Panels in the Apple menu).
If you are using Mac OS version 7.x, you must install a system extension to have the keyboard menu. A shareware extension called Outboard Keyboard (5 USD) can be downloaded as part of the package Carpetbag.
Install it as follows:
Esperanto fonts with matching keyboard layouts can be downloaded from the following locations:
The following resources are useful when using Esperanto in Internet applications:
WordPerfect 5.1 natively supports Esperanto's accented characters.
To display the Esperanto characters, select the 512-character screen
from the Setup menu: do
Shift-F1, 2, 1, 5.
To type an accented character, type
Ctrl-V and the code (including the
comma) as listed in the file CARACTER.DOC:
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Letter: C c G g H h Code: 1,100 1,101 1,122 1,123 1,126 1,127 ^ ^ ^ ^ - - Letter: J j S s U u Code: 1,140 1,141 1,180 1,181 1,188 1,189
You can also type
Ctrl-V followed by the character and the accent mark;
Ctrl-V, C, ^, gives C-circumflex. However, there is no
breve on the keyboard, so u-breve cannot be done this way.
Lowercase circumflexed j looks lousy in most fonts, so many users prefer
to use a regular j and overstrike a circumflex accent:
Shift-F8, 4, 5,
1, j, ^ (you may have to press the ^ key twice for the symbol to
, Return, Return, Return.
Your editor finds it convenient to use a macro called Alt-c to type
c-circumflex, Alt-g to type g-circumflex, and so on. The letters can
then be converted to upper case if desired by using Block (
F12) and then Switch (
If you wish to type and see the accented characters with a program that does not natively support them, for example, a text editor, then you can use the freeware programs VGA-ESP and Klavint.
VGA-ESP makes the 12 accented characters available on the monitor. The only requirement is to have an EGA, VGA or Super VGA video card -- any computer bought after 1985 should be fine.
Klavint is available in the same archive as VGA-ESP. It
provides an easy way to type these characters in applications
that don't support them natively. Once Klavint is installed, you can
type the accented characters by using the semi-colon key. For example,
;c will give the letter c^ and
will give the letter g^. Other options
are also available, as explained in the documentation.
Source code in assembler is available for both VGA-ESP and Klavint; the programs are copyrighted but free.
Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 are very similar in this respect, so we'll deal with them at the same time, indicating any differences.
Many fonts with the necessary accented characters are available at the following locations:
To view True Type fonts without having to install them, use the freeware program Trowser.
Esperanto fonts are also included with the commercial program WordPerfect for Windows.
To install new fonts under Windows 3.1, go to the group Main, open Control Panel, then open Fonts. Choose "Add", indicate the font's location, and choose OK.
Under Windows 95, go to the Control Panel and open Fonts. In the File menu, choose "Install New Fonts", indicate the font's location, and choose OK.
Another option is to use the freeware program Supersigno, which automatically adds the necessary characters to your existing fonts.
To type the accented characters, use the "Character Map" program, located in the Accessories group. Choose your font, then click on the character. You can either use Double-Click, Copy and Paste to copy the character to your application or, more simply, use the keystroke combination indicated in the bottom right corner of the Character Map display.
Almost all Esperanto fonts use the Latin-3 coding. Here are the keystrokes for these fonts. In all cases, press and hold the Alt key, type the code using the numeric keypad (not the numbers on the top row of the alphabetic keypad), and release the Alt key.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Letter: C c G g H h Code: 0198 0230 0216 0248 0166 0182 ^ ^ ^ ^ - - Letter: J j S s U u Code: 0172 0188 0222 0254 0221 0253
Under Windows 3.1, you may find it easier to use the Recorder application (in Accessories) to create macros for these keystroke combinations. Recorder is no longer included with Windows 95, but you can copy it from a Windows 3.1 installation and run it under Windows 95. Remember that Recorder must be running to replay a macro.
Here's how to create a macro that will automatically type c-circumflex
when you press
Ctrl-C. (These instructions are adapted from the on-line
help for Recorder.)
Alt-0230). [This only works for me if I type the keystroke combination twice. I have no idea why. -- Ed.]
Another way to type the accented characters is to use the freeware program Keys. This program provides a convenient way to remap the keyboard. Yet another option is to use the program Supersigno mentioned above, which also provides an easier way to type the accented characters.
[To do: Evaluate and add Ek for Windows 95/98.]
(Thanks to Konrad Hinsen for the following information.)
It is sometimes possible to install a font with Esperanto's accented
characters on a Unix system not using the X Window System, but the
procedure to do so is different for each Unix system and possibly for
each terminal type. Look in your documentation, or ask your system
administrator. In the case of Linux, there is a fairly standardized
procedure if you are working on an EGA/VGA screen. Check the
documentation of the command
setfont, which is part of most Linux
If you are using a Unix system with X11 (by far the most popular windowing system for Unix), you must install a text font with ISO 8859-3 encoding (also known as Latin-3). Several such fonts are listed at Esperanto-kupolo, Belgium.
Marko Rauhamaa has prepared a good font set which contains ISO 8859-3 versions of the Adobe fonts Courier, Times, Helvetica, and New Century Schoolbook in several sizes. It also contains installation instructions.
Once you have installed an appropriate font, you must tell your programs
to use it. Most X11 programs, e.g.
emacs, accept the option
-fn fontname" to specify the font to be used. X11 font names can be
rather long and complicated; use the program "
xfontsel" to select a font
and obtain its full name. Note that some older Unix programs are not
"8-bit clean", which means that they do not recognize characters with
codes over 128 as letters. Such programs cannot be made to work with ISO 8859-3
fonts, but neither with the common ISO 8859-1 (or
Latin-1) fonts used for Western European languages.
To write in Esperanto, you must also be able to type accented characters. Unfortunately, this is a much more difficult problem. The X11 input system is, well, rather messy, and details differ between versions and vendors. Another problem is that different keyboards are used in different countries, and that you probably want to keep all the characters on your keyboard accessible. So there are two problems: deciding how you want to type the additional characters, and persuading X11 to arrange the keyboard correctly.
Basically, the options for typing Esperanto characters are:
The first option is implemented as follows:
.xmodmaprcin your home directory, containing the following lines:
== File .xmodmaprc ============================================ ! Define Esperanto accented characters on shifted function keys ! ccircumflex keysym F1 = F1 ae ! Ccircumflex keysym F2 = F2 AE ! gcircumflex keysym F3 = F3 oslash ! Gcircumflex keysym F4 = F4 Ooblique ! hcircumflex keysym F5 = F5 paragraph ! Hcircumflex keysym F6 = F6 brokenbar ! jcircumflex keysym F7 = F7 onequarter ! Jcircumflex keysym F8 = F8 notsign ! scircumflex keysym F9 = F9 thorn ! Scircumflex keysym F10 = F10 THORN ! ubreve keysym F11 = F11 yacute ! Ubreve keysym F12 = F12 Yacute == End of .xmodmaprc ==========================================
To have this command executed automatically, you must put it into a
special file, which might be called
.xsession or something
else; you will have to ask your system administrator for assistance.
The keyboard definition shown above will put the 12 special Esperanto characters on the 12 function keys when used together with the Shift key.
I'd like to add information on other operating systems, especially OS/2 and Windows NT. Please contact me if you wish to help with this.
(Thanks to Edmund Grimley-Evans for this information.)
TeX and LaTeX are professional typesetting systems, available as free software for most computers. Though they are not always easy to use, they are extremely flexible; they are the standard tool for typesetting scientific articles and are often used for complex typesetting in the humanities.
With TeX or LaTeX any diacritic can be applied to any character, so it
is no harder to produce c-circumflex (
\'e), say. A
large number of "style files" exist to facilitate the use of particular
espo.sty both allow Esperanto's diacritics to be entered as
^C ... ^u", and the same convention is used by the Babel package for
LaTeX2e which supports about 30 language, including Esperanto.
The programs produce "^j" by putting a circumflex onto a dotless j.
Although TeX's default Computer Modern font has a dotless j (
commercial fonts, including those that are built into laser printers, do
not. There is a work-around, available as
dotlessj.sty, that involves blanking out the dot on an ordinary j.
Note that the Babel package does not include a hyphenation table for
Esperanto so it is usually best to discourage automatic hyphenation
\hyphenpenalty=5000) and specify the hyphenation of particular words
where required (