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In Windows, we can use ALT+Keycode (for example, 130) to get an e acute, but it does not work this way in Ubuntu/Debian.

Is it possible to have the same keycodes work in Ubuntu?

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Another way to achieve this is to change the keyboard layout to something with AltGr dead keys. For example witth USA keyboard with AltGr dead keys right-alt + a prints á (a with a acute) and right-alt + shift + s prints § (section mark). –  Marcelo Morales Mar 31 '11 at 14:02
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2 Answers

First hold Ctrl+Shift, then tap U and let go. An underlined "u" will appear, to which you can append a combination of characters. Hit enter after that and the new character will appear.

For instance, if I hold Ctrl+Shift and hit U, type e+9, then hit enter, an é appears. If I hit e+8 instead, an è does instead.

You can find the correct combinations using the Character Map program in Accessories. The first "0" or two that you find on certain entries can be dropped (e.g. a ç is listed as 00E7, but you only need to type the e7).

It's a bit odd coming from using the Alt method in Windows, but you'll acclimate quickly.

N.B.: If you need to frequently type many types of accented characters see Adam Byrtek's answer below for a nice method that, while it requires some setting up, can save a lot of time in the long run.

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Just to mention, as it may be a new concept to some: This Ctrl+Shift+U +<a Hex Value> method allows you to enter any Unicode value.. ie. any of the range of global alphabets (of course you must have the appropriate font installed, but many are already in Ubuntu).. You can find the complete listing of all Unicode values (called Code-points) here fileformat.info/info/unicode/block/index.htm ... The Unicode ecnoding method used in Ubuntu is UTF-8... A Code-point is the Unicode value which UTF-8 encodes... The Ctrl+Shift+U method uses Code-points –  Peter.O Mar 31 '11 at 12:08
    
Thanks man, appreciate –  DextrousDave Dec 6 '12 at 10:35
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Configure the compose key, press it to enter the compose mode and type e' to get "é". The mappings are very intuitive, so you don't have to learn them by heart. For example, it's easy to infer that in order to get "ü" you should type u" in the compose mode.

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Actually, I really like this. I used to use the compose key with the accent, then type the letter itself, but I found that it was not working so well all the time, But your way seems to work better. +1 for your answer. –  jfmessier Jul 19 '11 at 12:27
    
If you use accented characters often, this is the way to go (despite my own answer, ha). –  Aibara Iduas Apr 26 '13 at 2:11
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