One particularly interesting keyboard shortcut when typing japanese is the ability to switch the current input between the 3 set of characters which can be used in japanese.

On Windows and most of the japanese input systems, the conversion from hiragana to katakana for instance is bound to F7. Is there a way to mimic this behavior on Ubuntu (and preferably using a key which is less commonly used than this one)?

Generally speaking, is there a way to tune the behavior of Anthy on Ubuntu?


PS: Just to make things clear japanese input works but is unpractical. I want to customize the japanese input behavior, not have directions for initial setup.

  • Thanks to the bug report pointed by user68186 I just understood the problem. For some reason there is two Anthy modes in IBus. The first one I was using (anthy - m17n) do not provide the configuration window that the Anthy mode provides. This mode seems to allow the complex behavior I was looking for. – Thomas Moulard Sep 5 '12 at 13:02
  • You are welcome. I have edited my answer to reflect the distinction between the two choices. If this works for you, consider accepting my answer as the correct one. – user68186 Sep 5 '12 at 13:11
  1. Using Ubuntu Software Center install ibus-anthy. This will give you Japanese keyboard layout.
  2. Once you installed iBus, open Dash and look for iBus. Once iBus is running, go to the second tab called Input Method.
  3. Make sure "Customize Input Selection Method" is checked. Click on Select and Input Method and select Japanese > anthy. Do not chose "Anthy (m17n)" it does not allow F7, F8 etc. to change fonts Then hit the Add button to add this input method. If Japanese is not at the top, click on it and click Up button to move it to the top. Click on Close button. You will notice a keyboard icon on the top panel in Unity.
  4. Now, open a new window of LibreOffice or Gedit or where ever you want to type in Japanese and hit Ctrl+Space. This will change the input method to Anthy for that app. You will notice that the icon on the tray now shows Aち. If you don't see Aち and see the keyboard icon or another language icon on the top panel, click on it and select Japanese-anthy. Now type you can type in Japanese.

Hope this helps

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  • Same comment as zuberuber answer. – Thomas Moulard Sep 5 '12 at 12:41
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    Added distinction between "anthy" and "anthy (m17n)." You want anthy and not (m17n). – user68186 Sep 5 '12 at 13:07
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    In elementary os freya, after closing the IBus Preferences dialog and running sudo apt-get install ibus-anthy, I still didn't have a Japanese-Anthy input method, so I ran ibus restart (no sudo). When I reopened the IBus Preferences > Input Methods dialog, Japanese-Anthy was there. In summary, I think ibus will sometimes need to be restarted after installing "modules" such as ibus-anthy. – matty May 26 '15 at 22:59

This is tutorial for japanese input in Ubuntu

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  • I may be overseeing something but this tutorial covers how to setup japanese input on Ubuntu (which works fine) and not how to customize japanese input (aka Anthy) behavior. – Thomas Moulard Sep 5 '12 at 12:38

I know this is a bit old, but I customized the behavior of Anthy by launching the script ibus-setup-anthy from the usr/lib/ibus-anthy folder. When selecting the Anthy input method in ibus, the preferences button is grey and can't be used (I don't understand why), but it can still be used in the way I wrote. I hope this helps!

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