I've been experimenting with 14.04 (Xubuntu, XFCE, etc), and so far haven't been able to make sense of any of the messages saying how to enter characters marked by things like umlauts, accents, etc. Is there a beginner's guide for how to do this right?
One problem is that all the answers I've seen seem to say something like "Settings→ keyboard → ..." or "System→Preferences → ...", and with the window manager I see on the screen, I can't find anything that matches any of these. Is there a way to translate such instructions into XFCEese? I've also seen instructions to configure a Compose key, but my keyboard doesn't have a key with that text. I'm guessing that there's a way to map this to some actual physical key, but I haven't yet stumbled across instructions that work.
Also, some other systems (e.g. my Macbook Pro ;-) have a little on-screen keyboard that shows what chars I'll get if I press a key, and for control keys like shift, alt, etc, rewrites the little window to show what they do to the char codes. I'm guessing that Xubuntu has something like this hidden somewhere, but I can't guess what it's called, and haven't found it by poking around in things labelled "keyboard". Does it exist somewhere? Such tools are really handy for learning how to type the input you want on a system you're not familiar with.
(And why, when I enter "umlaut diaresis" in this site's search widget, does it tell me there's no match? Just "umlaut" by itself returns lots of stuff that's utterly irrelevant, but trying to narrow the search simply results in total failure. ;-)