I use Character Map regularly alongside LibreOffice writer to write IPA (international phonetic alphabet) notation. All the (30ish) characters I need are in the 'Latin' script list, but there are many characters in this list that I do not need, and consequently it is a long process to find the characters I want, and making IPA notation is very time consuming. How can I streamline writing IPA notation in LibreOffice?

I am using Ubuntu 16.04

  • Found this website which makes it easy to type IPA for many languages from anywhere
    – Zanna
    Oct 30 '18 at 8:38

To type in IPA, switch to an IPA keyboard layout. It is much faster than hunting through the Character Map. I use SIL's keyboard software, available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

For Ubuntu instructions, see How to configure keyboard to type in IPA fonts?.

Edit by OP:

Here is how to set up IPA Keyboard for Ubuntu 16.04:

Download the SIL package as a .deb file from packages.sil.org & install with GDebi or

sudo dpkg -i sil-repository.deb
sudo apt install ibus-kmfl
sudo apt install kmfl-keyboard-ipa

I got the right keyboard package by guessing the name, as I couldn't find a reference list anywhere on the SIL pages

Then in Settings > Keyboard > Text Entry

Under Input Sources click the + button to add a source and search for 'ipa', and it should come up. Click to add it.

Switch between input sources with Super+Space (this can be changed in Keyboard Settings)

You will need this chart to figure out how to actually enter the IPA characters!


I think most solutions for entering IPA characters in LibreOffice will be the same as a solution for GUI applications in general, in which case any answer to this question should work here, including mine, which uses the FCITX input method editor.

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