2011-03-26

emacs, unicode, math symbols input

http://groups.google.com/group/comp.emacs/msg/eed4919307a80db0

On Mar 26, 2:31 pm, RS Wood wrote:
> On 2011-03-10, Xah Lee wrote:
>
> > might be interesting.
>
> > 〈A Curious Look at GNU Emacs's 1000+ Default Keybinding〉
> >http://xahlee.org/emacs/gnu_emacs_keybinding.html
>
> > plain text version follows.
>
> Very interesting.  The C-x 8 series I was unaware of, and I would've
> been glad to know about it as I usually have to change input method
> when I want to type a bit in French or Spanish.  Interesting to see the
> A- notation, for example A-Y for the Yen symbol, doesn't work with a
> modern Alt key.

yes, the C-x 8 is great. Though these days i've setup my own system of keys to input special chars, much like Mac OS's Opt+letter key. (I use Hyper+‹letter›, where the Hyper is Window keyboard's Menu key) This is faster than Ctrl+x 8 ‹letter›.

setting up your own is sometimes desired because the C-x 8 mechanism is mostly for latin symbols, and doesn't contain much math symbols such as infinity ∞, lambda λ, alpha α, arrow →, etc.

here's several ways to setup a symbol keyboard layout. Thru OS mechanism, or with emacs:

〈How to Create a APL or Math Symbols Keyboard Layout〉
http://xahlee.org/kbd/creating_apl_keyboard_layout.html

But if you work with math a lot (e.g. XeTeX, MathML, Mathematica, or functional langs), where you need to input hundreds of math symbols, direct key input is not suitable because it becomes difficult to memorize the exact key combos. For that many symbols, a input system is more suitable. e.g. type “inf” then press a hotkey and it becomes ∞. Same for lambda, whole greek letters, sum, logic and/or/not, all direction of arrows and variations, etc.

here's my math symbols input system:

〈Emacs Unicode Math Symbols Input Mode (xmsi-mode)〉
http://xahlee.org/emacs/xmsi-math-symbols-input.html

it's open source, but donation is much appreciated.

Xah

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