[Issue] Can I associate special characters with shortcuts?

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[Issue] Can I associate special characters with shortcuts?

Postby einpoklum » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:19 pm

I would like to have Ctrl+Alt+. insert an ellipsis ('…') and Ctrl+NumPadMinus and Ctrl+Alt+NumpadMinus insert an En and an Em dash respectively - like in MS-Word. But I can't find a way to do that in Writer. Is there?
Last edited by Hagar Delest on Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Tagged the thread as issue (link to a bug report).
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Re: Can I associate special characters with shortcuts?

Postby RGB » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:29 pm

You can:
- Record a macro applying the character and then use a keyboard short cut to run the macro.
- Use the Compose Special Character add-in.
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Re: Can I associate special characters with shortcuts?

Postby einpoklum » Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:45 pm

But:

- Aren't Macros template-dependent rather than app-dependent?
- Isn't there something integrated into the UI for achieving this?
- If not, perhaps there's an OO bug report on this issue?
- If not, should I not open one?
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Re: Can I associate special characters with shortcuts?

Postby RGB » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:40 pm

einpoklum wrote:- Aren't Macros template-dependent rather than app-dependent?

No: macros can be attached to documents/templates, but they can also be available for all your documents: just save them under "my macros" for your user or under "OpenOffice.org macros" for all users.
einpoklum wrote:- Isn't there something integrated into the UI for achieving this?

The compose special character add-on integrates with OOo Writer and Calc.
einpoklum wrote:- If not, perhaps there's an OO bug report on this issue?
- If not, should I not open one?

See this tutorial: Reporting bugs or suggestions
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Re: Can I associate special characters with shortcuts?

Postby acknak » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:00 pm

See Issue 4579: Special Character Shortcuts
You can register there and add your vote (up to two) or comment.

I have no idea what your situation is, but shortcut keys for special characters are often not as useful as people think. If you have a lot of special characters to type, as when typing in some special language, it would be better to configure an alternate keyboard map, and/or an input method. All modern systems provide those, and OOo doesn't care how the characters are typed.

If you only need a few special symbols, then it may not be worth configuring and remembering special keys for them. You can just use the Insert > Special Character dialog, or define replacements for them that are easier to remember. E.g. by default, Writer will insert the copyright symbol when you type (c).

Writer includes a lot of replacements for common symbols, you can see the list under Tools > AutoCorrect > Replace.

Of course there is a "sweet spot" where you have a few symbols that you use very often, so I'm not saying the feature wouldn't be useful, only that there are alternatives for the most common situations.
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Re: Can I associate special characters with shortcuts?

Postby einpoklum » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:35 pm

acknak: My special characters are mostly elipsis and en/em dash, that's it. As for alternate keyboard maps - that's a world of pain I don't want to go into, neither on Windows nor on Linux.

I'll try that add-on, I guess.
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Re: Can I associate special characters with shortcuts?

Postby acknak » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:00 am

That's not very different from me. I have a little "cheat sheet" with the ten or so special characters I need. The three or four that I use a lot, I've learned the codes for, and that's how I "type" them. It just doesn't happen enough to make it worth some special configuration.

The dashes are U+2013/2014, plus they're available by auto-replace/correction.

Is there any advantage to using an ellipsis over three periods? It's on my cheat sheet, but I never bother. It's also in the replacement table, but it only works when there's a space before it, so it's not that helpful.
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Re: Can I associate special characters with shortcuts?

Postby bhmt » Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:03 am

How about the "AutoText" feature on the Edit menu (at least in the Windows version. You can save all sorts of symbols and text snippets and whole paragraphs and call them up with a few character strokes.

I think one that we all have as a default is "dummy text". Type the letters dt and then press the function key F-3, and it insets a paragraph of...text.

You could make separate entries for each of your needs, or maybe make one that inserts a few of the possibles, and then delete what you didn't want (I like this if I want to just remember a few special strokes but have more things to choose from visually, like all those different accented "e" characters.
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