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Contents


The English Apostrophe

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The “Apostrophe Catastrophe”

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The phenomenon called “the Apostrophe Catastrophe” consists in a huge number of instances where text processing software (word processor, desktop publishing) inserts an open quote instead of a leading apostrophe. See here for my source found by a search engine (2015-01-27 09:32:45), including some public examples.

On June 3rd, 2015, Ted Clancy at Mozilla posted on his blog at Wordpress that the English apostrophe should be the MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE, encoded at U+02BC, not the actually preferred single comma quotation mark U+2019 (called RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK).
See his very lucid demonstration at the URL shared on the Unicode Mail List by a member launching the thread ‘Another take on the English apostrophe in Unicode’ on June 4th, 2015.



How to overcome?

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As you could read on the cited blogpost, to solve the problems, the preferred apostrophe must become U+02BC MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE again. Easy to say but hard to achieve except when using the customizable autocorrect feature of the word processor or an extended keyboard layout and accepting to do eventually one or two keystrokes more per quote, or to press a modifier key other than Shift along with some other key. There are as many solutions as user preferences. Let’s look at the one that is most easy to access but will be restricted to the word processor it’s realized in. The same as smart quotes are, in fact... ¶ 

Autocorrect apostrophe and quotes

  1. Disable the smart quotes.
  2. Add an autocorrect entry to replace the common apostrophe-quote by the modifier letter apostrophe. On Word, type an apostrophe into the left bar and 2 b c Alt+X into the right bar.
  3. Add as many entries as you use quotation marks, on the pattern “common double quote, paired bracketing character”. For English, you may choose for example:
    Type this Replace with Unicode Unicode Character Name
    " < U+201C LEFT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK
    " > U+201D RIGHT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK
    " { U+2018 LEFT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
    " } U+2019 RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
    With these combinations, you may keep your left little finger on the Shift key while typing the whole quote sequence.
 ¶ 

I recommend to disable the smart quotes because we are shown that the so-called “smart quotes” aren’t really smart enough. They could be much smarter without increasing excessively the required algorithms if users didn’t want to choose between different kinds of quotes. Managing effectively free and nested quotes can be automatized, in accordance with locale settings, but AFAIK it has not been in word processing software. This missing automatization would allow to get all needed quotes with one single key, the actual quotation mark, and to free the apostrophe key for what it is called, as it is stated in the above cited blogpost. Thus, perhaps, avoiding the “Apostrophe Catastrophe” was not unfeasible, at the cost of one little change in typing habits.



Ambiguated apostrophe

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As Denis Moyogo Jacquerye commented on June 4th, the move of the preferred apostrophe from U+02BC to U+2019 took place not sooner than in version 2.1 of Unicode. ISO, which stands for stability, could never agree that the preferred character for English apostrophe stopped to be U+02BC and started to be U+2019. The first existing NamesList of the history of Unicode, which is the source file of the Code Charts for the 2.0 version of 1996, shows:  ¶ 

0027	APOSTROPHE
	= APOSTROPHE-QUOTE
	* neutral (vertical) glyph having mixed usage
	* preferred character for apostrophe is 02BC 
	* preferred character for opening single quotation mark is 2018
	* preferred character for closing single quotation mark is 2019
	x (modifier letter prime - 02B9)
	x (modifier letter apostrophe - 02BC)
	x (modifier letter vertical line - 02C8)
	x (combining acute accent - 0301)
	x (left single quotation mark - 2018)
	x (right single quotation mark - 2019)
	x (prime - 2032)
[…]
02BC	MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE 
	= apostrophe
	* glottal stop, glottalization, ejective; elision
	* spacing clone of Greek smooth breathing mark
	* this is the preferred character for apostrophe 
	x (apostrophe - 0027)
	x (combining comma above - 0313)
	x (combining comma above right - 0315)
	x (armenian apostrophe - 055A)
	x (right single quotation mark - 2019)
[…]
2019	RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
	= SINGLE COMMA QUOTATION MARK
	* this is the preferred character for closing single quotation mark 
	x (apostrophe - 0027)
	x (modifier letter apostrophe - 02BC)
	x (heavy single comma quotation mark ornament - 275C)

By contrast, the next full version, 3.0.0, which dates from 1999, that is six years after the merger between Unicode and the offspringing ISO/IEC 10646, which took place in 1993, shows a move of the preferred character for apostrophe from U+02BC to U+2019:  ¶ 

0027	APOSTROPHE
	= APOSTROPHE-QUOTE
	* neutral (vertical) glyph having mixed usage
	* preferred character for apostrophe is 2019 
	* preferred characters in English for paired quotation marks are 2018 & 2019
	x (modifier letter prime - 02B9)
	x (modifier letter apostrophe - 02BC)
	x (modifier letter vertical line - 02C8)
	x (combining acute accent - 0301)
	x (prime - 2032)
[…]
02BC	MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE
	= apostrophe
	* glottal stop, glottalization, ejective
	* spacing clone of Greek smooth breathing mark
	* many languages use this as a letter of their alphabets
	x (apostrophe - 0027)
	x (combining comma above - 0313)
	x (combining comma above right - 0315)
	x (armenian apostrophe - 055A)
	x (right single quotation mark - 2019)
[…]
2019	RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK 
	= SINGLE COMMA QUOTATION MARK
	* this is the preferred character to use for apostrophe 
	x (apostrophe - 0027)
	x (modifier letter apostrophe - 02BC)
	x (heavy single comma quotation mark ornament - 275C)

In the next version, 4.0.0, the comment line “preferred character for apostrophe is 2019” at U+0027 has been changed to “2019 is preferred for apostrophe”. The difference may seem slight but I believe it expresses a weakening and shows that Unicode is not at ease with the new preference, which is given as a mere statement of a matter of fact without any approval:

0027	APOSTROPHE
	= APOSTROPHE-QUOTE
	= APL quote
	* neutral (vertical) glyph with mixed usage
	* 2019 is preferred for apostrophe 
	* preferred characters in English for paired quotation marks are 2018 & 2019
	x (modifier letter prime - 02B9)
	x (modifier letter apostrophe - 02BC)
	x (modifier letter vertical line - 02C8)
	x (combining acute accent - 0301)
	x (prime - 2032)

A search in the Mail Archives shows why the apostrophe and the single close quote were ambiguated—a process that needs even a new word to put on it, as ordinarily everybody works for disambiguation. It was for simplification's sake, in word processing software.

Which means that at the end, it could have been the end-user who pushed the preference towards a problematical setting, because he expected the apostrophe key to produce the straight and curly apostrophes and the single open- and close-quotes as well. Disambiguating the latter two is easy and at reach of a simply-to-implement algorithm, which is actually used. Disambiguating the first and the last is not, because abbreviated year’s figures and the rendering of colloquial English bring many leading apostrophes, whose detection would need huge dictionaries.



Get curlies on your keyboard!

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A main requirement when typing text is that the apostrophe, whether it be straight or curly, does not need any other key to be pressed than the apostrophe key. The example of the Canadian multilingual Standard keyboard layout as well as of all preceding Canadian keyboard layouts shows that when an apostrophe is in the Shift shift state of a keyboard instead of being in the Base shift state, users often mistake the key and type for example a comma instead of an apostrophe, as stated in this archived web page where the positioning of the apostrophe on Shift+comma is addressed to as “bad” and causing “several typing errors where the comma is entered at its place”, which leads to the hope that such errors will “be corrected almost automatically, namingly in word processing software”.

Both straight apostrophe and curly apostrophe are needed in practice, along with straight and curly quotation marks. The straight forms cannot always be replaced with curly quotes, as Markus Kuhn remembers in ASCII and Unicode quotation marks:

“The characters 0x27 (apostrophe) and 0x22 (quotation mark) are often used to abbreviate minutes and seconds or feet and inches, which is yet another reason, why 0x27 should just be a single-stroke version of 0x22, and not a curly directional quotation mark.”

It is therefore excluded to simply remap these positions. The user may wish to toggle either between two keyboard layouts, or between two shift states, each of them containing whether the straight apostrophe or the curly one. Moving from one layout to another is easily performed on current operating systems and needs only supplemental modified keyboard drivers. By contrast, getting now the straight, now the curly apostrophe on the same keyboard layout needs a Kana toggle to be placed on a dedicated key, typically Right Windows, Applications (Menu), or Right Control. ¶ 

To fix the problem, smart quotes must become even smarter, with autocorrect algorithms that replace single open-quote with apostrophe when no end quote is typed. This is very demanding for word processing apps, perhaps even too, because in fact, it’s the user’s job to decide about quotes. Here’s why. ¶ 

At least four among the most important non-English languages using Latin script, i.e. French, Spanish, Portuguese and German, use two kinds of quotes, one of them to highlight quotations, the other to show the word or expression is not serious, to warn it’s doubtful or ironical. Of course, each of both can be single or double, to make a difference between the two levels when quotations are included in another one. While this latter difference is correctly managed with standard keyboards, the former is not, and no algorithm can help. ¶ 

This all together highlights some widespread actual keyboard layouts turn out to be unfit for Unicode, nor for writing at all as soon as the text stops to be simple. That is, in English you might use simple quotes as warning quotes outside of quotations, but in European languages double comma quotes are preferred for this purpose, while «chevrons» (that way or »the other way«, or even »this way») mark up quotations. Some typographer proved they were better (look at the yellow markup on the typo examples of this page). ¶ 

So the second thing to do is to upgrade for enhanced keyboard layouts, allowing users to get started with quotes. Some of these supplemented keyboard layouts don’t even need any stickers to be sticked on keytops; they are smart enough so every existing keyboard stays doing the job. Not “smart quotes”, smart keyboard layouts is what we need. ¶ 

Whatever country, language, and operating system is on, users should be enabled to fully control the quotes they type. Check on your computer if you can, or scroll clicking here to learn how to escape the “apostrophe catastrophe”! ¶ 



Custom Fractions

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I’ll try to be constructive and would have you to look at section 6.2 in chaptern6 of The Unicode Standard, page 20 of the PDF (that is page 273 of the Standard). There are two paragraphs about U+2044 FRACTION SLASH. IMO, U+2044 is for use with superscripts and subscripts. At least, it seems this is the way Microsoft looks at this character. Please take a glance at the the demo page available as a docx and as a PDF. The docx fits best since it allows to pick out the characters and see them functioning.

Hours are divided into halves and quarters. That’s why, a long time, there were only one half and one and three quarters available as a character. Today, most Word Processors keep inserting automatically ¼, ½ and ¾ when corresponding common digits are typed with an ASCII slash, but most of them don’t go further. Some keyboard layouts of the past decades offer some eighths fractions together with ASCII fractions, namely the Canadian Multilingual Standard keyboard layout. There is much more encoded in Unicode, as thirds, fifths, sixths, then the units of seventh, ninth and tenth, as well as a part of a fraction without denominator. And, of course, the fraction slash, U+2044. To complete, superscripts and subscripts seem to be appropriate, as shown on a test page which you may view in PDF or—even better— open in docx to see it working.

To achieve typing custom fractions on Windows, all you need is your numerical keypad—even if it’s overlaid on the alphanumerical block of a netbook keyboard—and this installable keyboard layout. From now on, if you are seven in a team and you would like to write ⁴⁄₇, just type the following:

Right Alt + NumPad 4,
Right Alt + NumPad ,
Shift + Right Alt + NumPad 7.

Right Alt is used as a distinct modifier key, because to enhance input on the numerical keypad, one more modifier is needed. It could have been Kana, because the Kana shift state can be activated with a toggle key, as well as with a modifier key that activates Kana only as long as the key is pressed. But half of the NumPad keys proved not to work well with Kana, so it was necessary to use AltGr, too. On this keyboard layout, no other keys are allocated on this level, therefore no problems will occur (due to the AltGr being handled as Ctrl + Alt on Windows). As a result, you cannot use Right Alt as Alt any more. Right Alt is now like it is on the US International Keyboard. ¶ 



Unicode fractions

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Fractions by formatting

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Plain text custom fractions

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Super-/subscript digits at hand

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A layout with more

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This keyboard layout allows you to recover full control over the apostrophe you type on Windows, while it functions like the normal US American keyboard layout shipped with Windows whenever you want. There’s no need to disable smart quotes on your preferred Word Processor. Just when you whish to decide yourself which kind of quote you are typing, you hit the Menu key and you get some changes on a few keys. To get rid of, hit Menu again. This key is hijacked because most users don’t use it, given that the contextual menu is faster to use with right click—you get what you want by clicking again instead of hitting arrow keys. (There must be a way to have the Menu too, with Ctrl, but unfortunately I don’t know it yet.) Menu is now a Kana toggle key. Kana is a shift state used originally on Far East keyboards, but it’s increasingly used on Occidental keyboards, too. ¶ 

You may see on the layout diagram there are a few other symbols added on the numpad beside superscripts, subscripts and fraction slash.

  • When Shift is pressed, the numpad produces some basic algebraic symbols among which only is normally available. On you have ×, on you have ÷, and on you have the minus sign that matches to digits and to other algebraic symbols:
    2+(−1)=1. Compare the same with hyphen-minus:
    2+(-1)=1.
  • When Right Alt is pressed, plus and minus are superscript, and when Shift is added, they are subscript, exactly like the digits.
  • As middle point is sometimes used as a symbol for multiplication, it is on when Right Alt is pressed.
  • The square root symbol is available too, on with Shift + Right Alt. And to complete, combining overscore is on with the same modifiers.




Good news for Windows users

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Good to know when working with MSKLC: One purpose of MSKLC is to provide a Graphic User Interface to the “Keyboard Table Generation Tool (Unicode),” whose short name is “KbdUTool” (v3.40). This is the software that manages generating the drivers, while the installers are generated by MSKLC. Although included in the folder, it has its own Command Line Interface.

Microsoft has made av. 150 keyboard layouts, improved some for Windows 8, added some for Windows 10. But matching the thousands of languages and user preferences is economically unfeasible, and impossible to endorse. This is why Microsoft make available their tools, welcoming every effort from users tending at creating the keyboard layouts we need and like.

The MSKLC End User License Agreement does not contain the clause present in the Windows EULA, that prohibits to “use components of the software to run applications not running on the software.” So we are free to use the entire folder that constitutes the software, including KbdUTool, that has much less “technical limitations” than the MSKLC main program. This is why there is little temptation to “work around any” of them. Microsoft is already in debt by unsupporting multiple code units by dead keys. Since many programs are available for Windows only, users deserve the right to make full use of the Windows resources to customize their keyboards as they need and like them.

> Example 1: Get more than spaces on the space bar

On the space bar, key positions are scarce, the more as for practical reasons, the normal space is doubled in the Shift shift state, and there are also two no-break spaces to find key positions for. Hence the MSKLC limitation prohibiting any other than white space characters here. But there is no consensus about this.

Three ideas for alternate allocations on Ctrl + Alt + Space:

  1. The underscore: Traditional substitute of the space, it has been retained for this position on the French ergonomic BÉPO layout: bepo.fr
  2. The Compose key of the layout, that is a dead key, a serial one exactly, is easily struck this way before various graphics on the same keyboard level.
  3. The Group Selector, that is a dead key giving access to the characters defined as being part of the Secondary Group of the layout. Group layouts usually conform to ISO/IEC 9995-3, that is part 3 of the international keyboard layout standard. According to that standard, the Group Select key should be whether a key next to Right Alt (better known as AltGr, or Third Level Chooser), or it is activated by hitting Shift and AltGr together. Neither of both is an actually working solution, unlike the AltGr+Space combo.

All this and more, youʼll be able to do by editing the KLC source in a text editor, and in some spreadsheet software, preferably Excel. You may also choose to code it in C and for that, to merge the allocation tables and import them into Excel. Once you are done with editing them, simply select the whole table and paste it back into the C source.

> Example 2 : Accurate character names in MSKLC

To be able to display the character names for your information, MSKLC ships with the source of the Unicode Code Charts, better known as the Unicode Names List. Version number is 5.0 (the actual version at the time MSKLC 1.4 was built).

A built-in update feature enables MSKLC to download the last version of NamesList.txt from the Unicode website (Help > Update Unicode character data). Note however that some character names are defective. A number of characters have thus been given a Formal Alias. Unfortunately, these do not show up in MSKLC. Thus you may wish to use a corrected or otherwise customized Names List, or a localized one. On the Unicode website you can find an American English translation, but it is not maintained. As Unicodeʼs ISO/IEC mirror ISO/IEC 10646 has been translated to French, you may find a Unicode 7.0 French NamesList on hapax.qc.ca.

Be sure that your list starts with a Byte Order Mark, otherwise MSKLC wonʼt be able to read non-ASCII characters from the NamesList. You may wish to open the file in a text editor and convert it to UTF-8 with BOM.

When you have a conformant list, then you may place a copy into your MSKLC user directory (C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\MSKLC), and toggle between nameslists by renaming or moving them to/from subdirectories.

Some limitations that arenʼt really

When using the GUI of MSKLC, keep in mind that a number of limitations of the software are not related to Windows. With respect to the EULA terms, users are not expected to only create keyboard layouts that keep themselves inside these limitations. The most that one can tell is that its author, Michael S. Kaplan, expresses by some of these limitations his care for getting his users making good layouts. Some other ones aim at keeping the software simple, some are due to faith, or to an error:

  • Serial dead keys are unavailable, but Michael Kaplan showed on his blog how to implement this by editing the KLC source. Read blog post
  • Five extra modifiers and one extra toggle are unavailable except by editing the sources; Michael Kaplan mentioned this on his blog.
  • One key press can trigger the insertion of up to 16 code units, that is, 16 Latin letters or 8 characters of the Supplemental Multilingual Plane, except on Shift+AltGr where the limit is 4 units, because a layout that asks for more input after a keypress on that level wonʼt work when activated, and—if set as the default layout—will make Windows not to run several high-end programs such as MS Office and XUL-Runner based software (Firefox, Thunderbird, Zotero). So itʼs really a good idea to apply the low limit throughout, as MSKLC does; though an even better idea is to make the users aware of this particular drawback.
  • Furthermore, MSKLC cannot manage these sequences on AltGr, a bug that Michael Kaplan bitterly complained of and was eager to fix at the next update, for which he wrote up the specs when he was no longer on the project. To everybodyʼs and Michael Kaplanʼs own disappointment, this update to version 1.5 never happened.

Michael S. Kaplan passed away in 2015. His blog has been archived. Browsing it for more keyboard layout information is strongly recommended.

A script in batch that helps facilitating the use of KbdUTool, is being localized in English. Work will hopefully be resumed in the near future. You may already view it in your browser. Itʼs self-explaining. If you like it, you are welcome to copy-paste it to a file on your machine and give it the .cmd or .bat extension to be able to run it if you agree to the terms of the LPE license, though a part of the UI, as well as the text files generated by the script, are still in French.



Good news for netbook users

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Last but not least, this keyboard layout gives access to the numpad digits on so-called virtual numpads, overlaid on compact keyboards, without acting the NumLock toggle. Just press the Fn Fn (Function) modifier key while you are typing on the numpad. This feature gives Windows netbook users the same ergonomy as on Apple’s Macbook. ¶ 



The Life Protection Engagement License

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This keyboard layout is provided free of charge under the terms of the included license agreement. The text of the license is mirrored hereafter. Please read it carefully.
If you agree with the license, you may use this keyboard layout as long as you agree.
If you do not agree, you must not use this keyboard layout.

LIFE PROTECTION ENGAGEMENT LICENSE TERMS
KEYBOARD DRIVER KBDENUSE

These license terms are an agreement between the programmer of this software and you. Please read them. They apply to the software named above, which includes the media on which you received it, if any.

By using the software, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do not use the software.

If you comply with these license terms, you have the rights below.

INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS.

Installation and Use.

One user may install and use any number of copies of the software on your devices.

SCOPE OF LICENSE.

The software is licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the software.

You must

  • Grant absolute protection to all humans, animals and plants;
  • Refuse to use or consume anything that has been developed and/or produced using the bodies of living or purposely killed animals or humans, and actually not use or consume it, unless (in the case of humans) they fully agree to give some of their blood or other parts of their body, or (in the case of animals) they are neither killed nor tortured, suffocated, violated, drugged, poisoned, insulted, or in any way treated otherwise than a human would be at their place and conforming to all international human rights conventions;
  • Not treat any living entities as listed above or in any similar way except as specified below;
  • Not work in or for any of the industries or research centers involved in the mistreatment and/or exploitation of animals, in developing/manufacturing poisons or poison-like stuff to be administred to living entities in any way except as specified below, and/or with genetically modified organisms ;
  • Avoid as far as permitted by international human rights conventions, to put humans, animals, and/or plants to death purposely, by lack of care, or inadvertently, except (as far as belongs to animals and micro-organisms) in case of truly stated defense when the situation has not been deliberately provoked, and (as far as belongs to vegetables) to beware you from hunger when the biologically provided vegetal parts (like fruits) are not sufficient;
  • View Shaun Monson’s movie Earthlings http://earthlings.com available on YouTube, except if you are disabled and can never view movies, and learn the message;
  • Hear or read/view at least 1 (one) of Gary Yourofsky’s speeches (available on YouTube), visit his website at http://www.adaptt.org and follow the advice;
  • Share all these contents around you and on the internet (provide the official URLs of copyrighted contents), at least as long as you are using this software.

DISCLAIMER: The programmer of this software and author of this license is not bound to any of the cited parties.

You may not

  • reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the software;
  • make more copies of the software than specified in this agreement;
  • publish the software for others to copy;
  • rent, lease or lend the software;
  • transfer the software or this agreement to any third party; or
  • use the software for commercial software hosting services.

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY.

The software is licensed “as-is.”

LIMITATION ON AND EXCLUSION OF REMEDIES AND DAMAGES.

You cannot recover any damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect or incidental damages.

Version 1.0 (Draft)

June 9, 2015



Help and Questions&Answers

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Dead Key Content
Type this Get Unicode Unicode Character Name
"   NBSP  ' U+0027 APOSTROPHE
"   Space  " U+0022 QUOTATION MARK
"    U+2039 SINGLE LEFT-POINTING ANGLE QUOTATION MARK
"    U+203A SINGLE RIGHT-POINTING ANGLE QUOTATION MARK
"    U+201E DOUBLE LOW-9 QUOTATION MARK
"    U+201A SINGLE LOW-9 QUOTATION MARK
"    U+201C LEFT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK
"    U+201D RIGHT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK
"    U+2018 LEFT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
"    U+2019 RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
"    « U+00AB LEFT-POINTING DOUBLE ANGLE QUOTATION MARK
"    » U+00BB RIGHT-POINTING DOUBLE ANGLE QUOTATION MARK
Compose Key Content
Type this Get Unicode Unicode Character Name
   NBSP   U+2384 COMPOSITION SYMBOL
   SPACE   U+2384 COMPOSITION SYMBOL
   ʼ    ʼ ' U+0027 APOSTROPHE
   ʼ    [ U+2018 LEFT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
   ʼ    ] U+2019 RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
   ʼ    _ U+201A SINGLE LOW-9 QUOTATION MARK
   ʼ    < U+2018 LEFT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
   ʼ    > U+2019 RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
     [ U+201C LEFT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK
     ] U+201D RIGHT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK
     _ U+201E DOUBLE LOW-9 QUOTATION MARK
     { U+201C LEFT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK
     } U+201D RIGHT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK
     < U+201C LEFT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK
     > U+201D RIGHT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK
   -    - U+2013 EN DASH
   -    U+2212 MINUS SIGN
   -    : ÷ U+00F7 DIVISION SIGN
   -    > U+2192 RIGHTWARDS ARROW
   .    . U+2026 HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS
   .    ^ · U+00B7 MIDDLE DOT
   /    / U+2044 FRACTION SLASH
   /    = U+2260 NOT EQUAL TO
   /    g U+20B2 GUARANI SIGN
   /    c U+20A1 COLON SIGN
   /    m U+20A5 MILL SIGN
   c    r U+20A2 CRUZEIRO SIGN
   :    - ÷ U+00F7 DIVISION SIGN
   :    | ¦ U+00A6 BROKEN BAR
   '    , ʼ U+02BC MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE
   '    [ U+2018 LEFT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
   '    ' ʼ U+02BC MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE
   '    ] U+2019 RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
   '    _ U+201A SINGLE LOW-9 QUOTATION MARK
   '    < U+2018 LEFT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
   '    > U+2019 RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
   ^    . · U+00B7 MIDDLE DOT
   ^    0 U+2070 SUPERSCRIPT ZERO
   ^    1 ¹ U+00B9 SUPERSCRIPT ONE
   ^    2 ² U+00B2 SUPERSCRIPT TWO
   ^    3 ³ U+00B3 SUPERSCRIPT THREE
   ^    4 U+2074 SUPERSCRIPT FOUR
   ^    5 U+2075 SUPERSCRIPT FIVE
   ^    6 U+2076 SUPERSCRIPT SIX
   ^    7 U+2077 SUPERSCRIPT SEVEN
   ^    8 U+2078 SUPERSCRIPT EIGHT
   ^    9 U+2079 SUPERSCRIPT NINE
   ^    o ° U+00B0 DEGREE SIGN
   _    0 U+2080 SUBSCRIPT ZERO
   _    1 U+2081 SUBSCRIPT ONE
   _    2 U+2082 SUBSCRIPT TWO
   _    3 U+2083 SUBSCRIPT THREE
   _    4 U+2084 SUBSCRIPT FOUR
   _    5 U+2085 SUBSCRIPT FIVE
   _    6 U+2086 SUBSCRIPT SIX
   _    7 U+2087 SUBSCRIPT SEVEN
   _    8 U+2088 SUBSCRIPT EIGHT
   _    9 U+2089 SUBSCRIPT NINE
   |    c U+20B5 CEDI SIGN
   |    b ฿ U+0E3F THAI CURRENCY SYMBOL BAHT
   ~    - U+2243 ASYMPTOTICALLY EQUAL TO
   ~    ~ U+2248 ALMOST EQUAL TO
   ~    = U+2245 APPROXIMATELY EQUAL TO
   +    - ± U+00B1 PLUS-MINUS SIGN
   <    0 U+2039 SINGLE LEFT-POINTING ANGLE QUOTATION MARK
   <    ' U+2039 SINGLE LEFT-POINTING ANGLE QUOTATION MARK
   <    " « U+00AB LEFT-POINTING DOUBLE ANGLE QUOTATION MARK
   <    _ U+2264 LESS-THAN OR EQUAL TO
   <    < « U+00AB LEFT-POINTING DOUBLE ANGLE QUOTATION MARK
   <    = U+21D0 LEFTWARDS DOUBLE ARROW
   <    - U+2190 LEFTWARDS ARROW
   =    e £ U+00A3 POUND SIGN
   =    > U+21D2 RIGHTWARDS DOUBLE ARROW
   =    b U+09F3 BENGALI RUPEE SIGN
   =    d U+20AB DONG SIGN
   =    l £ U+00A3 POUND SIGN
   =    n U+20A6 NAIRA SIGN
   =    p U+20B1 PESO SIGN
   =    s U+20B4 HRYVNIA SIGN
   =    t U+20AE TUGRIK SIGN
   =    r U+20B9 INDIAN RUPEE SIGN
   =    w U+20A9 WON SIGN
   =    y ¥ U+00A5 YEN SIGN
   >    0 U+203A SINGLE RIGHT-POINTING ANGLE QUOTATION MARK
   >    ' U+203A SINGLE RIGHT-POINTING ANGLE QUOTATION MARK
   >    " » U+00BB RIGHT-POINTING DOUBLE ANGLE QUOTATION MARK
   >    _ U+2265 GREATER-THAN OR EQUAL TO
   >    > » U+00BB RIGHT-POINTING DOUBLE ANGLE QUOTATION MARK
   1    / U+215F FRACTION NUMERATOR ONE
   1    1 U+2152 VULGAR FRACTION ONE TENTH
   1    2 ½ U+00BD VULGAR FRACTION ONE HALF
   1    3 U+2153 VULGAR FRACTION ONE THIRD
   1    4 ¼ U+00BC VULGAR FRACTION ONE QUARTER
   1    5 U+2155 VULGAR FRACTION ONE FIFTH
   1    6 U+2159 VULGAR FRACTION ONE SIXTH
   1    7 U+2150 VULGAR FRACTION ONE SEVENTH
   1    8 U+215B VULGAR FRACTION ONE EIGHTH
   1    9 U+2151 VULGAR FRACTION ONE NINTH
   2    3 U+2154 VULGAR FRACTION TWO THIRDS
   2    5 U+2156 VULGAR FRACTION TWO FIFTHS
   3    4 ¾ U+00BE VULGAR FRACTION THREE QUARTERS
   3    5 U+2157 VULGAR FRACTION THREE FIFTHS
   3    8 U+215C VULGAR FRACTION THREE EIGHTHS
   3    o U+0AF1 GUJARATI RUPEE SIGN
   4    5 U+2158 VULGAR FRACTION FOUR FIFTHS
   5    6 U+215A VULGAR FRACTION FIVE SIXTHS
   5    8 U+215D VULGAR FRACTION FIVE EIGHTHS
   7    8 U+215E VULGAR FRACTION SEVEN EIGHTHS
   b    - U+2015 HORIZONTAL BAR
   d    i U+2300 DIAMETER SIGN
   f    / U+2044 FRACTION SLASH
   m    - U+2014 EM DASH
   n    - U+2013 EN DASH
   n    b U+00A0 NO-BREAK SPACE
   n    n U+202F NARROW NO-BREAK SPACE
   o    c © U+00A9 COPYRIGHT SIGN
   o    o ° U+00B0 DEGREE SIGN
   o    r ® U+00AE REGISTERED SIGN
   s    o § U+00A7 SECTION SIGN
   s    s § U+00A7 SECTION SIGN
   t    m U+2122 TRADE MARK SIGN
   x    × U+00D7 MULTIPLICATION SIGN
   x    o ¤ U+00A4 CURRENCY SIGN
   x    x × U+00D7 MULTIPLICATION SIGN

The following is the readme of the keyboard driver, which is included in the zipped folder you may download. It contains information about how to install and uninstall the keyboard layout.


Keyboard Drivers

Keyboard Name: kbdenuse

‘kbdenuse’ is an experimental keyboard layout 
for use in the United States.

Version: 0.3.2

Keyboard layout for English, United States of America.
With U+02BC MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE and a dead key
for quotation marks when Kana toggle is on.
With digits when Fn pressed. Numpad specials disabled.
With superscripts, subscripts and U+2044 FRACTION SLASH.
With AltGr. Includes a Compose functionality.

Copyright (c) 1985-2001, Microsoft Corporation
               and 2015, Dispoclavier®


Target Operating Systems:  Windows from XP upwards, 
except Windows XP with Intel Itanium processor. 

This keyboard driver is Windows versioned. You will have to choose
the appropriate Windows version among Windows 7 and upwards, 
Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

The Kana toggle will be placed either on the Applications (Menu) key 
or on Right Control. You will have to choose which key you wish 
to get dedicated to VK_KANA. For a desktop keyboard, you might opt 
for Applications (Menu). For a laptop, you will have to get 
the Kana toggle on Right Control.

The key giving access to the Compose functionality is Right Windows 
if the Kana toggle is on Applications (Menu). If the Kana toggle is 
on Right Control, the Compose functionality is accessed either on 
the Applications (Menu) key, or on AltGr+C.


Installation

1  Choose your variant and Windows version in the ‘To Install’ folder.

2  Click the setup.exe. You may also open directly the appropriate 
   Microsoft Installation file (*.msi), by trying them one by one or
   using ‘i386’ for a 32 bit architecture, ‘amd64’ for all 64 bit 
   architectures including Intel, except Intel Itanium which is 
   deserved by ‘ia64’. 

3  Look for ‘English (United States) - Experimental’ 
   in the Language Bar.
   Depending on your Windows version, you may have to activate 
   the new layout. You may define it as your default layout.
   To check quickly which layout is on, you may give it a distinctive
   icon, at Settings > Properties > Change Icon. For example, a nice
   tree icon is found in  C:WindowsSystem32shell32.dll


Update

If you already installed a previous version of ‘kbdenuse’, you may 
either uninstall it (see below) prior to installing the new one, or 
replace the old driver directly by the appropriate updated driver:

1  Find out which variant of the driver is in your machine. To achieve
   this, open the System folder (whose path is C:WindowsSystem32 on
   a 32 bit machine), type ‘kbdenuse’, press Enter and search for 
   ‘win’. The second instance shows the complete path of the pdb file, 
   for example c:winddk7600.16385.1srcinputlayoutall_kbdskbdenuseobjfre_win7_x86i386kbdenuse.pdb
   In this example, ‘win7_x86i386’ shows you the variant you need.
   This is the complete list to decrypt the variant name:
     objfre_win7_amd64	For Windows 7 upwards	amd64
     objfre_win7_ia64	For Windows 7 upwards	ia64
     objfre_win7_x86	For Windows 7 upwards	i386
     objfre_wlh_amd64	For Windows Vista	amd64
     objfre_wlh_ia64	For Windows Vista	ia64
     objfre_wlh_x86	For Windows Vista	i386
     objfre_wnet_amd64	For Windows XP		amd64
     objfre_wxp_x86	For Windows XP		i386

2  Go to this driver in the ‘To Install’ folder, copy it there, return
   to the system folder, paste it and choose ‘Paste and replace’.

3  Reboot your machine (Windows, 2 times Tab, Right, choose ‘Reboot’).


To uninstall

This custom keyboard layout is uninstalled the same way as software.

1  Open the Configuration Pane at Programs.
2  Look for ‘English (United States) - Experimental.
3  Click to Uninstall.

You can install up to 60 custom keyboard layouts.


License

These keyboard drivers are licensed under the attached 
Life Protection Engagement License, version 1.0.
If you agree with the terms of the LPEL, you may use your copy for free.
If you do not agree to the terms of the LPEL, please do not use 
this keyboard layout.


Created: June 08, 2015
This version: June 11, 2015
Last modified: 10:03 11/06/2015
 ¶ 



Questions & Answers

  3.4.2        Skip    Top    Next    Context    Contents  

What's the purpose of changing such things as keyboard layouts? There would be but trouble when things won't work as ususally. People have other things in mind than their keyboard layout.

This is a part of what personally I mean with Unicode implementation, as related to what I might do for. Because characters are of little use if they aren't at hand. Character pickers are not the appropriate tool for such things as quotes and fractions. Sooner or later one must change for another keyboard layout. I don’t know of course if this one is good. In any case you can make it much better. Even if you’re not a programmer (I aren’t neither).

 Download Experimental US keyboard layout 0.3.2


Acknowledgments

Key stroke formatting: Courtesy Wikipedia 
Base sources from Windows US keyboard layout and installation files obtained by a process using mainly the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator 
Final driver compilation: Windows Driver Kit 
Help is found on the websites of two French associations:
 MON NOM ACCENTUÉ (MNA) (Association for the correct orthography of personal names)
 ERGODIS (EGD) (Association for the French Dvorak-based ergonomical keyboard layout)

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Last updated on May 26th, 2017.
The first version of this page was created on February 9th, 2015
There is a page at this URL since February 2nd, 2015.


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