Easily Assigning Characters keeping our NGO off Linux!

How do I easily assign characters like: Ā ā Ɓ ɓ Ɗ ɗ Ƙ ƙ Ƴ ƴ in LibreOffice? This is rather easy with MS Office.
At our non-profit organization in Africa, we have genuine reasons to prefer open source software. We wish we could use Linux and LibreOffice to teach rural people basic use of computers in local languages. How to assign those characters in Linux, and teach some of them how to do same when they go back to their villages, have so far kept us off Linux and LibreOffice.
Any suggestions?

This is rather easy with WINDOWS

Presumably here goes some explanation on how you do that on Windows, so that others could understand what process you have in mind, and what analog to search/offer. Without that, it’s rather meaningless question.

Please don’t forget to edit your original question to augment the required info; not “Answer” your question with what is not an answer.

?? Ok, thanks.

Hm… still - no description about how you do that with MS Office. That “rather easy” tells nothing.

I use WIN 7.
In the character map of MS Word, you select the special character and select “assign”. You then determine the keys to press.
For example, I assign Alt d for ɗ, and Shift-Alt D for Ɗ. I do the same for Ā ā Ɓ ɓ Ƙ ƙ Ƴ ƴ ₦. MS Office remembers these entries even after you switch off. You just type Alt N in Word or Excel to get .
After basic computing training, most of our rural students learn these steps in just a lesson.

@Aibeetea - Please specify which “Linux” version you will use. I use Ubuntu, and there is a very easy, and portable, solution for this, using the “Compose Key” facility. But need to know your OS before proposing solutions.

@dajare - Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia, Cinnamon 64-bit.

  1. Your question has nothing to do with LibreOffice. Better ask in a forum related to your distro.

  2. Linux has a much wider support of various alphabets. Just choose an appropriate keyboard layout.

  3. An almost universal solution is the US International keyboard layout. Try it.

Thanks, but the International keyboard layout is mostly English, and even the HAUSA keyboard does not support most of the special characters used in the HAUSA language.

You can (relatively) easily modify any existing layout or create a new one. Here’s a good topic and an article in Russian:


I have gone through the translated page, and will search more on how to modify existing keyboards layout.
Thank you.
PS I use LibreOffice 6 on both Linux Mint and LXLE distros.

In Fedora distro, files for keyboard layouts are located in /usr/share/X11/xkb/. The layouts (character->key assignments) are in subdirectory symbols/. Start by learning provided layouts, the one closest to your need. Files make heavy use of “standard” rules inclusion, consequently understanding the configuration is not obvious, mostly when it comes to defining and associating “meta” keys.

This is for the graphical UI. If you work in console mode, other OS files are involved.

While there may be some good reasons to use Windows, this is not one of them. Linux has software available for entering virtually any script in the world, such as KMFL.

The characters you listed are relatively common, so KMFL may be overkill. IBus is another option, or the keyboarding software that comes shipped with your distro, as described in the answer by @gabix.

To use built-in LibreOffice functionality instead of a keyboarding application, do the following.

  1. Tools → Options → Advanced → Enable Macro Recording.
  2. Tools → Macro → Record Macro.
  3. Insert → Special Character. Browse to Ɗ or enter 18A in the Hexadecimal box. Then press Insert.
  4. Press Stop Recording. Save the macro under My Macros → Standard, and give it a name such as u018A.
  5. Tools → Customize → Keyboard tab. Find Alt+D.
  6. Under Category, expand LibreOffice Macros and find u018A. Press Modify.

The disadvantage is that this will only work for LibreOffice, not for any other application. So a complete keyboarding solution is better. Also, a customized keyboard layout can be passed from one person to another, or posted on a website for anyone in the community.

Thanks a lot.
I am working on the customized keyboard layout. There is a Hausa keyboard layout in MINT, but has only Ɗ and ɗ, omitting others.
I will also try out the LibreOffice Macros since we use Office for most of what we do - except of course graphics software and browsers, to which which we can copy and paste from LibreOffice.

Macros worked. When I restarted LibreOffice, it was gone. Am I doing something wrong?

Maybe you did not press Save in the Basic window. I think it sometimes saves automatically but not always, so I typically press it to make sure.