COMPUTING

Firefox add-on makes special characters easy

Do you ever find yourself frustrated by having to type in accented letters, international characters or symbols into Firefox? If so, the FireFox add-on abcTajpu may just make your life a little easier.

While the English language has relatively few such letters, this is a particularly useful tool for people working other languages such as Afrikaan, or needing to deal with symbols on a regular basis.

This extension was originally developed for European Language Day and supports the CEN Multilingual European Subset, including Cyrillic, Greek and Arabic among others.

As an online journalist, all of my articles are typed, or copied, into our publishing system via FireFox. Luckily I have not had to deal with much in the way of accented letters, but it does crop up from time to time.

The add-on uses multiple hot-keys, however these do sometimes cause conflicts with other programs. For example, the Alt-F1 hot-key, which brings up the abcTajpu menu, instead accesses my Ubuntu menu. Trying out other hot-keys I discovered a wide range of what until now were unknown ubuntu hot-keys.

Fortunately the hot-keys can be customized so as not to conflict with existing ones, but aside from these shortcuts, there are other ways of inserting special characters.

keyboard.pngA keyboard can be accessed off of the abcTajpu menu, found under the FireFox tools dropdown menu. From within the keyboard one can type as usual and special characters can be selected off of the keyboard and inserted into the text one was originally working on.

charactermenu.pngRight-clicking to bring up a context menu can also access the add-on. Through this menu a selection of alphabets can be chosen from, which can be customised to suit your needs.

Tectonic

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