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How to Create a APL or Math Symbols Keyboard Layout ⌨

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This page shows you how to create a APL (programming language) keyboard layout, for {Windows, Mac OS X, Linux}. Or, you can create a math symbols layout for computer languages such as Fortress, Scheme Lisp, Haskell, LaTeX/XeTeX, or simply as a system to type math symbols in plain text.

APL Keyboard Layout

APL keyboard layout
APL keyboard layout. img src
APL2 keyboard layout
APL2 keyboard layout. img src

APL Symbols in Unicode

Here's a complete list of APL symbols in Unicode.

¯ × ÷


APL Symbols Meaning

See: APL Symbols Meaning.

Math Symbols and Arrows in Unicode

For other math symbols, such as , see:

Unicode Font

First you need to have Unicode font. The DejaVu font has all APL symbols. See: Best Unicode Fonts for Programing.

Creating Your Own Unicode Layout for {Windows, Mac, Linux}

for Mac OS X, see: Mac OS X: How to Create Keyboard Layout and Keybinding ⌨

for Windows, i haven't tried but Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator may work. See: Keyboard Layout and Key Macro Software for Windows ⌨

Linux, i haven't tried but see: Linux: Keyboard Tools for Key Layout, Keymapping, Keybinding ⌨

Using Emacs

Insert by Key Combo

You can set your keys to inserts a math symbol. Here's a example:

;; some Hyper keys to insert Unicode chars
(define-key key-translation-map (kbd "H-3") (kbd "•")) ; bullet
(define-key key-translation-map (kbd "H-4") (kbd "◇")) ; white diamond
(define-key key-translation-map (kbd "H-5") (kbd "†")) ; dagger

See: Emacs: How to Define Super & Hyper Keys.

;; example of systematic keys to insert math symbols
(global-set-key (kbd "<f9> <right>") "→")
(global-set-key (kbd "<f9> a") "α")
(global-set-key (kbd "<f9> b") "β")
(global-set-key (kbd "<f9> t") "θ")

this method of input is:

For more detail, see: Emacs: How to Define Keys.

Insert by Abbrev

You can insert Unicode by abbrev. ⁖ typing alpha becomes α. For how, see: Using Emacs's Abbrev Mode for Abbreviation.

This method is:

Insert by Short Code and a Activation Key

This package lets you type a short code, from 1 to 4 letters, then press 【⇧ Shift+Space】 to change it to a math symbol. See: Math Symbols Input Mode (xmsi-mode).

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