Perhaps you can use compose, but us-acentos is easier. To type an apostrophe, type AltGr-' For an accent aigu, type apostrophe twice For a quotation mark, type AltGr-" (that's AltGr-Shift-', or AltGr-", depending on how you look at it) For a diaresis, or umlaut, without a letter underneath, just type " twice (shift apostrophe twice) For a tilde, type AltGr-~ or tilde twice For an accent grave, type AltGr-` or ` twice All of the diacritical marks work like this, once plus the letter to use it, twice to type it without a letter. In the case of diaresis (umlaut), apostrophe and quotation mark, however, the diacritical mark is different than the key, so it is necessary to use AltGr plus the key, shifted if required. Although I detest the need to make this comparison, as it forever suggests that Linux is lesser or an imitation trying to become as good, Windows US International layout works exactly like this. When at a job, I have the US International layout set and use it exclusively with no disadvantage and only advantage, as I can type whatever I want without the need for entering curious ASCII numbers to reference keys. Others, when using my computer, however, have difficulties, as they refuse to learn this and are set in their ways. What could be simpler than: diacritical mark plus letter or diacritical mark twice?