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US International (with AltGr dead-keys) on macOS

·2 mins

I’ve recently started using a MacBook Air M1 2020 as my main laptop. Overall and to my surprise, it’s been a more or less pleasant experience.

But the one thing I really missed from Linux was the US altgr-intl variant keyboard layout, which simply is the US layout where you can make dead-keys (for diacritics and other special characters) by pressing the AltGr modifier beforehand.

Apple only includes the regular US International layout by default, which I find painful to use, as it requires double tapping the keys to actually output them instead of only being dead-keys when pressed with a modifier.

Some other people have also felt this, but I was always missing something with their solutions:

osx-us-altgr-intl was working fine for the most apart, until I found out that Ctrl chords weren’t working in emacs-macport (but were otherwise working perfectly fine in regular emacs). With Ukelele, I later found that the Ctrl layer was completely missing.

I also used altgr-weur for some time but my main gripe was that it makes my layouts inconsistent between Linux and macOS, which gets quite confusing.

Finally, I found this blog post with another attempt at altgr-intl for macOS. However, this version was missing some dead-key layers.

So I took this last one as a base and added the dead key layers from osx-us-altgr-intl and it’s working quite well.

Here’s the repo with the file so others don’t have to go through this as well.