How to enter Unicode symbols in KDE?

I am so used to ISO standard that is implemented in GTK world by entering Ctrl+Shift+U+<code>.

For example, how to enter long dash U+2014 or black square U+25FE?

I memorized about dozen of codes of most frequently used symbols but I can’t enter them in Kate or KWrite.

Some people recommend to install ibus package. I did it, but it didn’t help unfortuntely.

ibus needs some setup. See:

After launching ibus I can’t switch between keyboard layouts anymore.

It works with any GTK app, for example in the address bar of Firefox

  1. press at once CTRL+SHIFT+u keys then release them, and you will see ‘u’ underlined,
  2. type the corresponding unicode number and press space bar after finishing, you will see the character in the address bar,
  3. you just have to copy it and paste it inside any Qt app.

I can’t enter Unicode even in Firefox, not only in Kate or Konsole.

At least on Manjaro KDE it works without needing to install anything.

Well I am on Manjaro KDE actually and I can’t enter Unicode

I didn’t test on X11, but on Wayland unicode typing works with GTK apps, but not with Qt apps.

How on earth do people enter Unicode under KDE?
I thought KDE is the most convenient DE in the world.

Same as the Gnome people: using IBus. The difference is that Gnome has integrated IBus:

Sadly no :frowning: , there a still a few papercuts.

So what is the most convenient DE from your point of view?

For me personally KDE. I am a huge KDE fanboy and all my devices are KDE Plasma (except my phone, haven’t had the courage to try Plasma Mobile).

Others have a different opinion.

Follow these steps:

  1. sudo pacman -S ibus manjaro-asian-input-support-ibus
  2. logout and relogin

Why do I need asian stuff?

It simply installs the correct env vars and autostart file via these two files:


export GTK_IM_MODULE=$im
export QT_IM_MODULE=$im
export XMODIFIERS=@im=$im
export INPUT_METHOD=$im
export SDL_IM_MODULE=$im


[Desktop Entry]
Exec=ibus-daemon -drx

Arch Wiki recommends adding --panel=/usr/lib/kimpanel-ibus-panel to make it work also with Input Method Panel widget, I tried it and didn’t seem to work.

Edit: I tested it and unicode typing worked perfectly inside Qt apps.

If you’ve learned the hexadecimal Unicode values, that works I suppose, but IMO it’s much easier and more natural to learn compose key sequences. In X11 for the en_US locale one finds them in /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose, but often I guess them correctly.

Does KDE’s compose key work with Wayland?

Yes. This sort of thing comes from xkbcommon, which unlike what the name seems to imply, runs on X11 and Wayland.

Related bug report:

There is even default installed Input Method Panel widget which nobody knows how to use or how to activate :slight_smile:

Damn, this bug is more than 18 years old.