On Mac/Dvorak layout, how to program a single dead key replacing √ with ǎ (Opt+v)+a

Hello team, wonderful application, I bought it over a year ago for very specific use, I see enormous potential for a lot of other automation but never had time to fully dive in. Now I have another very specific need, hopefully this is something trivial and someone could put me in the right direction.

I need to be able to quickly type accent marks that are not part of the default Mac-US-Dvorak layout, I know I can get them through ABC Extended layout, but this is worse than searching single character on google and copy/paste. So I need some help.

When I hold Opt + letter-v, I get a square root symbol. I would like to reprogram it so that it waits for the next letter press and assigns the ǎ over it.

Any advise?

Thank you

It could be a little arduous to set up (I don't know how many accented characters you need to access!), but you could create a macro for each desired character, each using the Typed String trigger and an Insert Text by Pasting (or Insert Text by Typing) action.

For example, the typed string trigger √a could be set to type ǎ in this way.

You could then duplicate and edit that macro for all the other characters you need, if that's feasible.

Hi Kevin,
Not a bad idea, this is what I have setup for the time being, so I have 5 aeiuü x Caps/small = 10 total functions. If there was a way to just isolate the first dead-key, and then use it with whatever is typed afterwards.
Hopefully someone has some idea.

Hi Sasha, here are some further thoughts.

  1. You might get inspiration from the post A Macro to Enter Accented Characters (Diacritics), although I haven't examined it.
  2. I can imagine a macro that is triggered by your chosen key and then pauses till another key is entered.
  3. To implement a true dead key I would be looking at a lower-level solution than KM, at least as the starting point.
    a) It looks as though setting up a dead key in Karabiner-Elements is not easy.
    b) QMK offers what it calls one-shot keys (same thing). QMK is for programmable keyboards only, of course (I would no longer use any other kind).
  4. I am curious about what you particularly like about the dead key approach.
  5. I wonder if, instead of a sequential (dead key, then letter) approach you might consider using spare combinations of modifier keys, for instance Shift-Control-[a/e/i/o/u] to enter the desired character with one "modifers+key" movement. I think I would find that faster for regular typing.
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I prefer what @kevinb suggests under 5.

If you don't want to use two modifiers, then you could put a palette between two actions.

Example: opt + a + s (or any letters). The first hotkey opens the palette. The second one triggers your macro and closes the palette.

The palette also has the advantage that you can see the triggers of your macros if you forget them. So you would see that the second macro is triggered with opt + s. If you know this by heart, you can also ignore the palette and just type opt + a + s in quick succession.

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That's a good idea following the "dead key" pattern. And there would be no need to explicitly create a palette. Just create a macro for one character, duplicate it 9 times and amend each macro to paste/type each of the other characters. Keep the trigger the same for all, and the result of pressing the "dead key" would then be a conflict palette offering a choice of output characters.

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Conflict palettes offer a single key trigger without a modifier. hopefully @sasha doesn't want to hold the modifier down all the time. This is doable, but a nightmare that needs three macro groups, one of which needs to be disabled/enabled.

So many great recommendations, thank you guys!
I tried Shift-Control+letter, but in my case I might also need to reserve Shift for capitalized letters, I think :wink: I'm just starting my Mandarin 1A and heavily utilize online flash-cards, so I am writing down everything I intend to remember.
If I don't need Uppercase letters, I'll keep Shift modifier.
I'm rather quick at switching the macro Opt+v+o to get my ǒ, just a lot of macros to maintain, but that's not so bad. I'm already used to Opt+ other modifiers on my keyboard to get Portuguese marks ãóêà etc, so for me this is natural.

Thanks again Kevin and Frank.

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