Using the input mode latin-1-prefix I can enter "~a" which gives me "ã". I am looking for a similar way to enter the characters "āēīōū" (vocals with bars).

So my question is:

  1. What input mode does allow me to input the characters "āēīōū"?
  2. Is there a general method to retreive a list of input modes that include a specified character?
  • How about C-x 8 C-h to get a list of possible diacritics?
    – lawlist
    Jun 3 '15 at 1:39
  • I just wrote this comment to the answer you deleted: For most (if not all) the Spanish characters you are using, you can simply go C-x C-m C-\ and select latin-1-prefix. C-h C-\ then shows you how to enter them. Unfortunately I don't know which input mode the characters "āēīōū" belong to that I need for typesetting Latin. Jun 3 '15 at 1:40
  • Thank you very much -- I'm now in the process of revising my user configuration files to free up some of the keyboard shortcuts I had previously assigned to dedicated Spanish characters -- Emacs is a never ending learning curve. :)
    – lawlist
    Jun 3 '15 at 1:43
  • Good to hear it helped. However your C-x 8 way doesn't seem to include the characters I need, but thank you for pointing it out to me. Jun 3 '15 at 1:46

There's no general way to find out what input methods give access to a given set of characters. An input method is written in Emacs Lisp, and it can use any Emacs Lisp primitives to build characters. From a quick look under lisp/leim/quail, I see that the latin-4-postfix, latin-4-alt-postfix, and TeX input methods include vowels with macrons.

The whole point of Emacs, however, is that it is extensible — so why don't you define your own input method? Say, something like the following:

(quail-define-package "macron-underline" "Macron" "MC")

 ("_a" ?ā)
 ("_e" ?ē)
 ("_i" ?ī)
 ("_o" ?ō)
 ("_u" ?ū)
 ("__" ?_))

Then say M-x set-input-method macron-underline, and you're all set.

(Aside. Many, many years ago, under the old, pre-Unicode MULE, I designed and implemented the polish-slash input method. While the code included in Emacs is no longer my original code, I'm still using it today. End of aside.)

  • Thank you! You are right it might be the easiest to just define my own input mode. Didn't even think of this, but makes perfect sense! Jun 3 '15 at 11:26

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