Using Caps-Lock as a Compose Key in XFCE4

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Why not take that useless key, and make it useful? The Compose Key—formerly present on many Unix keyboards of old—isn’t present on most modern laptops.

In XFCE, this is a little more cumbersome than Gnome, since there isn’t a graphical interface for setxkbmap, but these two commands will swap the Caps lock for a compose key:

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setxkbmap -option ctrl:nocaps  # disables caps lock
setxkbmap -option compose:caps  # sets caps key to compose

To make this active at login, you can add two entries to your “Session and Startup” -> “Application Autostart” available under the Settings Manager. I’ve named mine “compose1” and “compose2”, each containing one of the above commands. Now enjoy all those en-dashes you’ll surely be typing.