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Varady’s Fabulous Flying Keyboard

Varady's Fabulous Flying Keyboard (Level 1)

Behold my Flying Keyboard!

Ever want a keyboard configuration you could switch to for odd characters‽ You know, so you could add an Ḥ in Ḥanukah without copying and pasting from this page (or your favorite “Character Viewer” program).

Well I made such a keyboard configuration that you can download and install on your very own computer. (Only works for Windows OS, alas.) Download, unzip and install.

The keyboard layout includes glyphs mapped onto the universal and international standard Unicode character encoding schema. You’ll have to use the layout along with a font (e.g. DejaVu Sans) that supports all of these glyphs. Such fonts are installed with the popular, cross-platform, free/libre and open source LibreOffice application.

Varady's Fabulous Flying Keyboard (Level 2)

I was tired of using the Windows Character Viewer to access a number of useful character glyphs including the Ḥ. So I made my own keyboard layout using the proprietary but free-without-fee program called “Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator v1.4.” (Windows only, although it’s also possible to do something similar for Macs and Linux.) If you want to hack the keyboard layout I made, I’ve included the layout in a directory named “source” in the zip which also includes the images above.

Mac keyboard layouts are directly modifiable using a 3rd party free-without-fee tool called Ukelele. Re: Linux, like much of the rest of the configuration on *nix type systems, keyboard layouts for the X Window System are defined in easily editable text files. See this page for more info.)

UPDATE: For Windows users, Steg adds this useful information,

Go to your System Setttings and find the Language/Keyboard settings and add the input method “U.S. Extended”. Then start using it. To type a Ḥ type option-x and then H.

About Aharon N. Varady


Aharon's Omphalos is the hobbit hole of Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project. He is a community planner and environmental educator working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of libraries and museums. His advocacy for open-source strategies in the Jewish community has been written about in the Atlantic Magazine, Tablet, and Haaretz. He is particularly interested in pedagogies for advancing ecological wisdom, developing creative and emotional intelligence, and realizing effective theurgical praxes . He welcomes your comments, personal messages, and kind words.

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