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Bug and suggestion: 4th article and shortcuts for special characters


I have a history of tendinitis (which happens to be coming back in the last few weeks), and it would be sooo cool if I could only use keyboard on Duolingo. I am saying this, because right now, there are basically two issues that prevent people from using keyboard only. - Cases where there is a word and you need to choose an artcicle and there are 4 options, the 4th option doesn't work on the keyboard; - The special characters. I know Duolingo is not supposed to take care of that, but please consider creating a feature to navigate through the special letters. I use them sooo much on Swedish that it gets tiresome.

Thanks a lot.

April 13, 2015



I use the keyboard only when going through skills. It's already doable.

- Cases where there is a word and you need to choose an artcicle and there are 4 options, the 4th option doesn't work on the keyboard;

If I'm understanding which exercise you are referring to correctly you can type in the article then the word and Duolingo will automatically select the article after you finish typing it and remove it from the input box.

- The special characters.

There are many different possibilities here, what is specifically available will depend on your OS. I use Debian GNU/Linux and have break set as a compose key set up. So for the Swedish special characters I use break a a for å, break " a for ä, and break " o for ö.

For some extra things to look at if you haven't before come across them, and depending on how much of a learning curve you feel like, you may like to look at the browsers designed for keyboard only use. I personally use xombrero. For an example of how it differs instead of clicking a link you can type . which puts a number by each link, then by typing that number and hitting enter it follows the link. Using , instead of . opens the link in a new tab.

If you feel like going even further there are desktop environments that are designed with the intention of keyboard only use (how much you can actually do that as a whole will depend on the software you choose to use within it). Here I use i3.


For people using X (typical on most GNU and BSD systems): besides a compose key one can use xmodmap(1). From my .xmodmaprc

<pre>keysym Alt_R = Mode_switch keycode 10 = 1 exclam agrave keycode 24 = Q NoSymbol adiaeresis keycode 38 = A NoSymbol acircumflex keysym 3 = 3 U0023 oe OE keycode 46 = L NoSymbol ocircumflex keycode 16 = 7 ampersand ucircumflex keycode 17 = 8 asterisk udiaeresis keycode 18 = 9 parenleft ugrave keycode 45 = K NoSymbol icircumflex keycode 31 = I NoSymbol idiaeresis keycode 15 = 6 asciicircum ecircumflex keycode 53 = X NoSymbol ccedilla keycode 34 = bracketleft braceleft guillemotleft U2190 keycode 35 = bracketright braceright guillemotright U2192 </pre>

Some of my keys are shifted (QWERTY layout) as I defined some keys already (using AltGr-c for ĉ, and AltGr-x for ç), but you can adjust it to your liking.

This may be a bit difficult, but it does work throughout X. If you are using GNOME, MATE or a similar desktop environment, you can select a useful keyboard layout via the Control Center.

@HappyEvilSlosh, thanks for the Xombrero-tips (opening links with the keyboard) — I have yet to read the man page, but am already a happy user.

Sorry for getting a bit off-topic, but do you know of Spectrwm? It is Xmonad-like and written by the same programmers as Xombero. I am using Spectrwm at the moment, but have used Xmonad for several years, and tried i3 recently as well. All are user-friendly (except, arguably, changing the configuration in Xmonad) and working well, in my opinion.


I think I tried Xmonad years and years ago and didn't really like it. I'll have a look at Spectrwm, thanks for pointing it out. :)

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