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X11R7.4 - man page for xmodmap (x11r4 section 1)

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XMODMAP(1)									       XMODMAP(1)

NAME
       xmodmap - utility for modifying keymaps and pointer button mappings in X

SYNOPSIS
       xmodmap [-options ...] [filename]

DESCRIPTION
       The xmodmap program is used to edit and display the keyboard modifier map and keymap table
       that are used by client applications to convert event keycodes into keysyms.  It  is  usu-
       ally  run  from	the  user's session startup script to configure the keyboard according to
       personal tastes.

OPTIONS
       The following options may be used with xmodmap:

       -display display
	       This option specifies the host and display to use.

       -help   This option indicates that a brief  description	of  the  command  line	arguments
	       should  be  printed  on the standard error channel.  This will be done whenever an
	       unhandled argument is given to xmodmap.

       -grammar
	       This option indicates that a help message describing the expression  grammar  used
	       in files and with -e expressions should be printed on the standard error.

       -verbose
	       This  option  indicates that xmodmap should print logging information as it parses
	       its input.

       -quiet  This option turns off the verbose logging.  This is the default.

       -n      This option indicates that xmodmap should not change the mappings, but should dis-
	       play what it would do, like make(1) does when given this option.

       -e expression
	       This option specifies an expression to be executed.  Any number of expressions may
	       be specified from the command line.

       -pm     This option indicates that the current modifier map should be printed on the stan-
	       dard  output.   This is the default mode of operation if no other mode options are
	       specified.

       -pk     This option indicates that the current keymap table should be printed on the stan-
	       dard output.

       -pke    This option indicates that the current keymap table should be printed on the stan-
	       dard output in the form of expressions that can be fed back to xmodmap.

       -pp     This option indicates that the current pointer map should be printed on the  stan-
	       dard output.

       -       A lone dash means that the standard input should be used as the input file.

       The filename specifies a file containing xmodmap expressions to be executed.  This file is
       usually kept in the user's home directory with a name like .xmodmaprc.

EXPRESSION GRAMMAR
       The xmodmap program reads a list of expressions and parses them all before  attempting  to
       execute	any of them.  This makes it possible to refer to keysyms that are being redefined
       in a natural way without having to worry as much about name conflicts.

       keycode NUMBER = KEYSYMNAME ...
	       The list of keysyms is assigned to the indicated keycode (which may  be	specified
	       in decimal, hex or octal and can be determined by running the xev program).  Up to
	       eight keysyms may be attached to a key, however the last four are not used in  any
	       major  X  server implementation.  The first keysym is used when no modifier key is
	       pressed in conjunction with this key, the second with Shift, the  third	when  the
	       Mode_switch key is used with this key and the fourth when both the Mode_switch and
	       Shift keys are used.

       keycode any = KEYSYMNAME ...
	       If no existing key has the specified list of keysyms assigned to it, a  spare  key
	       on  the	keyboard  is  selected	and  the keysyms are assigned to it.  The list of
	       keysyms may be specified in decimal, hex or octal.

       keysym KEYSYMNAME = KEYSYMNAME ...
	       The KEYSYMNAME on the left hand side is translated into matching keycodes used  to
	       perform	the  corresponding  set of keycode expressions.  The list of keysym names
	       may be found in the header file <X11/keysymdef.h> (without the XK_ prefix) or  the
	       keysym  database   /usr/local/lib/X11/XKeysymDB.   Note that if the same keysym is
	       bound to multiple keys, the expression is executed for each matching keycode.

       clear MODIFIERNAME
	       This removes all entries in the modifier map for the given modifier,  where  valid
	       name  are:  Shift,  Lock, Control, Mod1, Mod2, Mod3, Mod4, and Mod5 (case does not
	       matter in modifier names, although it does matter for all other names).	For exam-
	       ple,  ``clear  Lock''  will  remove all any keys that were bound to the shift lock
	       modifier.

       add MODIFIERNAME = KEYSYMNAME ...
	       This adds all keys containing the given keysyms to  the	indicated  modifier  map.
	       The  keysym  names  are	evaluated after all input expressions are read to make it
	       easy to write expressions to swap keys (see the EXAMPLES section).

       remove MODIFIERNAME = KEYSYMNAME ...
	       This removes all keys containing the given keysyms  from  the  indicated  modifier
	       map.   Unlike  add,  the  keysym names are evaluated as the line is read in.  This
	       allows you to remove keys from a modifier without having to worry about whether or
	       not they have been reassigned.

       pointer = default
	       This  sets the pointer map back to its default settings (button 1 generates a code
	       of 1, button 2 generates a 2, etc.).

       pointer = NUMBER ...
	       This sets the pointer map to contain the indicated button codes.  The list  always
	       starts with the first physical button.

       Lines that begin with an exclamation point (!) are taken as comments.

       If  you	want  to  change  the binding of a modifier key, you must also remove it from the
       appropriate modifier map.

EXAMPLES
       Many pointers are designed such that the first button is pressed using the index finger of
       the right hand.	People who are left-handed frequently find that it is more comfortable to
       reverse the button codes that get generated so that the primary button  is  pressed  using
       the index finger of the left hand.  This could be done on a 3 button pointer as follows:
       %  xmodmap -e "pointer = 3 2 1"

       Many  applications  support  the  notion of Meta keys (similar to Control keys except that
       Meta is held down instead of Control).  However, some servers do not have a Meta keysym in
       the  default  keymap  table, so one needs to be added by hand.  The following command will
       attach Meta to the Multi-language key (sometimes  labeled  Compose  Character).	 It  also
       takes  advantage of the fact that applications that need a Meta key simply need to get the
       keycode and don't require the keysym to be in the first column of the keymap table.   This
       means  that  applications that are looking for a Multi_key (including the default modifier
       map) won't notice any change.
       %  xmodmap -e "keysym Multi_key = Multi_key Meta_L"

       Similarly, some keyboards have an Alt key but no Meta key.  In that case the following may
       be useful:
       %  xmodmap -e "keysym Alt_L = Meta_L Alt_L"

       One  of the more simple, yet convenient, uses of xmodmap is to set the keyboard's "rubout"
       key to generate an alternate keysym.  This frequently involves exchanging  Backspace  with
       Delete  to  be  more comfortable to the user.  If the ttyModes resource in xterm is set as
       well, all terminal emulator windows will use the same key for erasing characters:
       %  xmodmap -e "keysym BackSpace = Delete"
       %  echo "XTerm*ttyModes:  erase ^?" | xrdb -merge

       Some keyboards do not automatically generate less than and greater  than  characters  when
       the comma and period keys are shifted.  This can be remedied with xmodmap by resetting the
       bindings for the comma and period with the following scripts:
       !
       ! make shift-, be < and shift-. be >
       !
       keysym comma = comma less
       keysym period = period greater

       One of the more irritating differences between keyboards is the location  of  the  Control
       and Shift Lock keys.  A common use of xmodmap is to swap these two keys as follows:
       !
       ! Swap Caps_Lock and Control_L
       !
       remove Lock = Caps_Lock
       remove Control = Control_L
       keysym Control_L = Caps_Lock
       keysym Caps_Lock = Control_L
       add Lock = Caps_Lock
       add Control = Control_L

       This example can be run again to swap the keys back to their previous assignments.

       The  keycode  command  is  useful  for  assigning  the  same  keysym to multiple keycodes.
       Although unportable, it also makes it possible to write scripts that can  reset	the  key-
       board  to  a  known state.  The following script sets the backspace key to generate Delete
       (as shown above), flushes all existing caps lock bindings, makes the  CapsLock  key  be	a
       control key, make F5 generate Escape, and makes Break/Reset be a shift lock.
       !
       ! On the HP, the following keycodes have key caps as listed:
       !
       !     101  Backspace
       !      55  Caps
       !      14  Ctrl
       !      15  Break/Reset
       !      86  Stop
       !      89  F5
       !
       keycode 101 = Delete
       keycode 55 = Control_R
       clear Lock
       add Control = Control_R
       keycode 89 = Escape
       keycode 15 = Caps_Lock
       add Lock = Caps_Lock

ENVIRONMENT
       DISPLAY to get default host and display number.

SEE ALSO
       X(7), xev(1), Xlib documentation on key and pointer events

BUGS
       Every  time  a keycode expression is evaluated, the server generates a MappingNotify event
       on every client.  This can cause some thrashing.  All of the  changes  should  be  batched
       together  and  done at once.  Clients that receive keyboard input and ignore MappingNotify
       events will not notice any changes made to keyboard mappings.

       Xmodmap should generate "add" and "remove" expressions automatically  whenever  a  keycode
       that is already bound to a modifier is changed.

       There should be a way to have the remove expression accept keycodes as well as keysyms for
       those times when you really mess up your mappings.

AUTHOR
       Jim Fulton, MIT X Consortium, rewritten from an earlier version by David Rosenthal of  Sun
       Microsystems.

X Version 11				  xmodmap 1.0.3 			       XMODMAP(1)
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