when I was working as a technical support agent I received several calls from angry men who couldn’t find the @ symbol on the keyboard. When I explained that they had to hold Alt-Gr and pressing 2 at the same time, they exploded with anger and told me to tell the technicians to make a new keyboard layout! I explained it’s an old standard and agreed it was stupid, but that it would probably never change.

Image by [Stuart Brady](//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:StuartBrady” title="User:StuartBrady) borrowed from wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/" title="Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0)

The Nordic keyboard is indeed stupid. Since we have three special letters someone once made a special layout to make room for these keys, this person thought that all these strange characters that no one ever will use could just as well be moved to make room for our glorious Nordic characters.

As a result the following characters are placed on very, very inconvenient places and often requires the Alt-Gr key to be used (blue symbols (red symbols needs Alt-Gr AND Shift)):

As a programmer I use these characters much more then åäö . One solution is to have two keyboard layouts (US when coding, SE when needed). But I never get used to this. I always forget to switch back, and sometimes a layout is not applied globally and I end up with SE in the browser and US in Sublime or something similar.

But on GNU/Linux, one can customize the behavior of the keyboard in every way, and I found this nugget on github.

After installing the seba layout and adding the following line:

setxkbmap -layout seba -option ctrl:nocaps -option lv3:ralt_switch

to my .xinitrc file, my keyboard acts just like if it had a normal US layout, but I can write: öåä if I hold Alt-Gr and press ;[' .

I can’t thank Sebastian Weddmark Olsson enough for this.