Can't type accented characters anymore: <dead-acute> is undefined

Bug #1251176 reported by Damien Cassou on 2013-11-14
This bug affects 36 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Damien Cassou
emacs24 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When you type an accented character through a dead-key, you might get one of:

   <dead-acute> is undefined
  <dead-grave> is undefined
  <dead-tilde> is undefined
  <S-dead-tilde> is undefined
  <dead-diaeresis> is undefined
  <S-dead-diaeresis> is undefined

or something similar.

On the web, I found several workaround:

1/ launch emacs with "XMODIFIERS='' emacs"
2/ type C-x 8 RET RET once
3/ add "(require 'iso-transl)" to your .emacs.d/init.el or .emacs file

Upstream report: and

Damien Cassou (cassou) on 2013-11-14
Changed in emacs-snapshot:
importance: Undecided → High
assignee: nobody → Damien Cassou (cassou)
status: New → Incomplete
status: Incomplete → Triaged
Øyvind Stegard (oyvinst) wrote :

I unset XMODIFIERS env var for Emacs process as a work-around:

Brings back dead keys in Emacs for me (Norwegian locale) ..

Damien Cassou (cassou) on 2013-11-19
description: updated
description: updated
Martin Gauthier (00marting) wrote :

The tricks

2/ type C-x 8 RET RET once
3/ add "(require 'iso-transl)" to your .emacs.d/init.el or .emacs file

worked for me, except for "<dead-cedilla> is undefined" which persisted.

The trick

1/ launch emacs with "XMODIFIERS='' emacs"

didn't fix anything.

Note : the only dead keys for which I have verified (the only ones I use) are

Martin Gauthier (00marting) wrote :

Correction to my previous post (#2) : the trick


works perfectly (brings back the four dead keys I use).

Luc Saffre (luc-saffre) wrote :

I can confirm this bug. It came after upgrading to Ubuntu 13.10, and I added `(require 'iso-transl)` to my .emacs, now everything works fine again.

Rodrigo Rizzi Starr (non-ducor) wrote :

I can confirm this bug (pt-BR locale). The `XMODIFIERS=''` workaround works, but the `(require 'iso-transl)` workaround does not (it allows me to type accented characters, like ã, but do not allow me to type ~, for example).

The bug appeared after I upgraded from 13.04 to 13.10.
The bug happens and the solution works even when running emacs -Q, so this is probably not related to personalization.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in emacs24 (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
era (era) wrote :

I get this on Xubuntu after dist-upgrade from 12.04 to 14.04 and subsequently installing emacs24.

I can confirm the "XMODIFIERS= emacs" workaround. As in #5, loading iso-transl does not seem to offer any remedy.

era (era) wrote :

LP #575084 seems related.

Pius (paperback) wrote :

I put the line

(require 'iso-transl)

into my .emacs file - no difference . The dead keys remain dead.

What I do not understand: Nobody seems to have a reliable workaround. Just some are lucky. I am not. But ` is important if you write LaTeX: You need it when processing a LaTeX code leads an error message, to see what is wrong. So I guess MANY people will have problems from this dead keys behaviour. And this nasty phenomenon is not qualified as a bug? It is a regular feature? I have been using emacs every day for many years but never had any problem with ` , apart from the last weeks. It is extremely annoying.

Pius (paperback) wrote :

At least for writing LaTeX with emacs, I now applied the following way out: I loaded the Italian key-board, and when I need "`" in emacs, I switch to that key-board where the symbol is available, then go back to my usual key-board. It is ridiculous, but it works. The important "Ctrl c `" to check LaTeX errors becomes available.

This can't be real. Who knows a more natural solution?

Øyvind Stegard (oyvinst) wrote :

It looks like latest Emacs release 24.4 is working OK for dead keys even when XMODIFIERS is set to its default value of "@im=ibus" (Ubuntu 14.04, Norwegian locale, Emacs compiled from source).

Apteryx (maxco) wrote :

As Øyvind Stegard, I can confirm that this bug seems to have been fixed in the latest Emacs 24.4 release (compiled from source).

Philippe Coval (rzr) wrote :

Bus is closed but I came to this issue while observing issues with:
GNU Emacs 26.3 (build 2, x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.24.14)

I sorted it out by adding:
(require 'iso-transl)

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