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"setkey" file for French AZERTY keyboard

From: Michel Bouissou
Subject: "setkey" file for French AZERTY keyboard
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 18:16:35 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.4.3

Hi there,

Please find below a French AZERTY keyboard translation file that I wrote for 

This should go into menu.lst for users of a french AZERTY keyboard, and may 
greatly help those who don't know the american QWERTY keyboard that grub 
normally gives.

The French AZERTY keyboard cannot be perfectly emulated, because the French 
AZERTY keyboard has an "AltGr" key instead of the right "Alt" key, and this 
"AltGr" key permits obtaining a 3rd character from many keys (basically, all 
the keys of the keyboad top rank with numbers).

- On the american QWERTY kdb, top rank gives:
- In lowercase: a number
- In uppercase: a puctuation sign or symbol

- On the french AZERTY keyboard, top rank gives:
- In UPPERcase: a number
- In LOWERcase: a punctuation mark, symbol, or some french accentuated 
characters (such as "e acute", "a grave").
- In combination with the "AltGr" key: Another symbol such as 

Example: The "0" key gives:
- lowercase: "à"
- uppercase "0"
- Associated with AltGr: "@"

The "5" key gives:
- lowercase: "("
- uppercase: "5"
- witrh AltGr: "["

Of course, this cannot be obtained with grub at boot, because its translation 
mechanism translates character-to-character, and doesn't allow the "AltGr" 
function. So I had to find an adaptation.

Also, the french keyboard has a key "< >" that cannot be remapped in grub, 
because when booting in american QWERTY mode, it produces exactly the same 
(other) characters as another key, which doesn't allow it to be individually 

Last, the french keyboard contains a number of french accentuated characters 
and a couple of symbols that cannot be obtained with the grub remapping 
system, because they have no "name known by grub". So these characters have 
to be abandoned, but this doesn't matter because they are of no use for a 
bootloader shell command or menu entry.

So, in the end, the file included below allows for the following:

1/ All the A-Z, a-z, 0-9 alphanumerics are correctly placed;

2/ Many symbols and punctuation signs are correctly placed for the french 
keyboard; such as:
,?;.:/!*%$ for example

3/ The "<" and ">" symbols have been moved from the "<>" key (that cannot be 
properly remapped) to the top-left key (which normally gives "`~" on the 
QWERTY keyboard, and "²" on the french keyboard)

4/ For the top rank of "number" keys that gives 3 different characters, I made 
the following decisions:

4a/ When the "lowercase symbol" is useful, such as "(" on the "5" key, then 
the lowercase press of the key will give this symbol. If the AltGr symbol is 
useful as well, such as "[" on the same key, I then moved it to another key 
which is useless or untranslatable in grub. Example: I moved "[" and "]" to 
the key that normally should give "circumflex accent" and "trema / umlaut", 
characters that are useless and unmappable for grub.

4b/ When the "lowercase symbol" is useless and/or not mappable for grub, such 
as "à" on the "0" key, but the AltGr symbol is useful or mappable, such as 
"@" on the same key, then the lowercase keypress maps to the "@" symbol, and 
the useless and unmappable accentuated character is simply abandoned.

Of course, some of my choices are somewhat arbitrary, but I obtained what I 
found to be the closest possible approximation of the french AZERTY keyboard, 
helping to find most of the symbols and punctuation marks in the easiest way. 
A few symbols need some trials-and-errors or guessing, because they have been 
moved to other keys, but they are rare and not-that-useful.

These symbols are:
- "<" and ">", moved to the "²" french key.
- "#" => "£" french key
- "|" => "µ" french key
- "\" => "§" french key
- "[" and "]" => to the "circumflex accent / trema / umlaut" french key
- "{" => "ù" french key
- "}" => "°" french key

Now here follows the actual translation file. It includes comments written in 
french, because it will probably be useful for french-speaking people only.

Please feel free to include it in future grub archives if you find it can be 

Best regards.

# Gestion clavier AZERTY francais pour grub
# Lettres correctement transposees
setkey a q
setkey A Q
setkey z w
setkey Z W
setkey q a
setkey Q A
setkey m semicolon
setkey M colon
setkey w z
setkey W Z
# Ponctuation correctement transposee
setkey comma m
setkey question M
setkey semicolon comma
setkey period less
setkey colon period
setkey slash greater
setkey exclam slash
setkey dollar bracketright
setkey asterisk backslash
setkey percent doublequote
# Chiffres et symboles. Le clavier QWERTY ne gere pas la touche AltGr, ce qui
# pose probleme pour la conversion AZERTY. Choix retenu:
# - Quand le symbole minuscule est utile (exemple "-"), c'est lui qui sera
#   obtenu, et le symbole obtenu par AltGr (exemple "|") devra etre transfere
#   vers une autre touche.
# - Quand le symbole minuscule est inutile ou ne peut etre converti (exemple
#   "e accent aigu"), c'est alors le symbole AltGr (exemple "~") qui sera
#   directement obtenu.
setkey ampersand 1
setkey 1 exclam
setkey tilde 2
setkey 2 at
setkey doublequote 3
setkey 3 numbersign
setkey quote 4
setkey 4 dollar
setkey parenleft 5
setkey 5 percent
setkey minus 6
setkey 6 caret
setkey backquote 7
setkey 7 ampersand
setkey underscore 8
setkey 8 asterisk
setkey caret 9
setkey 9 parenleft
setkey at 0
setkey 0 parenright
# Symboles correctement transposes
setkey parenright minus
# Symboles demenages vers d'autres touches (vous devrez chercher un peu...)
# Inferieur et superieur => touche "carre / cube"
setkey less backquote
setkey greater tilde
# "#" ==> la touche "£"
setkey numbersign braceright
# "|" ==> touche "mu" (et peut-etre "<"), identique a QWERTY
# "\" ==> touche "paragraphe"
setkey backslash question
# "[" et "]" sur touche "circonflexe" / "trema"
setkey bracketright braceleft
# "{" ==> touche "u accent grave"
setkey braceleft quote
# "}" ==> touche "degre"
setkey braceright underscore
# Fin des transpositions

Michel Bouissou <address@hidden> OpenPGP ID 0xDDE8AC6E

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