Chapter 7. Smart Common Input Method

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 utilizes the Smart Common Input Method (SCIM) platform to provide a user friendly interface from which you can change your input method. If SCIM is installed, it runs by default for all users.
You can change your input method on the fly using the SCIM user interface or using the SCIM keyboard shortcuts which you can also customize to suit your preferences. The following table summarizes the SCIM packages shipped in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.
Table 7.1. Input Method Packages in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
Package Description
scim Smart Common Input Method platform.
scim-anthy Engine for anthy to support Japanese character input.
scim-bridge scim-bridge client.
scim-bridge-gtk Provides GTK input method for the SCIM bridge. This package prevents possible binary conflicts with third-party applications linked against older versions of libstdc++ and is highly recommended.
scim-chewing Provides Traditional Chinese input.
scim-hangul Provides Korean Input method engine.
scim-libs SCIM libraries and GTK input method module.
scim-m17n SCIM IMEngine for m17n-lib allowing input of many languages including Indic using the input table maps from m17n-db.
scim-pinyin Simplified Chinese Smart Pinyin IMEngine for SCIM.
scim-qtimm Provides an input method module for Qt and is also recommended.
scim-sinhala Provides Sinhala Trans input method.
scim-tables Contains the Generic Table IMEngine.
scim-tables-additional Miscellaneous SCIM tables.
scim-tables-chinese Contains SCIM tables for Chinese input.
After installing or removing SCIM engine packages, it is recommended to start a new desktop session in order for the changes to be reflected in the SCIM language menu.
Your language may also require input tables which are usually named m17n-db-<language>. Where <language> represents your language such as Hindi or Telugu among others. Installing your language using the package manager usually will install the required input table and SCIM packages. If you require more input methods install the required SCIM packages according to your preferences. You can add the SCIM tables by running the Package Manager from the menu panel by clicking Applications => Add/Remove Software or typing pirut from a terminal.
To activate SCIM, start the application you wish to use (for example a text editor or browser) and press CTRL and SPACE simultaneously to display the SCIM panel as illustrated below. To de-activate SCIM press CTRL and SPACE simultaneously.
SCIM Panel

Figure 7.1. SCIM Panel

You can select an input method by clicking on the displayed input method which allows you to view and select installed input methods. The SCIM language menu allows you to select your input method from the list of input methods configured in the IMEngine Global Setup. You can activate the SCIM language menu by clicking on the SCIM panel. The figure below illustrates the SCIM language menu. Please note that your SCIM language menu may vary depending on the number of languages you have installed in your system. To select an input method, select the preferred language and available input methods. If the desired language is not available, please ensure it is installed or follow the steps in Chapter 2, Installing and supporting languages.
SCIM language menu

Figure 7.2. SCIM language menu

7.1. Configuring SCIM

Configuration of Hotkeys and general configuration

You can configure the front end setup for SCIM in the Global Setup under the FrontEnd menu item as illustrated below. Here you can configure the keyboard layout and some hotkeys. The keyboard layout configuration specifies how SCIM maps some IMEngines to your keyboard layout. Select your respective keyboard's layout from the 'Keyboard Layout' section in the window. From Figure 7.3, “SCIM FrontEnd Global Setup” below, the selected keyboard layout is 'English (US)'.

SCIM FrontEnd Global Setup

Figure 7.3. SCIM FrontEnd Global Setup

The Panel list item allows you to configure the SCIM toolbar and its behavior. You can set when and how to show the SCIM toolbar and any candidate window. The SCIM toolbar is illustrated in Figure 7.1, “SCIM Panel” while the input language menu is illustrated in Figure 7.2, “SCIM language menu”.
You can configure SCIM by right clicking on the SCIM notification icon displayed on your taskbar and selecting SCIM Setup. You can also configure SCIM by clicking on System => More Preferences => SCIM Input Method Setup from your system menu.
How to change the language menu

In the SCIM window under the IMEngine list select the Global Setup option as illustrated below.

SCIM IMEngine Global Setup

Figure 7.4. SCIM IMEngine Global Setup

This will display the installed input method engines. Deselect those languages you do not intend to input in. Also deselect any input methods you do not wish to use for the languages you wish to input in. Please refer to Table 7.1, “Input Method Packages in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5” and Table 2.1, “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 International Languages” both of which indicates the supported input methods and for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.
Configuration of input method

Some customizable input methods may be listed under IMEngine as illustrated in Figure 7.4, “SCIM IMEngine Global Setup”. Selecting an input method from the list will display the setup options available. Please note that the setup options vary from one input method to another.

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