Editor support

Editor plugins and other tools for allowing BQN input are in this folder. Input always uses the layout shown here (want another?), and is usually performed with a backslash \ prefix, but sometimes with a modifier key such as alt. To type an actual backslash, hit the backslash key twice.

Both the online REPL and the REPLXX build of CBQN (make REPLXX=1) support backslash input with no configuration required.

Beacon is a dedicated IDE designed for BQN.

This bookmarklet enables BQN input in any webpage in your browser.

This userscript highlights BQN code on GitHub. The highlighting library prism.js also supports BQN.

For Android, this fork adds APL and BQN to Hacker's Keyboard.

For iPhone, this repository includes a BQN keyboard for the Pythonista IDE.

The file inputrc can be copied or appended to ~/.inputrc to enable backslash input in bash, BQN with rlwrap, and other software that uses GNU Readline.

Support for other editors, OSes, or workflows will be gladly accepted!


XKB (Unix)

The file bqn is for configuring XKB on Linux, or other systems using X11. It's installed as part of xkeyboard-config 2.36 and later, or can be copied to /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/ for earlier versions. Then run

$ setxkbmap -layout us,bqn -option grp:switch

replacing us with your ordinary keyboard layout. switch indicates the right alt key and can be replaced with lswitch for left alt or other codes. The setting will go away on shutdown, so you will probably want to configure it to run every time you start up. The way to do this depends on your desktop environment. For further discussion, see Wikipedia or the APL Wiki.

Another XKB option is to place XCompose (possibly with adjustments) in ~/.XCompose and enable a compose key. This can be done using either OS-specific settings or the following command:

$ setxkbmap -option compose:rwin


Folder autohotkey-win contains an AutoHotKey script and the generated .exe file. It runs as an ordinary program that recognizes BQN key combinations system-wide, using the right alt key (to change this, replace RAlt in the script and rebuild). Move it to the startup folder if you'd like to have it running all the time. You can right-click its icon in the system tray to disable it temporarily.

The XCompose file, although created for XKB, is also usable with WinCompose.


There are two keyboard layouts: one enables BQN keys with the Alt modifier, and another uses the standard \ prefix.

To install:

Don't use the root-based directory /Library/Keyboard Layouts/ for the first step, as this will silently fail.

Text editors

Cross-editor support

bqnlsp implements Language Server Protocol support for BQN, which allows code evaluation with error reporting. After building, see instructions for VSCode, Neovim, or Helix.

tree-sitter-bqn implements tree-sitter support, and includes instructions for Helix. Many other editors such as Neovim and emacs allow for tree-sitter integration.


Copy or symlink all files into the corresponding directories in ~/.vim. Add the following two lines to ~/.vim/filetype.vim:

  au! BufRead,BufNewFile *.bqn setf bqn
  au! BufRead,BufNewFile * if getline(1) =~ '^#!.*bqn$' | setf bqn | endif

Include syntax on in your .vimrc for syntax highlighting and filetype plugin on for keyboard input. View docs from vim with :help bqn.

To use vim-plug to install BQN support for vim, add this to your plugin section of your .vimrc:

  Plug 'mlochbaum/BQN', {'rtp': 'editors/vim'}

Then run :PlugInstall.

Neovim interactivity

See nvim-bqn for an additional plugin that provides bindings to run BQN code as you're editing it.


Emacs support now lives on museoa/bqn-mode. Clone and add the following two lines to your init file (usually ~/.emacs.d/init.el), replacing the path appropriately.

(add-to-list 'load-path "/path/to/bqn-mode")
(require 'bqn-mode)

VS Code

See bqn-vscode, or install directly through Visual Studio Marketplace or Open VSX Registry.


Copy or symlink kak/autoload/filetype/bqn.kak into autoload/filetype in your Kakoune config directory (probably .config/kak/).

Alternate layouts

All files here use the BQN layout designed for qwerty, which will generally be jumbled in another layout (for example the key for r will still type , but it may not be above c, which types ). The remap.bqn script allows you to remap some files in this repository to a new layout. See $ ./remap.bqn -h for usage. Support for a new layout can be added in the keys array of the script, but do watch for string alignment with the doubled quote character.

(If you haven't installed CBQN but have Node.js, $ bqn.js editors/remap.bqn… from the repository root will work too)