Sometimes it is handy to be able to enter non-standard characters in emacs documents. For example I sometimes need to use a £ symbol but my US keyboard doesn’t have one. Other times I need to add an accent or similar to a letter like é or ö. There is a nice overview of the ways to do this at Mastering Emacs, and here I’ll pick out the method I find most useful.
Since I use LaTeX a lot and am familiar with its syntax for symbols, I use
C-\ to run the command
toggle-input-method and then enter TeX as the alternate input method. Now I am in TeX input mode I can enter a string like
\pound and have it appear as £ or
\"o to give me ö. Pressing
C-\ again now toggles back and forth between normal and TeX input modes.
For symbols you use a lot, you can also set up abbreviations e.g. by entering
gbp C-x a - C-\ \pound we set the text gbp to expand to £.