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What exactly is the difference between US QWERTY and International QWERTY Apple keyboards?

I’m talking about the hardware keyboards specifically, not about keyboard layouts (in System Settings).

3 Answers 3

117

The most important differences are the size and position of the Enter/Return, and a few differences in the layout. The ~ key and the \ key have an entirely different position on both keyboards. Also, the US keyboard has no label (although it can be entered: Alt+Shift+2).

The International keyboard (‘keyboard type’ = ISO) also has one more key than the US keyboard (‘keyboard type’ = ANSI). Some Apple keyboard layouts use that key for essential characters, and this can cause problems for users with only the US keyboard.

Below is a high-quality visual comparison.

US QWERTY Apple keyboard:

US keyboard

EN International Apple keyboard:

International keyboard

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  • 1
    You probably have to fix the titles of those images ;-)
    – VdesmedT
    Jun 11, 2015 at 14:33
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    Second keyboard seems to be the British layout.
    – Debilski
    Jun 18, 2015 at 9:22
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    2nd keyboard is not British, as it has # over 3. British has £. It's International English.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 23, 2015 at 7:46
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    @WhatHiFi it was not clear what I wanted to say: I meant about the position of the two keys: backslash and enter. The position of the backslash in the US keyboard is really weird. (Or, to put it correctly: I am not at all used to such a position. I am used with the position of the backslash key in the bottom-left of the Enter key, not on top of it. Also, I am used with the vertical Enter key.) But the other keys on the International keyboard I find them really weird: who the hell uses ± or § signs? And of course everyone knows that the tilde and backquote are below Esc and above Tab :D Jun 1, 2017 at 21:53
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    Coming across the same topic 4 months later, I just realized: The ± and § keys are for the professionals working in law and/or business, while the ~ and ` are for programmers. :) Oct 25, 2017 at 15:42
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Latest version from the official Apple website:

QWERTY - International & QWERTY - US

enter image description here

The link below is to the overview of all keyboard layouts that Apple provides. Might be useful.

Link: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201794

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    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review
    – techraf
    Feb 13, 2017 at 12:21
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    I agree with @techraf. But, maybe you can place the images of the two keyboards in question here.
    – n1000
    Feb 13, 2017 at 12:58
  • @n1000 But those images were already provided years ago in the first answer. This answer is really kind of pointless. Feb 13, 2017 at 13:31
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    @TomGewecke Why do you think it is pointless? I agree it is more of a comment, but it points to an official Apple support document. Personally, I find that an important information for this question.
    – n1000
    Feb 13, 2017 at 13:34
  • Added the images of the layouts as well, as requested. Sorry it's 1 big image, I'm not allowed to add more then 2 links atm. Feb 13, 2017 at 13:57
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It doesn't have the alternate "upper" characters of the number keys, i.e. the pound sign.

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    I don't understand what you are talking about. US qwerty and En International have the pound sign £ in exactly the same place, alt plus 3. Neither of them have it printed on the key. Jul 28, 2015 at 15:37

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