I switched to Mac recently. The only thing that's disturbing me until now is the missing of the tilde sign (~). The closest thing I achieved to this sign is the accent tilde (˜). My passwords are not satisfied with that second little tilde sign.

I'm using a U.S International PC keyboard layout.

How do I make the tilde sign work on my Mac?

  • 1
    What about hardware? Are you using a Mac style keyboard? Or your old PC style keyboard? – voices Dec 21 '15 at 11:26
  • $3000 laptop and it can't handle typing, it can't properly connect to APs, it can't delete char at right, it can't have both function keys and multimedia keys at the same time... I am switching back to PC with Linux – Ondra Žižka Jan 9 at 17:23
  • The amount of answers and comments to a question about how to type a single character made me lol so hard! Don't get me wrong, I have a Macbook and two Apple keyboards so I feel your pain. – RusI Apr 18 at 9:01

10 Answers 10


You type the accent tilde (shift `) then space: ~

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  • 3
    I have to do Option + n to get the little tilde, but Shift + the key under ESC only displays ±. I'm used to the PC formats which do as you suggested (without the extra space), but it's not the case on my Mac. – aborted Jun 16 '14 at 0:52
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    Then it is shift + the key to the left of z. Is ` not marked on that? – Tom Gewecke Jun 16 '14 at 2:15
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    Alt + n then space gives me ˜. shift ` gives me ±. – Thomas Ahle Oct 20 '16 at 9:41
  • @ThomasAhle What is the name of the Input Source you are using? These instructions are for US International PC. – Tom Gewecke Oct 20 '16 at 13:03
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    @FelixCrazzolara Just use the US input source instead of US International PC. – Tom Gewecke Feb 7 at 17:04

You might consider switching "U.S. International PC layout" to "U.S. layout" enter image description here

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  • There is no need to do that. – Tom Gewecke Jun 16 '14 at 0:50
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    I've tried what you said, but even the U.S layout gives me § without shift and ± with a shift press. Suggestions? – aborted Jun 16 '14 at 0:56
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    It's probably on the key that located between Shift and Z. Make sure you have "Show Input menu in the Menu bar" selected, and open Keyboard viewer from the menu bar to see you keyboard. – Sergei Jun 16 '14 at 1:04
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    On MacBook Pro with norwegian keyboard: type Alt+^.. – Håkon Hægland Apr 22 '15 at 10:23
  • Thanks, this is great help! I never need an superseced tilde but always need the home symbol. Even in scientific work, I will use \tilde instead – IceFire Apr 19 at 7:21

On my U.S. layout keyboard it works to use shift+\ (button next to left shift, see the screenshot). I believe the same button is above the enter key on MacBooks from other countries.

MacBook keyboard keyboard preferences

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  • The question is about the US International PC layout. Plus your answer is already covered by the one from Sergei. – Tom Gewecke Nov 29 '16 at 20:54
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    This answer helped – Skeleton Bow Dec 4 '16 at 16:57
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    You saved me a lot of headaches! – Mysterio Feb 23 at 10:50

On a French or German Mac keyboard, type +N to write the ~ character.

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On a Finnish Mac keyboard layout (probably applies to some other international keyboard layouts as well) the tilde can be produced with the key with the symbols . That is on the left side of Enter and below the Backspace key.

When pressing Alt and space the tilde ~ appears.

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  • Didn't work in Minecraft + Finnish Mac keyboard, unfortunately. – Janne Aukia Mar 31 '18 at 16:42
  • This also applies to the Danish layout. – Clearer Aug 2 '18 at 9:13
  • No space needed, only cmd + ^ – blub Oct 19 at 13:55

For those readers who want to make tilde accents over characters instead of the NORMAL tilde sign (~) requested by Aborted, here is some possibly useful info:

OptionN applies a ~ to the next a, o, or n that you type (given that you release them first). In the event that your keyboard/keyboard settings do not afford you the character, more modified character options are available in the keyboard preferences option available from the toolbar in the upper right corner. keyboardOptionsTab select "Latin" from the option on the left, then double click on your desired character to insert at your cursor. characterOptions Another option is the Accent Menu you get when you hold down the key for the base letter, as described by Apple here

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I just pressed all bottons and found that if you press alt + ¨ you will get ~

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  • This works on my Danish keyboard layout :) – Sune Trudslev Nov 28 '19 at 10:19

In the Spanish keyboard, press the Alt key down and hit "ñ".

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Try using Shift+Page Down. I don't know Apple keyboard layout (I'm using a Hackintosh) but it works for me.

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Try hold option key down and type n release option key and type n again ñ

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  • 2
    But the question is how to type tilde ~, not how to type ñ. You should delete this answer since it makes it look like you failed to read the question. – Tom Gewecke Aug 28 '16 at 18:18

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