I have a uk layout and want to try a us layout. Changing or selecting US in keyboard preferences layout has no effect. Does this functionality no longer work?

2 Answers 2


British - PC Layout and US Layout are similar, but there are differences, especially in the shift keys on the number row.

These screenshots are taken on a Macbook pro "Show Keyboard Viewer"

British - PC Layout US Layout

  • How to change it is the question. This app "Show Keyboard Viewer" does not exist.
    – safetyduck
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 12:55
  • 1
    @mathtick you did make the effort to go to preferences, go to the keyboard tab and check the "Show keyboard and emoji viewers in menu bar"?
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 13:01
  • Note that the printing on the MacBook keyboard cannot be what is shown in your top picture. That is for a WIndows machine. If the OP has an Apple UK keyboard, it will look like the bottom picture with £ in place of #. Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 13:31

To charge your active layout, you need to click on the "flag" menu at the top right of the screen, or use the keyboard shortcut, usually Control Space. (Selecting something in system preferences/keyboard/input sources does not do anything other than show you the appropriate graphic.)

There is almost no difference between "US" and "British", mainly just the switch from £ to # on Shift 3 with "US". If you are switching from "British PC", there are more differences, especially for @ and ".

  • Seems ~ is still wrong after the flip. I don't actually notice anything having changed. What is the test to see that flipping from GB to US is working?
    – safetyduck
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 11:29
  • @mathtick You never mention tilde ~ in your question. Where exactly do you want it to be? Both the US and British layouts will put it just left of Z on a European keyboard. If you are trying to get it up at the topmost leftmost key, like it is on an American keyboard (which has no letter key to the left of Z), then you will need to install a custom layout or use an app like Karabiner. Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 13:35
  • @mathtick To know whether you have the US or British input source active, type Shift 3 and see whether you get # or £. To see if you have the British PC input source active, type Shift 2 and see whether you get @ or ". Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 13:36
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    @mathtick If in fact moving the tilde ~ is the purpose of your question, see. apple.stackexchange.com/questions/281405/… Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 13:44

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