I am getting used to Mac, I have a french keyboard, and can see Character Viewer and Keyboard Viewer, but I still don't know how to type some characters, for instance [ and ]?

  • Can you specify if your question is related to a French keyboard from Canada (qwerty) or France (azerty) ?
    – Maxime
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 18:04
  • In Mac OS X there are four standard software keyboard layouts for French: Canadian French-CSA; French; French-Numerical; and Swiss French.
    – user9290
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 22:14
  • You had two questions in here. This site works better when there is only one question per question. That way, it's easier for other people to find solutions if they have the same problem. I've edited out your second question, but feel free to ask it separately.
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 1:39

3 Answers 3


The AZERTY keyboard is the most common in France. '[' is shared with the '5' key and ']' is shared with the degrees symbol key to the right of '0'. The '[' or ']' characters appear when you use the AltGr key.

I would hate to be doing Objective C on a French keyboard!

Home and End depend on context in Windows. If the text is editable, home goes to the beginning of the line and End to the end of the line. The Mac does this with Command-Right Arrow (End) and Command-Left Arrow (Home).

When the document is not editable, Home goes to the beginning of the document and End to the end of the document in Windows. On a Mac, for Home you use Command-Up Arrow, and for End you use Command-Down Arrow.

  • At least with the home/end keys I've used, they go to the beginning/end of a line, which would be Command-Left Arrow and Command-Right Arrow. Do home/end keys have different functionality on different keyboard layouts?
    – penguinrob
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 3:04
  • It's tricky, changes with whether text is editable or not - answer updated.
    – user3117
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 3:05
  • Ah, good catch -- didn't think about when using those keys in something like a web browser.
    – penguinrob
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 3:09
  • Your description of how to make those characters seems totally wrong for OS X with the layout provided by Apple. Are you really able to do it that way? Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 21:16
  • PS The correct answer is provide by Wheat Williams Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 21:27

On the French keyboard on a Mac, whether a hardware keyboard or the French keyboard layout in software, I believe that you must hold down three keys simultaneously to generate the "[" and "]" characters.

I cannot test this myself, not having a French hardware keyboard, but I believe the required sequence is:

The "[" is generated by typing Shift + Option + (

and the "]" is generated by typing Shift + Option + ).

Here is a diagram of the Apple Wireless Keyboard - French which you can purchase from Apple.

enter image description here

The Option key is Apple's name for the "Alt" key on a PC. It is located between the Ctrl key and the Command key, next to the space bar.

  • That looks pretty old... Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 16:04
  • Hello, could you tell me the name of this french keyboard?
    – SoftTimur
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 17:55
  • I have added that information and a link in my answer.
    – user9290
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 18:03

In Canada, the 'french' keyboard is QWERTY. It looks like this:

French Canadian Macbook Keyboard

To answer your questions:

[ is accessible via alt + 9

] is accessible via alt + 0

Home is accessible via Command + <= (left arrow)

End is accessible via Command + => (right arrow)

  • @WheatWilliams: The question talks about a "French keyboard" but doesn't specify if it's from France or Canada. I have a French keyboard and I am from Canada. French is not only spoken in France.
    – Maxime
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 18:01
  • Ok... and how is that linked with the fact that my answer is not helpful ?
    – Maxime
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 22:12

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