I am a French developer, used to the French keyboard layout. Being a developer, I invested recently in an Apple international keyboard.

Having a french keyboard, typing in the tilde '~' character was quite simple since it was printed on a key as far as I remember, although I don't remember where.

Now with my new International keyboard, the layout is very different, missing accents and other special character (which is ok since I use that keyboard only for development on my mac) but I am facing the issue that I need to type in the tilde character very often, and I don't have any clue on how to type it in in a simple way.

(PS: To type in the '~' character, I am actually using the "character display pane" coming with Macosx, which is quite cumbersome when you need it often ...)

  • 4
    Note that for developers ~ is a symbol on its own and is different to the accent ˜
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 10:02
  • 4
    The best keyboard to type programming, and most european language is the Apple English or Apple US English keyboard, and not at all the international or international english ones. On the standard English keyboard, the [~] key is just on the top left corner below the [esc] key. All the accented characters are obtained with [⌥] key and the character on which this accent is the most frequently used. For example é is typed with [⌥][e], [e], ñ is typed with [⌥][n], [n], ü is typed with [⌥][u], [u]...
    – dan
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 7:38
  • 3
    If anyone got an Apple international keyboard when specifying it is for programming, then ask for a replacement, because the secret differences between the two is a nightmare for work (boot secret combo., frequently used characters: [`], [~], [\ ], [|]).
    – dan
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 7:48
  • @danielAzuelos - Not sure I agree with your definition/opinion of 'international english' - see support.apple.com/en-us/HT201794 for all the possible layouts - Other than the move of the tilde & backtick to bottom left instead of top left, all the other "secret keys" are right where you expect them... & frankly, I can't stand where they put ~ & ` on the US keyboard ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 8:28

8 Answers 8


The "~" key is located between the "left shift" and "Z" keys on the international english keyboard.

Many users are used to have this key under the escape key (the US layout), and they (including me) use the KeyRemap4MacBook software to swap those keys.

Edit: KeyRemap4MacBook is now called Karabiner. Here is a screenshot of the configuration I'm using to remap Section to Backquote key.

Screenshot of the configuration of Karabiner reaping Section to Backquote

Edit: Karabiner does not work on macOS Sierra, however a new project is in development: Karabiner Elements. As of now, it can do the replacement in question:

Screenshot of the configuration of Karabiner-Elements showing how to replace Section to Backquote

  • I was very sloppy with that one, I didn't see it or I didn't wanted to see it ... Anyway , thank you Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 20:39
  • Note that karabiner don't work for macOS Sierra (10.12) for now. github.com/tekezo/Karabiner/issues/660#issuecomment-226942420 Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 9:26
  • 1
    I had to swap the order in which I followed your instructions. In the "from key" section, I chose grave accent and tilde, and in the "to key" section, I chose non US backslask. Other than that, everything worked fine. Thank you for this answer. Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 16:54
  • note that karbine can mess "f" keys binding for intellij e.g shift+f6 (rename) isn't working
    – ozma
    Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 6:59

Type Opt+NSpace.

This works like ã or ñ but on a space.

  • This wasn't what the OP asked; same as the other post that gave the same answer.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 9:38
  • 1
    This actually works, is you press space key turns out to tilde Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 21:52
  • 1
    @SergioFlores You don't seem to understand the difference between ˜ and ~. It's only the latter that is wanted here. Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 14:15
  • 2
    It probably depends on which keyboard it is but on mine it produces ~ with option + n and afterwards a space
    – rac2030
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 19:27
  • @TomGewecke: No, this really does work: (option-n, space) produces ~, not ˜, on the Apple French keyboard layout (and many other Apple layouts). The behaviour with ^ (option-i) and ` (option-backtick) is similar: when followed by space, they produce not the standalone diacritic, but the ASCII character resembling it.
    – PLL
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 13:09

I had my keyboard set to "Brazilian" in System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources

Changing it to "ABC" or "U.S." fixed the issue for me.

Reference: How to output tilde (~) directly


Apple French Keyboard Cheat Sheet

General sequence rules:

Shift Alt-R & then E gives É etc. ` then A gives À etc. Alt-R N then A gives à etc.

General sequence rules for `´and ~: French Keyboard for Apple Cheat Sheet for Special sequences and chords

Option N then space gives ~ then space gives Shift Option & then space gives ´

Option ç gives Ç

Option z gives  Shift Option z gives Å

Option y gives Ú Option ù gives Ù

Option s gives Ò Shift Option m gives Ó Shift Option ^ gives Ô

Option k gives È Shift Option k gives Ë Shift Option e gives Ê

Option i gives î Option h gives Ì Option j gives Ï Shift Option i gives ï Shift Option h gives Î Shift Option j gives Í

Option é gives ë Option ^ gives ô Option a gives æ Option o gives œ Shift Option a gives Æ Shift Option o gives Œ

Option ( gives { Option ) gives }

Option w gives ‹ Shift Option w gives ›

Option è gives « Shift Option è gives »

Option gives @ Shift Option gives # Shift $ gives * Shift Option l gives |

  • Oops, Option ` gives @
    – Paolo
    Commented Jan 5, 2014 at 21:20
  • Oops, Alt-R in the above was supposed to be "Option".
    – Paolo
    Commented Jan 5, 2014 at 21:23
  • 1
    Welcome to Ask Different! Whilst this is useful information, it doesn't actually answer the question. Also, don't use comments to edit your answer — use the edit button and edit the answer directly.
    – grg
    Commented Jan 5, 2014 at 22:01

In Yosemite holding down many of the letters a couple of seconds gives a popup window that let's you choose one of various accenting options. For example:

enter image description here

  • That's pretty awesome. Thank you for that tip in Yosemite. But it does not really fit the initial question, right? Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 9:27

Select US keyboard, use twice: Alt+Command+N

  • Alt command n does nothing at all on my machine. What are you talking about? In what app does this produce ~ for you? Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 22:16

AltGr + 4 twice ~~ in Windows XP.


Try Alt+Ç, my Ç is left of the backspace key

  • 1
    The International English keyboard doesn't have a Ç key
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 8:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .