I have my MacBook late 2008 sometimes running Windows 7 via BootCamp. The keyboard has a German layout. Pretty much like the Wikimedia image below except that the blue symbols in the lowest line are not accessible.

enter image description here

How could I enter the vertical bar | via my keyboard?

Unfortunately Right Alt + < does not seem to work. (However, I can enter @ with Right Alt + Q et al. as I can do on external keyboards.)

Update2: From what I can tell from the languages settings, the Windows layout is missing the <-key between Left Shift and Y. What layout would provide it?

enter image description here

Update 3: On a co-workers current MacBook Pro its working as expected.

I'd also be happy with some comments suggesting ways to have it entered. I'm tiered of copying it from Wikipedia every time.

  • 2
    What keyboard layout are you using? – CajunLuke Jun 1 '12 at 18:58
  • 1
    I assume you are German from your location, which keyboard exactly from the 4 keyboard layouts in the German (Germany) setup are you using in Windows? – Stu Wilson Jun 1 '12 at 20:26
  • With an external Swiss German keyboard Alt Gr (between space and windows keys) + <>| (next to left Shift key). Pressing Alt Gr + §° (top left / below Esc) worked, too. – fabianegli Mar 7 at 18:59

12 Answers 12


My US English Qwerty keyboard has it as Shift-\, with the \ key right above the Return key.

  • Unfortunately I have a German keyboard which does not this key. – DerMike Jun 11 '12 at 9:19
  • Does it have a key next to shift that isn't Z? – Tim Apr 4 '15 at 12:18

I had the same problem with the German keyboard. Press the key <>| and Alt and Strg key together. It works!

You see, there is already the vertical line sign on the double arrow key if you notice clearly.


You can get the | symbol by pressing alt+7 on a german keyboard layout.

  • That yields a { for me. – DerMike Jun 11 '12 at 11:18
  • Mh thats strange. I'll look into it when i boot bootcamp later .. – Pfitz Jun 11 '12 at 11:42


cmd + Shift + <

Re-reading your question, I looked at some standard German Keyboard layouts and you have the <>| key in the bottom left hand corner of the layout.

The only issue you have is the right hand Alt (cmd) doesn't do anything different than the left one!

See the image to show where the keyboard is defined in Windows 7: enter image description here Edit: added screenshot of which keyboard layout (in English unfortuantely)

  • [CMD] does not change anything and so far I did not find another modifier that modified [ < ] the way I wanted. – DerMike Jun 11 '12 at 9:26
  • I changed my keyboard within Parallels to a german layout, and tested this and it works, however I am using a UK Apple keyboard. If you can please edit your question with the details asked (which exact keyboard layout you have selected in Windows) and which physical Apple Keyboard you are using – Stu Wilson Jun 11 '12 at 10:46
  • Where is this defined in Windows? (Also see update...) – DerMike Jun 11 '12 at 11:32
  • added a screenshot to show where in Windows 7 the keyboard layouts are. – Stu Wilson Jun 11 '12 at 11:47
  • I look there after your previous comment. When I select any layout and check the "Preview" button, the > button between Shift and Y is always missing. Thank you anyway. – DerMike Jun 11 '12 at 12:37

I just had a similar problem with VirtualBox running Ubuntu and Right Alt+7 worked - whereas Left Alt+7 didn't.


On my QWERTZ keyboard, it's the combo alt gr + w to get the |

  • Whats gr referring to here? The keys g and r? Or some meta key? – Ian C. Oct 17 '16 at 2:14
  • @Ian AltGr, shown next to the right Win button on the keyboard in the question. – grg Oct 17 '16 at 14:10

I think everyone's experience varies..on a us-keyboard on en-gb system:

right alt-key + '~' worked

I have a HP laptop from the UK, after trying several combinations I finally found that alt gr + shift + | (pipe) worked. No idea why it won't work normally in Linux!


To get the pipe symbol(|) on UK keyboard with US input, press Alt key to the right of space bar + shift + backslash().

  • How does this answer the question? OP has a German keyboard with presumably German input. – JMY1000 Jun 22 '18 at 2:43

I was working on Linux Mint Live on a USB I found out that its default keyboard was different when piping commands in terminal. I could guess that the tilde sign on UK qwerty keyboard is alternative for that (shift and hash sign next to ENTER key)

  • What do you recommend the OP to do to solve the problem stated in the question? – nohillside Sep 17 '15 at 11:52

my answer is alt+186 code or shift+(press key)


Try this in Windows: Alt + 124.

To clarify, press and hold the Alt key and then in turn press the 1, 2 and 4 keys one by one. This should produce the | (pipe symbol) you're after.

  • Welcome to Ask Different and thank you for your answer. :) Unfortunately, short answers such as this don't really provide enough detail or context to help many users. If possible, it'd be good if you could add some more info in this answer. For example, I could interpret your answer as meaning I hold down the Alt key and then simultaneously press the 1, 2 and 4 keys? Or, I could interpret it as holding down the Alt key and then pressing in turn the 1, 2 and 4 keys? It would be good if you could edit your answer (there's an edit link below it) so that it provides enough detail. – Monomeeth Mar 21 '17 at 1:57

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