What do these keys do on my keyboard?

russed

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 16, 2004
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i have been wondering for ages, just what do these keys do!

(i'm on a british powerbook keyboard!)

1) it is 2 keys to the right of the spacebar and looks like this >l but rotated left by 90degrees.

2) the key dirrectly above the tab key and to the left of the 1 button and it puts these symbols out §§§§§§


answers on a post card please!
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,981
364
russed said:
i have been wondering for ages, just what do these keys do!

(i'm on a british powerbook keyboard!)

1) it is 2 keys to the right of the spacebar and looks like this >l but rotated left by 90degrees.

2) the key dirrectly above the tab key and to the left of the 1 button and it puts these symbols out §§§§§§


answers on a post card please!
OK, on my iBook (US/Aus keyboard) that first key is the "enter" key as opposed to the "return" key which also has "enter" written on it.

Can you post a photo of your keyboard? I can't find any good pictures of a British PowerBook keyboard.
 

russed

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 16, 2004
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Chundles said:
OK, on my iBook (US/Aus keyboard) that first key is the "enter" key as opposed to the "return" key which also has "enter" written on it.

Can you post a photo of your keyboard? I can't find any good pictures of a British PowerBook keyboard.

i will do shortly when i find my camera!

why does it need to enter keys!!!
 

zach

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2003
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Medford
well, the thing with the rotated thingamagjiggie is just the symbol for the enter key instead of the name.

it does the exact same function. the other key, i'm not sure of. and yes, please post a pic! i've heard british pb keyboards are real funky looking, and i'd love to check out one!
 

Cuckoo

macrumors 6502
May 2, 2003
368
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The Netherlands - Utrecht
russed said:
i have been wondering for ages, just what do these keys do!

(i'm on a british powerbook keyboard!)


2) the key dirrectly above the tab key and to the left of the 1 button and it puts these symbols out §§§§§§


answers on a post card please!
The § is the symbol for paragraph... so you can say "Look it up in paragraph 4.3.2" or "Look it you in § 4.3.2"
 

Aliquis

macrumors regular
Oct 4, 2004
130
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Utah
Oooh, don't hit that key... that's the one to self-destruct your computer,... or the world, I don't remember which.
 

russed

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 16, 2004
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here we go, i have finally got around to getting a photo of my keyboard!

i have indicated the odd keys!

also does anyone know why my option key doesnt say option on it? it has another funny symbol!
 

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russed

macrumors 68000
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Jan 16, 2004
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Cuckoo said:
Dude, where's your # key ?????

funny you say that, i was looking for that the other week and gave up in the end! where should it be?
 

garybUK

Guest
Jun 3, 2002
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russed said:
funny you say that, i was looking for that the other week and gave up in the end! where should it be?
Apple don't do proper british keyboards... very annoying!!! the has # is alt-gr and whatever number is the £ symbol 3 on proper but i think its 4 on apple's
 

dcv

macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
8,021
1
# is alt+3


If you need to know any other keyboard shortcuts, then go to System Preferences > International > Input Menu

At the bottom of the dialog box, check 'show input menu in menu bar'

This will add a little flag to your menu bar and when you click on it you've got easy access to Character Palette and Keyboard Viewer. The latter brings up a little keyboard window and will highlight all characters available for different key combinations.
 

whocares

macrumors 65816
Oct 9, 2002
1,496
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:noitаɔo˩
russed said:
also does anyone know why my option key doesnt say option on it? it has another funny symbol!
You mean this one: ⌥ ?
For me, it's the graphical representation of an option ;) :p


But how do you get Command from this: ⌘ :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,643
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Cuckoo said:
The § is the symbol for paragraph... so you can say "Look it up in paragraph 4.3.2" or "Look it you in § 4.3.2"
That one usually means "section", typically found in tracts of legalese. The paragraph symbol is normally ¶.

Handy dandy mystical Apple rune chart:
 

Les Kern

macrumors 68040
Apr 26, 2002
3,063
76
Alabama
Where's the tilde key??? I need that every day.
Isn't one the "Bloody HELL!" key?
Very strange. Of course a Chinese keyboard... that would have, like, 30,000 keys... right? :)
 

mdavey

macrumors 6502a
Nov 1, 2005
507
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Les Kern said:
Where's the tilde key???
To the right of the left shift key.

I have to say that the British Mac keyboard is a real barrier to switchers. What with:

* hiding the # key
* having half a dozen symbols in a different key position to both Windows and Unix keyboards
* continuing to call one of the modifiers option when the rest of the industry calls it alt
* refusing to put the words opt(ion) and cmd/command on the actual keys to which they relate

...Just leads to a painful and frustrating first few weeks :(
 

dcv

macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
8,021
1
xraydoc said:
dietcokevanilla said:
# is alt+3
Alt?
What, is this a Windows keyboard we're talking about here?! :p
Hehe, no... but that is the only word on the 'option' key on British mac keyboards. (see the pic posted earlier)

mkrishnan said:
It's another country we're talking about here. ;)
'Sides...my US keyboard *does* say Alt on the Option key. :D
See... he knows what i'm on about :p

mdavey said:
I have to say that the British Mac keyboard is a real barrier to switchers. What with:
* hiding the # key
* having half a dozen symbols in a different key position to both Windows and Unix keyboards
* continuing to call one of the modifiers option when the rest of the industry calls it alt
* refusing to put the words opt(ion) and cmd/command on the actual keys to which they relate
...Just leads to a painful and frustrating first few weeks :(
I agree... but you'll get used to it after a while.

I just find now that every time i use my work (windows) laptop i get the " and @ the wrong way around. What possessed them to switch those keys? grrrr.
 

whocares

macrumors 65816
Oct 9, 2002
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:noitаɔo˩
mdavey said:
* refusing to put the words opt(ion) and cmd/command on the actual keys to which they relate
Not a real issue as shortcuts are given with symbols in both menus and books I agree it must be confusing to switcher who are used to ctrl and alt... but then again they are historically only used to 2 modifier keys :p
 

zudo

macrumors member
Apr 7, 2005
33
0
UK
The missing hash # is a real pain for programmers especially, and the back slash \ being in a weird place is odd too.

Having said that, typing spanish (ie stuff like á é ñ etc) is SOOO much easier on a british mac than a british windows machine...
 

zudo

macrumors member
Apr 7, 2005
33
0
UK
Not a real issue as shortcuts are given with symbols in both menus and books I agree it must be confusing to switcher who are used to ctrl and alt... but then again they are historically only used to 2 modifier keys
The worst one is ctrl, in all the menu's etc it just has the upward pointing arrow / hat thing but on my british powerbook that symbol isn't there, it just says ctrl. Took me ages to find out which key that meant, especially since I don't know how to type it and so can't search for it! Grrrr
 

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dcv

macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
8,021
1
zudo said:
The worst one is ctrl, in all the menu's etc it just has the upward pointing arrow / hat thing but on my british powerbook that symbol isn't there, it just says ctrl. Took me ages to find out which key that meant, especially since I don't know how to type it and so can't search for it! Grrrr
I've never even noticed the "hat" thing in menus :confused:

I thought the hat thing was this: ^ (shift+6). You've got me all confused now!

(Oh... unless you mean the arrow, which is the shift key?)
 

caveman_uk

Guest
Feb 17, 2003
2,391
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Hitchin, Herts, UK
zudo said:
The missing hash # is a real pain for programmers especially,
As someone mentioned earlier, it's alt-3. In a round about way it makes sense. The UK keyboards have £ for shift-3 (A pound sign) American keyboards have # for shift-3 (a pound sign). There is a sort of logic involved.

Still it took me three months of changing my keyboard map to US just to type # in programs... :(

Also if you use virtual PC the " and @ are reversed to what they are on the keyboard and in every other mac app. That's because they are on different keys....at least on UK Windows keyboards

My most recent keyboard discovery is what the 'fn' key does... Anyone wanna know or was I late to that party as well?
 

zudo

macrumors member
Apr 7, 2005
33
0
UK
I've never even noticed the "hat" thing in menus

I thought the hat thing was this: ^ (shift+6). You've got me all confused now!

(Oh... unless you mean the arrow, which is the shift key?)
Hmm, you've got me confused too now! I definitely don't mean the arrow, it took me a while to figure that's shift but at least it's on the keyboard.

If you look at my previous post I cut a bit out of the earlier handy apple rune deciphering image and you can see a ^ (never noticed that as shift 6 before, doh!) next to the word control and I'm pretty sure that's how it comes up in menu's and stuff.

I'm at work at the mo and stuck on a windows pc :( so I can't check but one place I'm almost certain it is displayed like that is in keyboard shortcuts in system prefs. I remember trying to work out how to do a screen grab and it shows ^ for some of the key combos and I didn't know which key to press!

Confusing indeed
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,643
0
dietcokevanilla said:
I thought the hat thing was this: ^ (shift+6). You've got me all confused now!
It's one of them thar historical accidents. On ancient teletypewriters, there was an up-arrow symbol that was used when it was necessary to print a representation for the control key.

When it came time to turn ASCII into an international character code, they needed a place to put a caret (which could double as a circumflex with overtyping). There was a limited number of characters available, so they decided to repurpose the up arrow.

And so today, we're stuck with one character representation for two entirely different things. Unicode sort of fixed this (the new control symbol is wider and lower), but unless you print the two side by side they still look pretty much the same. (So this one isn't Apple's fault, but given their habit of doing their own thing it's weird that they stuck to the standard when the standard is so goofy!)