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How to Type a Vertical Line on a Mac

Updated February 21, 2017

When you're writing something on your Mac, you might want to type a vertical line, also referred to as a "pipe." For example, you may need to separate letters or words, and/or you prefer to use a vertical line instead of a dash, a hyphen or other symbol. The standard keyboard that comes with Mac computers has a vertical line, so you can easily type this symbol.

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  1. Power on your Mac.

  2. Click the icon of an application that you can type with, such as "TextEdit," "Mail" or "Safari" in the Dock to launch it. Click the "Applications" folder in the Dock, then click "Utilities," and then click "Terminal" to launch the native terminal emulator, which you can use to type the pipe symbol for issuing commands.

  3. Press the "Shift" key on the keyboard and hold it.

  4. Press the "Backward Slash" key above the "Return" key, while continuing to hold the "Shift" key to type a vertical line. The "Backward Slash" key has an icon of a backward slash on the bottom, and a vertical line on the top.

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About the Author

Julius Vandersteen has been a freelance writer since 1999. His work has appeared in “The Los Angeles Times,” “Wired” and “S.F. Weekly.” Vandersteen has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.

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