My keyboard does not allow me to type a character used in a Codecademy lesson. What should I do?

This post is about the problem where you find that you can’t type certain characters in the terminal.

The courses that this has been reported in:

  • Deploy a Website
  • Learn Git
  • Learn Rails
  • Learn the Command Line

The characters that have been reported are:

$ | [space] ~ ' " \

Various solutions

These are not in any particular order.

Option 1: If you can, try a different web browser.

Option 2: Use your Alt key combined with the ASCII code for the problem character.

Character   Alt + ASCII code
β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”
    $           Alt + 36
    |           Alt + 124
  Space         Alt + 32
    ~           Alt + 126
    '           Alt + 39
    "           Alt + 34
    \           Alt + 92

Option 3: Use the on-screen keyboard (see below, ”How to use your on-screen keyboardβ€œ)

Option 4: Change your keyboard input language to American QWERTY – you might need to find a link or two on how to do that.

Option 5: Copy and paste the character.

How to use your on-screen keyboard

Click on your operating system for details on how to use the onscreen keyboard:

<b>Windows</b>
  1. Click the Start button in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  2. Click All Programs
  3. Click Accessories
  4. Click Accessibility, sometimes called Ease of Access.
  5. Click On-Screen Keyboard to open the keyboard on your screen.
  6. Continue with the Codecademy lesson. Click on the exercise you are working on, and the on-screen keyboard will be available to you.

Click here for direct help from Windows.

<b>Mac OSX</b>
  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Click on Keyboard. At the bottom, check the box that says Show Keyboard & Character Viewer in menu bar.
  3. In the menu bar (usually near the clock or battery), click on the Keyboard icon. This is usually a flag, or a U+ symbol.
  4. Click on Show Keyboard Viewer to access the on-screen keyboard.
  5. Continue with the Codecademy lesson. Click on the exercise you are working on, and the on-screen keyboard will be available to you.

Click here for direct help from Apple.

<b>Linux</b>

Due to the variance between Linux distributions, the best option is probably to run a search for β€œhow to use the on-screen keyboard in [distro name]”

For Ubuntu:

  1. Go to Applications β†’ Universal Access in the menu
  2. Click β€œOnboard” to start the on-screen keyboard
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