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I'm using Bootcamp to run Windows on my Mac. Now I can't find a way to make curly braces and brackets. What is the keyboard shortcut for that?

I am using a Swiss German Apple keyboard layout.

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And what's your keyboard layout? – slhck Oct 7 '11 at 9:52
I have never seen a modern keyboard without a [ key. – William Jackson Oct 10 '11 at 12:22
I know that there is one, I just don't know the correct shortcut. And I couldn't find a useful resources in the Internet. – RoflcoptrException Oct 10 '11 at 12:24
what is your keyboard layout? US, UK, German, Swiss, Russian? I know quite a lot about shortcuts. I sincerely doubt there is a universal shortcut for all keyboard layouts. – user 99572 is fine Oct 11 '11 at 19:47
Sälü, It'd be nice of you to accept one of the answers. – user 99572 is fine Mar 8 '13 at 21:20

I believe you would need to create your own keyboard layout in Windows to add these characters as combinations of keyboard keys.

One could use the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator to update the existing Apple Keyboard layout.

See also this article : Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator Tutorial.

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General rules for Mac keyboards under Windows Bootcamp

Find the hotkey

The basic answer for all keyboard layouts is this: If you can insert a special character in Windows with a hotkey (or keyboard shorcut), you can press the same keys on your Mac keyboard. It will enter the same character. Now the easiest method for this is to look a standard Windows keyboard to see where the special characters are located and what keyboard shortcut is required to enter the character.

Use Alt/Option+NumPad

The most generic solution for entering special characters is using the appropriate Alt-NumPad key combination. You could always use the Alt-NumPad combination for all ASCII characters:

  • For [ it would be Alt-91
  • For ] it would be Alt-93
  • For { it would be Alt-123
  • For } it would be Alt-125

You hold down the Alt key while pressing the given numbers on the NumPad. Then you release the Alt key and the character will be inserted.

This is a built-in Windows function, no hacks or additional Software necessary. Note that the Alt key corresponds to the Option key on Mac keyboards. It is usually the one to the left of the space bar.

But you will be out of luck if you have one of those Apple keyboards without the NumPad.

Swiss German and French keyboard layouts

Now, for the Swiss German Windows keyboard, the hotkeys required for brackets and braces are as follows:

  • [ - Ctrl-Alt-ü (Ctrl-Alt-è for Swiss French)
  • ] - Ctrl-Alt-¨
  • { - Ctrl-Alt-ä (Ctrl-Alt-à for Swiss French)
  • } - Ctrl-Alt-$

You can enter the braces and brackets with exactly the same hotkeys on your Mac keyboard in a Boot Camp partition. It may even apply to running Windows in virtual machines.

For a list of all ASCII characters that can be entered in the same fashion, please consult

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If you want to type an open bracket, tap the [ key on your keyboard. For a close bracket, try the ] key.

For curly braces, hold down Shift while tapping either the [ or ] key.

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Or simply try this

alt + ( = {

alt + ) = }

shift + alt + ( = [

shift + alt + ) = ]

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