I am a Brit working on Unix in a French company - I am more or less used to the French keyboard now, but one problem I still have is typing a tilde (~).

The best I can do is either:


which gives me 2 tildes, or


which gives me one. Is there a quicker way? I know it's not a big thing but it drives me crazy!

I am on Windows XP (version française!) but spend most of my time using Putty to talk to Red Hat boxen.



You can maybe use Autohotkey to remap it to a different key combo, but I haven't tried AHK with international keyboard layouts.

They key combos you are using are the correct ones on a french KB, unfortunately.


FYI, you need to hit a space after the initial key combo because of the use of tildes over letters in French. If you hit a key (like e or a) after the Alt-Gré then it will add that letter with the tilde over it.

  • I'm quite happy pressing Alt-Gr, but I'm surprised there's no way to get it with just two keypresses like on an English keyboard. – Rich Sep 8 '10 at 14:15
  • See my edit - it's because of the use of accents in French. – JNK Sep 8 '10 at 14:17
  • 1
    I've just realised that I can press Alt-Gr+é to get the tilde, and then straight away type Shift-: to get the forward slash, and that works fine, so it's the same number of keystrokes as on a English keyboard, just different ones :) – Rich Sep 9 '10 at 8:13

For ~ on a French Canadian keyboard, type Alt+ç

  • That is correct! Not sure if it's the right place to ask, but do you know how to put it on the n to get ñ using that same layout? (My Google search led me here) I'm on Mac OS for what it's worth. :) – user144939 Apr 15 '20 at 19:03

You could just put XP in English mode :)


  • 1
    ...except that won't correct the issue, since he still has a french keyboard. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboard_layout – JNK Sep 8 '10 at 14:30
  • practically You are not even trying to help him – subanki Sep 8 '10 at 14:39
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    This isn't unreasonable: if you're very familiar with the UK keyboard layout, change the keyboard interpretation to UK and try not to look down at the (now wrong) keycaps. – pjc50 Sep 8 '10 at 14:47
  • It seems like a solution that would cause more issues than it fixed, since he only wants to save one keystroke when he types a tilde, not remap his entire keyboard. – JNK Sep 8 '10 at 14:50
  • He states that he is "more or less" used to the French keyboard, and I assume he is familiar with the UK/US layout more. Most people I know aren't very familiar with the language options in XP, so I threw this out there for him if he'd rather use a US layout. – Garrett Sep 8 '10 at 16:31

I've just figured it on mac keyboard AZERTY belgian running emulated linux. Combination of Shift+Option+m followed by space outputs ~

  • The question contains a three-key sequence and asks for a quicker way — so you post a four-key answer? – G-Man Says 'Reinstate Monica' Apr 1 '20 at 23:30
  • Yes, you are wrong. Because three key combination is just enough and followed by "n" outputs ñ as in "ninño" 😁 – bol_zeba Apr 6 '20 at 21:31

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