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I'm using an Italian keyboard so I do not have backticks. The problem for me is not when I'm writing a question, because I can use the UI of course, but when I'm writing a comment I have to use the keyboard to format my text.

I know the Ctrl+K shortcut, but it's not working on comments, to me at least. I was wondering if there is an alternative char?

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  • 2
    I wouldn't have thought that there's any keyboard layout that doesn't have backticks. They're used in a couple of programming languages after all.
    – sepp2k
    Aug 16 '10 at 18:27
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    Yep, we exist. It's called 'accento grave' in my language (italian) and it's not used alone. We have the àèìòù directly. Alt+96 is the code to print `
    – dierre
    Aug 16 '10 at 18:53
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    @sepp2k: That's just a sign that the language designers didn't consider all their potential users. Apparently the C# designers considered using the back-tick for something (verbatim string literals, perhaps? Not sure) but rejected them precisely because they were awkward to type for some users.
    – Jon Skeet
    Aug 17 '10 at 10:19
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    So basically any Italian who wants to write a shell script has to switch his keyboard layout or type the backtick using a symbol table? That's... troubling.
    – sepp2k
    Aug 17 '10 at 11:39
  • @sepp2k a little bit. Should I retag to feature-request or something?
    – dierre
    Aug 17 '10 at 13:55
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    Same for me - there's no backtick on my ipad keyboard
    – Noel M
    Aug 18 '10 at 9:50
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    While this doesn't really answer your question, I think you should switch to the enUS layout. Programming with it is much easier, and you'll encounter less problems in the long run. I'm Italian too and have used the enUS layout for over a decade now, and I don't regret my choice. You can do accents with apostrophes, for example però => pero', it's not the same but I don't think anyone I talked to ever noticed the difference (or at least, no one ever pointed it out) Aug 18 '10 at 10:33
  • @sepp2k: The iPhone OS keyboard doesn't have the backtick either.
    – kennytm
    Aug 18 '10 at 12:13
  • @Kop: yeah, that could be a solution. I actually saw once an italian keyboard with an additional US-layout (like blue chars for [Fn] on a notebook keyboard).
    – dierre
    Aug 18 '10 at 12:18
  • @Jon The problem extends all the way to the Markdown specifications - daringfireball.net/projects/markdown, so I don't think its going to be a easy fix for this problem. Truthfully speaking there aren't that many single characters left that are not used by computer languages and universal at the same time.
    – Yi Jiang
    Aug 18 '10 at 12:37
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    @Lady: that it's more time consuming. No one said it's impossible to type the character, they are only saying it's not as easy as it should be. Aug 18 '10 at 15:45
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    @Lady: as I said, it's just not handy nor user-friendly.
    – dierre
    Aug 18 '10 at 16:35
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    I'm Italian too, and have the same problem. I use code in comments a lot, what I do is click on the help link, then copy the backtick character and keep it in the clipboard to have the CTRL-V at will. Of course it would be better to have a key with that symbol always available.
    – vulkanino
    Feb 9 '12 at 9:55
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    Just incase anyone stumbles across this, on a windows platform there's the Microsoft keyboard layout creator which allows you to remap things out. You could manually reassign your layout to have backquote as say, AltGr + ' if you wanted?
    – tanantish
    Apr 14 '12 at 11:19
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    @Undo That comment is over 3 years old, it's feasible that iOS didn't have such a key back then.
    – Stijn
    Nov 15 '13 at 15:19
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+350

I have almost the same problem with the German keyboard.
Switching to an enUS layout, as commented, is not a viable solution, I still have a lot to write in German!
I have to type the ` (accento-grave) followed by a space to generate a single back-tick. This also works with the Brazilian layout.

EDIT:
not a solution for Italian layout since there have no back-tick key.

if you are using FireFox you can use the abcTajpu plugin to generate special characters not (easily) available on the keyboard.

EDIT2: corrected above link to point to the corresponding Firefox Add-ons page

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  • Actually you do not have the same problem. Your keyboard does have a `-key. Italian keyboards actually don't have a `-key, they have separate keys for à, è etc. (this was news to me, too).
    – sepp2k
    Aug 18 '10 at 13:02
  • I think he was referring to the Brazilian layout not the German one about the `-key.
    – dierre
    Aug 18 '10 at 13:19
  • @sepp - you are correct, I didn't know that the Italian keyboard does not have a back-tick. Both German and Brazilian layouts have it. I edited the answer to include another option: abcTajpu.
    – user141148
    Aug 18 '10 at 13:52
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    I'm italian an ALT + 9 output: `
    – Shoe
    Jan 25 '11 at 15:34
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    @Charlie That's specific to your OS.
    – badp
    Jan 25 '11 at 16:42
  • It worked for me in Lubuntu and I guess it works for Ubuntu too. Nov 12 '13 at 20:35
  • abcTajpu seems like a broken link nowdays...
    – Nikola
    Jun 26 '15 at 10:23
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I recently made a jquery code that that allows typing of unicode symbols using hostrings. You could also use this for typing backticks. You can install it at stackoverflow using a bookmarklet.

You can find the code here as well as instructions how to install it as a bookmarlet: http://jsfiddle.net/gqL3H/2/

I've now assigned the hotstring ,, for typing backticks. But feel free to customize it.

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I got it working using ALT+96 press and hold ALT key and type 96 from numpad you will have `

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    Working with a numpad is difficult for some laptops. Mar 15 '13 at 7:37
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If you are using Windows, you can use The Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator and simply add backticks and other needed characters to your current layout. In Linux it is a bit more complicated due to diversity, but I'm sure similar tools exist. That should be easier than finding a key that is so often used it's on all layouts, but at the same time so rare it's not really needed neither in human language, code or common math.

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  • Exactly. There are also some predefined programmer's layouts for western languages. We have luck, because Polish keyboard was designed by wise people and it's using normal keyboard as background. Dec 24 '13 at 9:00
  • @ŁukaszL. actually there are many polish keyboard layouts - and we are lucky that "polish - programmers" won the race to be standard in our country :D
    – Mołot
    Dec 24 '13 at 9:02
  • Well, I'm young and I haven't seen any other layout in shop ;) Dec 24 '13 at 9:03
  • @ŁukaszL. we are ≈ same age, but in my primary school we were supposed to get a grip on the computers when I was about 10. DOS 6.22 and arguments about enter vs return on keyboards ;) I had my share of luck our basic practical engineering (or how should we call ZPT in English) teaching included computers, and one of our teachers was in good standings with Warsaw University of Technology...
    – Mołot
    Dec 24 '13 at 9:11
  • Linux has a compose key that lets one enter almost any character. E.g. I frequently type [compose]ooC to get °C. Here's a table I use (and it's possible to add your own compositions) Non-ASCII characters — compose key sequences Sep 25 '19 at 13:31
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What works for me is to find the backtick in my keyboard. Then, press the keys that would allow me to type it (in my case, alt gr + ] ). Finally, press space and a backtick will appear.

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  • So that's a dead key; as I understand the original post, it's not there on Italian layouts.
    – Raphael
    Jan 9 '14 at 16:50
  • @pablo: I don't understand your solution. Can you explain? What is the gr in alt gr + ]?
    – iconoclast
    Jan 5 '16 at 21:47
  • @iconoclast: There is a key in my keyboard named "Alt Gr". You should press that key, keep pressing and then press ] too to get one backtick. If you go on pressing "Alt Gr" button and press again ], you will get more backticks. Feb 11 '16 at 20:30
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If you're on Windows you can create your own keyboard layout with the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator

I removed the dead-key functionality from those two keys, and created my own layout for development.

You can simply download my zip from github, and install the keyboard layout:

https://github.com/kitsunekyo/win-german-dev-keyboard

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I use linux and so cannot use Alt+96 to get backtick. Long time found no answer but figured out myself that Alt-Gr + Shift + 7 following a space generates the wanted backtick character: `

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