US vs UK Keyboards Layouts and How to Type the pound/euro/other symbols

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US vs UK Keyboards Layouts and How to Type the pound/euro/other symbols

You've somehow managed to have a US desktop/laptop keyboard with a UK settings OR vice versa, but what's the difference in keyboard layouts? The major difference you'll probably notice first when typing are the @ and " keys beings swapped, and the US keyboard layout has a second Alt key instead of the UK AltGr key 1 "

The United Kingdom and Ireland use a keyboard layout based on the 48-key version defined in British Standard BS 4822. It is very similar to that of the United States, but has an extra key and a larger Enter key, includes £ and € signs and some rarely used EBCDIC symbols (¬, ¦), and uses different positions for the characters @, ", #, ~, \, and |." 2

UK layout:
US keyboard

US layout:
US keyboard

How do you then type the pound, euro and other symbols without the native US layout keys when you need them?

Press the Alt key while typing the numbers below to make the special characters:

Alt 0163 or Alt 156 £ Pound sterling
Alt 0128 € EuroThe Euro is a currency of the European Union, of which the UK has not adopted. currency symbol

When you get the UK keyboard and you need to contribute your 2 cents instead of pence:
Alt 0162 or Alt 155 ¢ Cent

You can use the Windows Character Map included with Windows or a helpful guide such as the table at

This is only a brief overview for what PC users should expect and does not cover mobile devices. You could search Google for your device or operating system and the characters you wish to type, sometimes you may need to install a third-party keyboard app. Any further tips you'd like to share in the comments below?

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Pound & Euro Symbols on Mac US

The currency symbol sequences are a bit easier to remember for U.S. Mac users:

Option+3 = £
Option+Shift+2 = €

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US pound symbol / twitter hashtag

This is very helpful - I had to replace the hard drive in my US laptop and now of course the keyboard has changed. But does anyone know how to the get the US pound sign (twitter hashtag)? The UK key is missing on the US layout.

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You should be able to go into

You should be able to go into your windows control panel and change the region keyboard layout to use.From the diagrams, it looks like on the US layout the hash/pound symbol is Shift+3.


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Tip of the Day

UK billions aren't always the same as US billions. When billions are used in the UK, they often mean what the Americans would call trillions. It's important to get clarification on which billion they're actually using in figures because they still use both!