The Alt Gr Key

  KrySTaL-KoDE 18:22 08 Mar 2003

On some keyboards, the right Alt key is labelled "Alt Gr". What does this mean? What can I do with it?

By chance, I found that double-tapping and holding down Alt Gr is the same as just holding now Alt.

Does anyone know what it is?

  AndyJ 18:30 08 Mar 2003

It stands for Alternate Grey and basically allows you to access extra functions on keys. For example if you look at the key on your keyboard to the left of the number "1", you'll see it has three symbols on it.

The first symbol is accessed by simply pressing the key (`); the second symbol "¬" can be accessed by pressing the key while holding down the Shift key; the third symbol "¦" can be accessed by pressing the key while holding down the Alt Gr key. Anther example "Alt Gr + 4" = "€"

  prima12 20:05 08 Mar 2003

Reference your previous post, my '|' key is assigned to position key '1' and '¦' is assigned to shift left slash, but they actually print the other way round. Key '1' prints '¦' and left slash prints '|'. Can I get them to print to their correct positions?

  graham 20:18 08 Mar 2003

Alternate Grey?

  AndyJ 21:43 08 Mar 2003

I knew somebody would query that, graham, and I've been racking my brains to remember where I got it from.

Ok, as I remember it from courses long ago, when the key was first introduced it first appeared on German keyboards as "Alt Gr" and was short for "secondary alternative" but when it appeared on early UK keyboards the extra function keys were in a darker grey colour than the rest of the keys and so was referred to as "Alternate Grey". As I also recall, the original intention of the naming convention was going to be "Alternate Graphic" - so perhaps this is actually the correct term.

I could be totally wrong, but that's as far as memory can drag out of itself. Have no idea what the actual German for secondary alternative is either? Maybe I'm just having a nightmare and will wake up in a minute :-)))

Anyhow...who cares what it's called, so long as you know how it works, or more importantly, what it does. After all, surely the Windows "Start" button is the most inappropriately named "button" in the Universe }:-)

  -pops- 06:13 09 Mar 2003

I heard it stood for Alternate Green and I remember that some keyboards did have the lettering in green. whether that was cause or effect, I don't know.


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