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How to use the Alt Car or AltGr key on the keyboard on Windows 10

Keyboard layouts are standardized for the most part. You will see about three different variations of a keyboard layout but no more. A keyboard, regardless of which language it is for, will have some standard keys e.g., the Shift, Alt, Ctrl, Tab, etc., keys. You might see a key named Alt Car or AltGr on your keyboard. It normally just acts like another Alt key but it has a secondary function that allows you to easily type special characters. Here’s how you can use it.

Keyboard layout and language

The keys that you can enter with the Alt Car or AltGr key depend on the keyboard you’ve added on Windows 10. Some keyboards do not have any additional characters associated with this modifier key and activating it won’t make any difference. If you’re looking to try it out, we recommend adding the English (United States) international keyboard on Windows 10. There are probably other keyboards that make use of this key but you will need to find them yourself.

Using Alt Car or AltGr

In order to use this key, you must first activate it. To activate it, hold down the left Ctrl key and the right Shift key at the same time for about 3-5 seconds. You won’t see or hear anything telling you that the key has been activated.  Guess the time and it should do the trick.

Once the key has been activated, you will use it much like you use the Shift key. Hold down the Alt Car or AltGr key and tap a key on your keyboard. Normally, the A, S, D, C keys will have some sort of character associated with it. Your physical keyboard might indicate which additional keys are associated with a key or you may have to figure them out by pressing them all one-by-one.

This key doesn’t add any special characters outside of what you can normally type on Windows 10. It makes it easier to type them. Some characters require a special code to type e.g. if you’re trying to type è, you will have to hold down the Alt key and tap 0232. This numerical code isn’t easy to remember so the Alt Car or AltGr key makes it so that you can hold it down, and tap just a single key to enter these accented characters. It isn’t just for entering accented characters. It can also add currency symbols, and other commonly used symbols such as the copyright symbol.

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