I am trying to use the | (pipe) character in ConnectBot on my HTC Incredible, but everyone says to use Shift + Alt + ',' but that doesn't seem to work. I have tried multiple different combinations to no avail. Any solutions for this?

Thanks in advance!

  • What keyboard are you using? – Matthew Read Dec 14 '10 at 18:51
  • I am using the standard keyboard – Benny Dec 14 '10 at 19:19

No worky. HTC is not calling the correct ASCII code for the "pipe" symbol. It seems there are two of them in existence. One is a straight vertical bar (|) (supposed to be ASCII #124 in base-10 and 7C in hex) and one has a small gap in the center, it is also called the broken line or the broken bar and was used in the old IBM EBCDIC character set. The confusion is that I have seen UNIX keyboards with the broken line representing the pipe symbol. However, the broken bar is not part of the ASCII set and I have no clue what HTC used for its ASCII representation. On second thought they must be using an ISO/IEC 8859-1 representation: the vertical bar is 7C (hex) and the broken bar is A6 (hex). There you have it. All I can say is that my invisible wireless network has | in it and as long as I hide it, I can't link to it with my Incredible. Making it visible and joining and then making it invisible again does not work as a trick. Annoying!


Hopefully it's the same as on the EVO: How to type a pipe "|" on an HTC EVO Android 2.2?

Edit: Looks like they may have used the wrong ASCII / UTF-8 code for the pipe, so it looks the same/similar but isn't actually the right character. (Reference: Verizon forums)

I suggest replacing the keyboard then. XDA has a 2.3 keyboard that should work, it requires root and ROM Manager to flash it.

  • The Incredible doesn't have the same layout looks like :( As for the IME, only the broken pipe is available on the second row, the third row is smiley, sad, etc faces. – Benny Dec 17 '10 at 3:30
  • Darn, I assume the broken pipe doesn't work for you? Updated my answer. – Matthew Read Dec 17 '10 at 3:40
  • The broken pipe does indeed not work. ls | cat produces something along the lines of ls: |: No such file or directory ls: cat: No such file or directory. A hexdump of my .bash_history reveals that it is sending a two-byte sequence, 0xc2a6. I wonder if maybe my terminfo file could be updated to account for this. – Kevin M Nov 19 '11 at 20:57

Try activating the numeric keys (I believe this is done by tapping on the "12#" key to the right of the Spacebar), then hit the shift (or ↑) and that should bring up some alt. symbol keys.


You can use chrome to phone and copy the character from the a web page and send it to the clipboard on the phone. Then you just paste.

  • Yep, good idea. As Brian suggested, you can try to copy the pipe symbol from any other application (like browser) and then paste it to ConnectBot. I tried it and it works. Still better than nothing when you really need it... – Kuba Apr 6 '12 at 15:31

The wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_bar has a nice, big pipe symbol right near the top, easy for copy & paste. Bookmark that page.


Another good choice: You could e.g. install (and use) Hacker's Keyboard, which has special ConnectBot support even for function keys etc.:

This keyboard is especially useful if you use ConnectBot for SSH access. It provides working Tab/Ctrl/Esc keys, and the arrow keys are essential for devices such as the Xoom tablet or Nexus S that don't have a trackball or D-Pad.

See e.g. the following screenshot, and have a closer look at the "\" key:

Hacker's keyboard normal

Another screenshot is quite self-explaining:

Hacker's keyboard function keys

So no need to freak around with copy/pasting from web pages, entering cryptic codes, or the like. Simply use the right keyboard, relax, and enjoy :)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.