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? Commented Dec 14, 2010 at 18:51
  • I am using the standard keyboard
    – Benny
    Commented Dec 14, 2010 at 19:19

6 Answers 6


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
    Commented Dec 17, 2010 at 3:30
  • Darn, I assume the broken pipe doesn't work for you? Updated my answer. Commented Dec 17, 2010 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
    Commented Nov 19, 2011 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
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 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 :)

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