1. When referring to computer memory, a pipe is a temporary section of computer memory capable of linking two or more computer processors, increasing the overall efficiency of the computer.

2. Alternatively referred to as a vertical bar, the pipe is a computer keyboard key "|" that is two vertical lines above one another and commonly looks like a full vertical line. This symbol is found on the same United States QWERTY keyboard key as the backslash key.

Where is the pipe on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the pipe key highlighted in blue. It is also not uncommon for this key to be directly below the Backspace key and above the Enter key.

Backslash key

How to create a pipe

Creating the | symbol on a U.S. keyboard

On English PC and Mac keyboards, the pipe is on the same key as the backslash key, just above the Enter key (Return key) and just below the Backspace key. Pressing and holding down the Shift key while pressing the pipe key creates a pipe.

Creating the | symbol on a smartphone or tablet

To create a quote symbol on a smartphone or tablet open the keyboard and go into the numbers (123) and then (#+=) or symbols (sym) section and then press your finger on the | symbol.

What is a pipe used for on a computer?

Pipe and double pipeComputer Programming

In programming, the double pipe "||" is used to represent an OR Operator and Boolean statement.

Using a pipe as a delimiter

It is also not uncommon for one or more pipe characters to be used as a delimiter in a text file because it is not commonly used.

Command separator

When using the pipe in a command it can be used in MS-DOS, Windows command line, and in the Linux console to display a command or a commands output one page at a time. For example, typing dir | more would display the output of the dir command one page a time.

Related pages

Also see: Keyboard terms, Memory terms, Plumbing, Programming terms