Alternatively referred to as the squiggly or twiddle, the tilde is a character ( ~ ) on keyboards below the escape or ESC key and on the same key as the back quote that resembles a squiggly line. The graphic gives an representation of how the tilde may appear.
For English keyboards the tilde is created by holding down the Shift key and pressing the tilde key, which shares is on the same key as the back quote ( ` ). Below are a few examples of how and when the tilde is used.
What a tilde is used for on a computer
- In languages such as Spanish and Portuguese, the tilde is a diacritical mark that is placed over a letter such as 'ñ' and 'ã' to help emphasize the letter.
- Shorten long file names in Microsoft Windows 95 above. For example, changing the "Program Files" directory to Progra~1.
- In regular expressions, the tilde can be used for pattern matching.
- In C programming languages, the ~ represents a bitwise NOT.
- Get to the home directory on a Linux computer (e.g., cd ~).
- Access the console in programs and games such as Quake.
- In mathematics, ~ is used to indicate an approximate number.
- Access to the Tilda GTK+ terminal emulator.
- What are the Windows files with tildes?
- How do I get letters with accent marks in Microsoft Word?
- Extended special HTML characters and codes.
- Computer keyboard keys and explanations.
Also see: Keyboard terms