Curly bracket

Updated: 05/01/2023 by Computer Hope
Curly bracket

Alternatively known as an open brace, close brace, squiggly brackets, and flower brackets, curly brackets are found on the same keys as the open bracket [ and close bracket ] on U.S. keyboards.

Where are the curly bracket keys on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the open and close curly bracket keys highlighted in blue.

Bracket key

How to create an open and close curly bracket

Creating the "{" and "}" symbols on a U.S. keyboard

On English keyboards, the open bracket and close bracket are on the same key as [ and ] (square bracket) keys, located near Enter. To get a curly bracket, press and hold Shift, then press { or } keyboard key.


Doing the Alt code Alt+123 creates an open curly bracket, and Alt+125 creates a closed curly bracket.

Creating the "{" and "}" symbol on a smartphone or tablet

To create a curly bracket on a smartphone or tablet, open the keyboard, go to the numbers (123) menu, then the (#+=) or symbols (sym) menu, and tap the "{" or "}" symbol.

How are curly brackets used?


Curly brackets are commonly used in programming languages such as C, Java, Perl, and PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) to enclose groups of statements or blocks of code. Below is an example of what an enclosed statement looks like in Perl.

$value = 0;
do {
if ($value >= 10) {
print "Value is reater than or equal to 10. Ending.";
} until ($value >= 100);

In the example above are two enclosed statements using curly brackets. The first group is the do loop that continues to increase the value of the $value variable up to 100. In that group is the if statement to check if $value is greater than or equal to 10. Once $value is greater than or equal to 10, it prints a message and exits.

Field codes

In word processors, like Microsoft Word, curly brackets help identify field codes.


With CSS (cascading style sheets), curly brackets enclose the values of a style. For example, in the following CSS code, the hyperlinks are changed to bold red text.

a {
 color: red;
 font-weight: bold;

Regular expressions

With a regular expression, the curly brackets specify the number of occurrences of a pattern. For example, "a{3}" would look for matches of three a's (aaa). To have a more greedy match, "a{3,}" would match anything with three or more a's. Finally, if you wanted to be a little less greedy, "a{3,5}" would match three, four, or five a's.


With mathematics, the curly brackets represent sets (e.g., {1,2,3}) and functions (e.g., f(x)={x+1,x-1}).

What are the other symbols on the curly bracket keys?

On U.S. keyboards, { and } (curly bracket) keys are shared with [ or ] (square bracket) keys. To create the curly bracket, press and hold Shift, and press { or } keyboard key.

Keyboard terms, Programming terms, Punctuation, Square bracket, Typography terms