Option key

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope
Apple option key

The option key is a keyboard key found on Apple computers. It is used as a to create special characters and as a modifier for other command codes. As shown in the picture, the option key is found next to the control and command keys. Since the mid-1990s, this key has included the small text "alt" on it.


For users who are more familiar with the PC, the option key is similar to Alt key on their keyboards. Many keyboard shortcuts are also interchangeable.

Option key keyboard shortcuts and what they do

Below are two key option keyboard shortcut key combinations on a computer in alphabetical order. Clicking any of the shortcut links opens a page for that shortcut with all known programs associated with that keyboard shortcut key.

option Pressing the option key by itself does nothing.
option+- Create an en dash in text programs.

Apple terms, Command key, Keyboard terms, Modifier key, Option