What does pressing Alt + Shift + 3 in Terminal do?

All I can see is that it prints a pound sign and jumps to the next line, but, supposedly, it does something special.

  • 1
    What shell is this supposed to be answered for?
    – Kusalananda
    Commented Oct 13, 2011 at 9:14
  • I get a heart for when I do alt+shift+3, but it may be different on your end.
    – user103159
    Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 23:18

2 Answers 2


In readline, Alt can be interpreted as \e. On my system (and likely yours as well) \e# is bound to insert-comment, which according to the bash(1) man page comments or uncomments the current command line and executes it. If you press it without typing anything then # is executed, which has no effect since it's a comment.

  • Unless you are, like me, using ksh with Vi key bindings, in which case no # is inserted when nothing yet has been typed.
    – Kusalananda
    Commented Oct 13, 2011 at 9:13

It depends on the layout. In my case it creates ¥ character.

  • Did you perhaps think the asker meant AltGr-#? Commented Oct 13, 2011 at 6:58
  • No, as I said, it depends on the layout. I don't have AltGr on my keyboard at all. Commented Oct 13, 2011 at 9:00
  • 1
    @macias Are you sure about this? AltGr is usually just an alias for "right Alt key". Does the same appear when you use the left Alt (assuming you have one)? Commented Oct 13, 2011 at 11:27

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