I probably messed up something and I can't type tilde and brackets in my terminal. I'm on Mac OS X but I thought this has something to do with Emacs that I use just from yesterday for an online course. What can I check?

  • Are you able to type those characters elsewhere, like in the Finder? – Kusalananda Jul 26 '16 at 18:29
  • Oh yes! Tried even in editors like atom and sublime and I can type them – Ursus Jul 26 '16 at 18:31
  • Do you get other characters when you try typing tilde etc.? Does this affect only the command line in Terminal, or all applications (emacs etc.)? – Kusalananda Jul 26 '16 at 18:33
  • No characters appear if I type them in terminal or emacs. In irb (interactive ruby) alt+è gives me ? instead of squared open bracket – Ursus Jul 26 '16 at 18:37
  • Which keyboard layout do you use? I'm pretty sure this wouldn't arise on a US layout. – Gilles Jul 26 '16 at 23:40

You can use Emacs in the X11 environemnt. Then you can forget about the Meta-Key in default terminal.


I solved unchecking the "use option as meta key" in my preference's terminal. But I fear it's not a solution because I need that for emacs.


You should try iTerm2. It's generally better than Terminal.app. Sometimes you need to type reset to reset the terminal, it could be that too.

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