What is opt on keyboard?

Opt, or Option, is a key commonly found on keyboards, particularly on Apple keyboards. This small key, often denoted by the abbreviation “opt,” might leave many users wondering about its purpose and functionality. In this article, we will delve into the details and answer the question, “What is opt on the keyboard?”

What is opt on the keyboard?

The opt key, short for Option, is an essential modifier key found on Apple keyboards. It is generally located next to the command key (⌘) and functions as a supplementary key used in combination with other keys to perform various keyboard shortcuts.

Associating the opt key with a specific function would be incorrect since its purpose can change depending on the active application or the operating system being used. This key offers incredible versatility and provides users with the ability to customize their shortcuts and actions according to their needs.


1. How is the opt key different from the alt key?

The opt key on Apple keyboards is equivalent to the alt key on Windows keyboards. However, in terms of functionality, they are quite similar and can be used interchangeably in many cases.

2. Can the opt key be remapped to perform a specific action?

Yes, the opt key can be remapped using third-party software to execute custom actions or keyboard shortcuts of your choice.

3. Are there any default shortcuts associated with the opt key?

While there are no fixed shortcuts tied exclusively to the opt key, many applications and operating systems have their own default shortcuts that involve this key.

4. How is the opt key utilized in macOS?

In macOS, the opt key is integral to numerous system-level shortcuts and is often used in combination with other keys to access special characters, modify menu options, or manipulate text.

5. Can the opt key be used to change the behavior of other keys?

Yes, in combination with other keys, the opt key can modify the behavior of certain keys and alter their functionality temporarily.

6. Are there any alternative names for the opt key?

Yes, depending on the context, this key is sometimes referred to as “alt,” “alt/option,” or simply “option.”

7. How can the opt key enhance productivity?

By allowing users to define their own shortcuts, the opt key enables quicker access to frequently performed actions, enhancing overall productivity.

8. Does the opt key serve any purpose for gaming?

In gaming, the opt key can be remapped to perform specific game functions or provide shortcuts, improving gameplay efficiency.

9. Is the placement of the opt key standardized on all Apple keyboards?

The physical placement of the opt key on Apple keyboards may differ slightly between models, but it remains in close proximity to the command key.

10. Can the opt key be disabled or removed from the keyboard?

The opt key cannot be physically removed from an Apple keyboard, but certain software can be used to disable its functionality if desired.

11. What is the opt key’s role in booting a Mac?

During the booting process, the opt key can be held down to access the boot menu and choose the startup disk or perform diagnostics.

12. How can one find opt key equivalents in non-Apple keyboards?

Non-Apple keyboards often have an alt key that serves as the alternative to the opt key, providing similar functionality in most cases.

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