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Because of the difference in keyboard layouts, one may find difficult in searching the special characters. So, don't be panic.
I also face problem to get a piping symbol on my laptop Dell Inspiron 6400 model I found the piping ( | ) symbol just to bottom left corner to ENTER button (ie. 3rd right button after letter 'L'. Also, don't forget to press and hold the shift button before pressing this piping symbol.
I found this as I had a similar issue trying to add services to a client laptop. The issue is with at least some Toshiba and some asus keyboards. Once you follow these directions then the "SHIFT" + "\" works as you want or as a user would expect. I advise that when making this bit of code that you stick with a simple edit application, not open office, or word-like apps...
The combination of SHIFT + backslash and bar (or pipe) keys (\ to |) will for some reason produce < and > symbols, which really confused me to no end. This issue involves other SHIFT + * type of keyboard commands this should fix any and all issues in one shot. At least it worked on the types listed as I did try it and it worked great. Follow the directions below to remap the key to produce pipe instead of the greater than or less than, (< or >).
1. In your home directory create the file called ".Xmodmap" (NOTE that the first character is dot ".")
2. Put the following into the ".Xmodmap" file (or add this if you already remapped some other keys):