If you want to use a Mac and you need to type in the vertical bar (aka pipe) : " | " : here's how.
The character " | " is not displayed on the keyboard so even when using Linux on your Mac you will be troubled.
You just have to type in the following sequence:
Alt + Shift + L
On my Mac with Lubuntu 14.04, I have to use the Alt key from the right only !
Happy piping !