What Keyboard Layout Should You Use? There are a lot of different keyboard layouts out there, and it can be really confusing which one to choose. In this article, we’ll help you decide which keyboard layout is best for you, based on your personal preferences. We’ll also give you some tips on how to get started using that layout, so you can start typing faster and with less error. Let’s start by getting to know the different keyboard layouts and their capabilities. You see, every layout has a specific purpose that it serves best.
What Keyboard Layout Should You Use
What is a Keyboard Layout?
A keyboard layout is the specific way in which a given keyboard is arranged and configured to produce characters on a computer screen. There are dozens of different layouts available, catering to users with a wide range of preferences and needs.
Do I Need One?
If you’re just starting out, it probably won’t make much sense to get too bogged down in layout specifics right now. In general, though, knowing what options are available can help you make better choices when selecting a keyboard, and can also speed up your typing significantly. Plus, as you become more familiar with the different layouts and their features, you’ll be in a much better position to personalize your setup for optimal efficiency.
What Are Some Common Keyboard Layouts?
There are six main types of keyboards: American/United Kingdom (UK), Australian/New Zealand (ANZ), Belgian/Luxem bourgeon/Swiss (BEL), Danish/Norwegian (DNK), Spanish (ESP), and French Canadian (FCA).
Each layout has its own set of characters, key combinations, and formatting conventions. Knowing which layout to use can make a big difference in how quickly you get your work done.
Which Layout Should I Choose?
There isn’t one definitive answer to this question – it all depends on your individual preferences and needs. If you’re relatively new to using computers, it’s probably a good idea to start out with one of the standard layouts. Once you have some basic skills down, though, it’s worth exploring the different options and finding one that suits your style and workflow best.
Here are a few tips on choosing the right keyboard layout:
If you type mostly in English, go with an American/UK keyboard layout – this is by far the most common and is supported by virtually all computer programs.
If you use French or Spanish, go with a French Canadian layout – this is the layout used in Canada, Mexico, and many other countries throughout Latin America.
If you type mostly in Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish, select a Danish/Norwegian keyboard layout – these languages are closely related to English and are also commonly used on European computers.
If you type mainly in Chinese, Japanese, or another Asian language, go with a Chinese/Japanese keyboard layout – these languages have unique character formations that require a different layout.
What is QWERTY?
QWERTY is the most common keyboard layout and is used by more than 90% of computer users. It consists of the following keys:
Left arrow = ← (left shift), right arrow = → (right shift), “home” key, 1-9 keys = numbers, “end” key, space bar = enter.
Now that you know the basics about keyboard layouts, it’s time to get started with your first input!
Get ready for some typing fun.
QWERTY is by far the most common computer keyboard in use today – so if you’ve been using other keyboards up until now, chances are good that this one will feel quite familiar. After all, QWERTZ has its roots in our very own (German) alphabet and “TT ” is quite close to our own Y. However, one thing that seems different at first glance is the numbers 1 – 9 occupying their proper position on the keyboard – granted we generally don’t have a chance of actually hitting them when typing, however, it’s always nice for people around you not having to look away from what they’re doing just because you can type faster without looking down.
If this isn’t familiar territory for your fingers yet then think of it as a friendly training session. With that said, lets get started.
QWERTY’s home row: 1-9 keys and “home” key Knowing where the numbers 1 to 9 are located on a Qwerty keyboard is basic instinct – try this intentionally without looking first Believe it or not, some people still don’t know what those yellowish characters above your right thumb mean you’re typing either. So if You’re one of them, use the number keys to type 1-9. If you have a bigger keyboard than 32 buttons arranged on your right-hand side: try and get used to how they all feel before going the other route and learning it in a more planned way.
However, if you happen to know that 7 = ß, 5 = €, or 9 = £ (however this only applies to Dollar signs!), then just go ahead and type it.
Compared to the majority of QWERTY keyboards on the market today including Macs and PCs, many old-fashioned typewriters had only 6 keys: 3 on each side with capital letters in between. If you’re like most people who only type upper case (or want to), then you’ll need either to purchase a separate keyboard for 7 and 8, or keep your fingers crossed that you don’t hit them accidentally when typing.
To delete (backspace) what you’ve just typed, all you need to do is press the backspace/delete key next to “home” – note that some computers have it in a different location such as the bottom right corner. Do make sure not to hit any of the other keys while trying this out – accidents happen easily and can quickly lead to frustration.
There are numerous keyboard layouts and variations available on the market, but for most people, the “standard” QWERTY layout is more than enough.
While you’re at it, make sure to go through our complete guide on how to type faster as well!
On this page: QWERTZ, DWERTY and AZERTY.
Regardless of the language, you’re typing in, we recommend going through each and every part of our guide. Perhaps one day they will help you learn how to type faster without even realizing it!
If you’re targeting a global market, or just want to impress your international friends with your typing skills, then the AZERTY layout is perfect for you. Most computers have a “European” keyboard which simply means that the letter Q (which isn’t on English keyboards at all) is above A, Z, and F. The mechanics of AZERTY are shown below.
How to type in AZERTY Emulate the three fingers in front of your hands.
Place them on the keys to their right. For example, if you’re pointing at Q, place your pinky finger (1) on it; the second and third are just as easy since they all have a common “correct” key location – the top left corner.
Alternate between pressing A and Z with each stroke. The proper motion is more complicated than this, but don’t worry about it – just keep on sending and receiving in this simple way.
QWERTY Q to get you started, why not explore the plethora of AZERTY keyboard layouts out there? The best ones for you are probably some version of Dvorak, IBM Trackpantzer or De Wolf. Looking for a complete guide? Just follow the below table: Keyboard Layout Based Designed by Speed Cultivated Technology Google Dvorak Anti-Keyboards.org De Wolf The Hacker Keyboard.
So what started as a simple mailbag column has become one of our most popular columns on this site. Speaking (with the grace and eloquence that is undisputedly my own) to type speed was never just an idle question for me – it drove me crazy for years since I’m very inefficient at typing, especially compared to others. My 10-year-old son ranks above 90 WPM, while my 20-year-old brother scores below 80 WPM.
I routinely reach 120-140WPM on average after really trying out different keyboards and swapping back to QWERTY only when it’s time for an exam (I fail compulsive without such pressure). Since then my interest in typing has perked up – but let me focus more on Dvorak than AZERTY here 🙂 The advent of this blog drove me to find ways that I could learn more efficiently before there was a way to actually be efficient when learning new things. So first and foremost, observe the commonalities/differences in typical typists using modern QWERTZ or AZERTY layouts with various degrees of strength – keep this in mind as we go forward.
If you want to type faster, your first step should be to assess which keyboard layout is most suited for you. This table can help make the decision easier.
Dvorak (Tamáš Dvořák) was an engineer of Czechoslovakian origin who wrote a series of published speed typing guides in the 1930s and many academic articles from the 1940s to 1970. While his publications are known worldwide as such, this go-slow method for learning is little used nowadays (maybe because it’s not necessary or it lacks wide coverage).
1: 1-1.5 WPM improvement over standard QWERTY or AZERTY typing,
2: Fast learnability of the keys and strokes.
1: The slow falloff in speed after set up needs large revision to bring speeds from LLQ on average (with a bit variation thereon) .
Limited international coverage due to institutional resistance in most countries that don’t have Dvor ak keyboards. – Limited PD options due to strong bias against Dvorak (and other non-traditional layouts) in the computer industry, despite most books being available as software and/or PDF files.
Colemak is a layout designed by Paul D. Allan and promoted in his book “Speed Typing: The Revolutionary Way to Type Faster” (1990).
1: Similar speed improvement over QWERTY or AZERTY,
2: but with less learning curve.
3: You can start using it right away if you have a Coleman keyboard.
4: Wide international coverage since it’s the most common keyboard layout used in Europe.
1: No PD options/resources for Colemak.
2: It’s something you need to check out on your own using either an old keyboard (SNES, Atari) or a Dvorak layout.
3: Not efficient in the small keys of AZERTY keyboards and QWERTY touchpad computers such as Lenovo laptops. It makes better progress when typing on large 3×5 keys with longer key travel than 80%.
QWERTZ and Other Layouts.
There are many alternative keyboard layouts available, such as QWERTZ and DVORAK. However, these layouts tend to be less popular than the standard QWERTY or AZERTY keyboards.
Which Layout is The Best for You?
The best keyboard layout for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. You should try out different layouts to see which ones are the most efficient for you. Whatever the cause of your typing challenges, you can learn to overcome them with better keyboard layouts. You may want to compare QWERTY vs Dvorak, or other alternatives such as Colemak or DVORAK. Geekhack Forums, a popular computer enthusiast forum discusses issues related to keyboards. A user has come up with Dvorak on QWERTY keyboard and Regular PBT keys for the F-row.
There is no single “best” keyboard layout. Instead, it depends on your specific needs and preferences. In general, Dvorak is faster and more efficient.
QWERTY should be avoided unless your layout works on a QPad or an emulator such as No$Key which can simulate key presses (This avoids inaccurate typing). However, if you do have regular access to a device with the option of using QWERTY keyboards then this may be worth considering “just in case”, although perhaps not highly recommended because it would require using significantly less efficient layouts.