Switch to Colemak/Dvorak

Its true! I can touch type without even looking at the monitor, with an average WPM of 60+ (most people can! Are you most people?), but then sometimes LOVE is not enough.


#1 Why?

QWERTY wasn’t designed with the user in mind (typewriter wins). More info: here & here

User productivity increases. Less fatigue – don’t have to worry about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repetitive_strain_injury

Colemak etc are less prone to typos.

& for the sheer thrill in doing something new & rare (btw eight years ago I moved to Linux. No analogy! *Wink*)


#2 How?

Ideally all you need is an OS that understands the layout. All modern operating systems do.

That’s how you can switch layouts in Windows Ubuntu etc (just google).


Optionally, if you are like me – feedback is vital.

  • Let’s buy that keyboard?
  • Maybe those glowing stickers?
  • Ah! Just get me a screw driver X(

Pop the keys out and rearrange!


The red “i” has landed on the home row. Good stuff. Please don’t do that to your laptop. USB keyboard is pretty easy to acquire.

Downside: F & J have moved (if you know what I mean). #anchor #bump #ridges


#3 Next Steps



Q. All said and done – Why is QWERTY still in production?

A. I don’t have to answer that as we all know what will happen if you go to your manager/boss and ask him to sponsor this migration. For him all that’s expected out of you is that you ‘deliver’ – which you are already capable of.


Happy hacking!


PS: WPM has significantly gone down. But do not worry. #FreshStart

PPS: Yes! I used Colemak to write this post.

more stuff:



Update (20130812):

Q. How to Switch in Android?

A. Google Keyboard is the answer. Get the app.

Settings — Language & Input — Google Keyboard — Advanced settings — Custom Input Styles — Add style (Currently it supports 6 layouts)

This is definitely cool. Gesture typing is fun.



7 thoughts on “Switch to Colemak/Dvorak

  1. Nice post NS. Your writing style is unique.

    So you took out all the keys and rearranged them on the keyboard. So am I missing something here because I think even though you rearranged them, internally they would still correspond to the qwerty arrangement right?


    • Thanks a lot for the note AK. That’s a very valid question.
      Yes that’s why I mentioned feedback & the keyboard have (you are OK even without it).

      I have shared links under ‘How’ (windows/Linux) for how to request the OS to start believing that we are using a different layout.

      I will share more pictures soon 🙂

  2. Okay so now I think is a quite befitting time when I can comment on your this post. 😉

    Just after a few days you posted here about Colemak and Dvorak, I added the Dvorak layout in my laptops and started practicing on it (Whoa… it has been exactly two months…just noticed 😀 )

    And here is what happened since then:

    – I touch type now….Yaaayyy!!! 🙂 🙂
    I could never do that with QWERTY even after I wanted to… but as I didn’t have an option (or didn’t want to go for it) of popping off and replacing the keys in my laptop… it can finally read and write at the same time… I know it is nothing out of the world types but…FEELS GREAT!!

    – ~50 WPM 😉
    Yeah … I know there is a long way to go to type like Donna Noble 😛 but not bad eh??

    – Have ended up leaving a few people perplexed when they watch me typing or try to work on my laptop… FUN FUN 😀 😀

    You Rock!!

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