Sunday, June 18, 2006

Type More Efficiently Using the Dvorak Layout


The QWERTY layout on most computers and typewriters were actually designed to, believe it or not, slow down typing. There is actually a better layout of keys for typing more efficiently (and possibly quickly) called the "Dvorak Keyboard". The layout of keys on a Dvorak keyboard places the most used keys in typing words on the middle row, termed the "home keys". On this row is all the vowels and some of the most used consonants. Before confusing you much further, I'll stop and I'll now link to this fascinating read on the history and benefits of the Dvorak keyboard: the Dvorak Zine. It links to a comic strip which explains the Dvorak keyboard extremely well, it even converted me! (you can also click the picture above).

Here's another secret: you don't need to buy a new keyboard. The ability to type Dvorak is already built into Windows (or Linux & Mac). All needed is just to activate it under the control panel -> add languages -> English (Dvorak Keyboard). The comic strip above explains in detail.

If you're now also convinced to use Dvorak, all we need to do is detrain ourselves from QWERTY and take lessons & practise. Tuition is free thanks to the lovely internet:

Link to free Dvorak Tutors

From now on I'll be slowly learning Dvorak, if you do to, please let me know how you fare.

10 comments:

OK said...

The reason that QWERTY was designed to slow things down was the fact that the people at the time was typing too fast causing the typewriter to jam frequently.

It is good to have the layout and it will make typing faster but the future probably does not use keyboards as such.

Did I tell you about my idea for a holographic keyboard.. well the Japs beat me to it. As we read this there is a holographic keyboard and screen that actually projects from a pen like device.

Regards

p/s - installing VISTA on the VAIO

crimsonskye said...

Wow really? I could try and learn this.
Right now I'm very much comfortable with the qwerty myself.

mynn said...

if you read the explanation on the webcomic, i bet you guys would be convinced to switch to dvorak too. i don't know yet. i've downloaded the free software to practice using the Dvorak layout. if it really improves speed & efficiency by a noticable amount i'm switching for good, muahaha.

ayumi_of_mirkwood said...

Salaam..
Wow, can't believe that people designed the keyboard in a way to make typing slower! :) I'll definitely check out the website after my exams! :)

mynn said...

i've actually been practising using the dvorak keyboard for a few days now. i use the free TypeFaster typing tutor on the link above. The typing tutor is REALLY good. it's simple and gives and audio negative feedback if you mess up:) effective. dvorak is cool and all, but it feels like im learning typing from square one again. feels like typing backwards. extremely awkward.

difficult to undo what you've learnt almost a lifetime to do (ie. typing using a QWERTY keyboard)

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