ARCHIVED: What is the Dvorak keyboard layout, and how do I configure my computer to use it?

Dvorak is an alternative to the traditional QWERTY keyboard layout. It was designed in the 1930s as a means of improving typing comfort and speed and, by many accounts, is superior to QWERTY. Two advantages of the Dvorak keyboard are that more typing is done from the home row of the keyboard (70% vs. 30%) and fewer words are typed with just one hand. The layout of the Dvorak keyboard resembles the following (though it may differ slightly on some keyboards and layout variants):

  `  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  0  [  ]  DEL
  TAB  '  ,  .  p  y  f  g  c  r  l  /  =  \ 
  CAPS  a  o  e  u  i  d  h  t  n  s  -  ENT
  SHIFT  ;  q  j  k  x  b  m  w  v  z  SHIFT
              S   P    A    C   E

With the Shift key down, it becomes:

  ~  !  @  #  $  %  ^  &  *  (  )  {  }  DEL
  TAB  "  <  >  P  Y  F  G  C  R  L  ?  +  |
  CAPS  A  O  E  U  I  D  H  T  N  S  _  ENT
  SHIFT  :  Q  J  K  X  B  M  W  V  Z  SHIFT
              S   P    A    C   E

A number of Dvorak products are available, including keyboards and sticker overlays. For more information, see "Introducing the Dvorak Keyboard" at:

  http://www.mwbrooks.com/dvorak/

To switch to the Dvorak keyboard layout, you must change a few software settings.

Mac OS X

If you have Mac OS X, Dvorak support is built in. From the Apple menu, select System Preferences.... Click the International icon and then click the Input Menu tab (10.2.x or later) or Keyboard Menu tab (10.1.x and earlier). You can then select a Dvorak keymap.

Mac OS

If you have Mac OS 8.6 or better, Dvorak support is built in. From the Apple menu, choose Control Panels and then select Keyboard. You can then select the Dvorak keymap.

Windows XP

To switch your keyboard layout in Windows XP, follow these steps:

  1. From the default XP Start menu, select Control Panel, or from the classic Start Menu, select Settings, then Control Panel. Select Regional and Language Options.
  2. Select the Languages tab, and then click Details....
  3. In the Text Services and Input Language window, highlight Keyboard, and then click Add....
  4. In the Add Input Language window, select the checkbox next to Keyboard layout/IME:, and then select United-States-Dvorak.

Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, and 2000

Dvorak support is provided by the operating system. To switch your keyboard layout, follow these steps:

  1. From the Start menu, select Settings, then Control Panel. Double-click Keyboard.
  2. From the Language tab (Input Locales tab in 2000 and NT), click Properties.
  3. From the list of keyboard layouts, select United States - Dvorak. For non-US systems, the instructions will differ slightly.

Windows 3.1

To switch your keyboard layout in Windows 3.1, follow these steps:

  1. From the Start menu, open the Control Panel and select International.
  2. From the Keyboard layouts options, select US Dvorak.

This is document aepk in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2008-09-08 00:00:00.

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