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    Colemak-DH EurKEY

    • Started by Marcel
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    • Registered: 19-Sep-2020
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    This topic is all about the EurKEY Colemak-DH and can be used for

    - Questions
    - Contributions
    - Discussion*
    - Thougts / ideas / proposals
    - Feedback*

    In the following you see an image of the ISO version of the layout, more images and Information you'll find on the project page.

    eurkey-Colemak-DH-complete-ISO-colored.png

    *In the following posts you can already find a discussion about the sense of this layout
    *I'm searching for testers of the Windows Version, because I don't have access to a windows OS at the moment. If you try it, or if you already tried it, please let me know if it works.

    Last edited by Marcel (28-Sep-2020 18:08:49)

    Multilingual and sick of changing keyboard layouts?
    Give EurKEY Colemak-DH a try! Could be the solution for your European languages.

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    It's a nice idea, but I wonder how this compares to DreymaR's implementation, which also supports multiple languages/characters? I also wonder whether the compromises that are necessarily made to support many languages, mean that most languages aren't supported as well as as would be in a custom language-variant. I can certainly see how this might benefit linguists who do actually type a lot of different languages often though.

    One other thing, the image of the layout is wrong in respect of the bottom row. For example, D is supposed to be between S and T, not between T and G.

    Last edited by stevep99 (20-Sep-2020 12:56:24)

    Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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    stevep99 said:

    It's a nice idea, but I wonder how this compares to DreymaR's implementation, which also supports multiple languages/characters? I also wonder whether the compromises that are necessarily made to support many languages, mean that most languages aren't supported as well as as would be in a custom language-variant. I can certainly see how this might benefit linguists who do actually type a lot of different languages often though.

    Hey Steve,

    DreymaR's implementation is fine, and you can write in a lot more languages than in EurKEY. But for a lot of common letters which you can reach just by AltGr+"Key of the three letter rows" in EurKEY you have to press AltGr+Dead key of the number row+"Key of the three letter rows".
    I just think of spanish and french where type a lot of accents (` ´) on a daily basis or of spanish in which every formal mail contains at least one time señor or señora. And for the ñ on EurKEY it's a simple AltGr+n whearas DreymaR's you have to AltGr+most left button of the number row+n.

    And yes, for sure it's a niche but for example in Switzerland it is wanted that every citizen can apply the four different languages. And I think a lot of europeans through ERASMUS know their mothertongue, english and another european language. And because programming, science and the internet is mostly english, colemak with the posiblity of writing other langagues on the same board does make a lot of sense.

    By the Way, EurKEY is already preinstalled in Linux

    I'm convinced of the layout and for me it adds value. I know it would be cooler to have it included in an already existing. but DreymaR and Chai invested a lot of time in their layouts and they surely have their reasons for their layout so I don't think it is possible to convince them to adapt that. But generally, yes, we can discuss about the sense of a new layout, perhaps here in this threat. It could just help...

    One other thing, the image of the layout is wrong in respect of the bottom row. For example, D is supposed to be between S and T, not between T and G.

    Thank's a lot for the hint, it is changed ;)

    Multilingual and sick of changing keyboard layouts?
    Give EurKEY Colemak-DH a try! Could be the solution for your European languages.

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    You can write messages in this forum. But for a better conversation, I'd recommend joining the Colemak Discord at's it's a very lively place with many helpful users and good chat options.

    You're right, I'm not convinced by your layout. Your argument about writing, say, Spanish or French a lot I'll counter with the argument that then using AltGr a lot is probably not so great either! My Spanish layout has accent dead keys on unmodified keys to ease typing in that language, and there's an alternative layout placing ñáéíóú on AltGr+naeiou which is very intuitive. Why would á for instance be on AltGr+Q? It's completely unintuitive apart from that key being close to A, but then it might just as easily be on W or Z making this layout a mess to remember in my opinion. For ij/ì/í it's even worse (sure, my AltGr+0 dead key isn't intuitive but if I were to type Dutch a lot I'd use a proper Dutch Colemak[eD] instead). I never forget that umlaut is on AltGr+colon since they look similar, and then it's as easy to type, say, ü as ï. For the most common accents, I find reaching AltGr+;'/,. at least, very simple indeed. So your proposed layout doesn't really look simpler to me.

    Your extra layers are nice, but again I have those already in a way I find intuitive, with more symbols than you offer.

    Last edited by DreymaR (21-Sep-2020 13:35:21)

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    Thank you for your feedback! Yes you're right, your layout is the more complete and the mapping is for the most keys more intuitive but for the one I made, you don't need the to press 3 buttons at once to produce one letter. Furhtermore, the right neighbor of a letter with accent grave (à,ò,...) you find the according one with accent accute (á,ó,...). And as I said it's a niche but in my eyes a sensfull one.
    Edit: Besides, if you don't like for example that à is produced by AltGr+Q you could also use AltGr+`+A. And like that you have always the choice, because there are also a lot of deadkeys on the layout.

    By the way, @everyone who's interested, at the EurKEY Colemak-DH project page there is already a step by step linux installation guide.

    Last edited by Marcel (21-Sep-2020 23:44:31)

    Multilingual and sick of changing keyboard layouts?
    Give EurKEY Colemak-DH a try! Could be the solution for your European languages.

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    Ummm... no, it's not 3 buttons at once! It's first two then one key. Big difference! Ideally, I'd have a sticky AltGr key two so it's a "tap-dance" sequence of three keys instead, but EPKL doesn't support sticky AltGr yet. It'll happen some day.

    And as said, if you type much in one language you should use a dedicated layout like my locale layouts for it. For the odd press of an accent like I use them, a dead key on AltGr presses is just fine, as long as the most common ones are easy to reach (like ';/,. are).

    On user request, I've added two layouts for Italian and Spanish that have letters like àèìòù and ñáéíóú on AltGr+key like your layout has, but on the (n)aeiou letters so it's logical. This way, people have a choice between the dead key approach and the direct AltGr approach. For a language such as French that uses both accents frequently, my standard locale layout is better. Hitting a dead key on the unshifted layer and then a letter is the simplest way, as chording is more tiresome than sequences. See XahLee's article from the link in the BigBag if you're interested.

    Yes, you can change positions but you won't be able to fit all the accented letters in one AltGr layer without some of them ending up in silly places like particularly your ij/ì/í do.

    Last edited by DreymaR (22-Sep-2020 09:56:57)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    DreymaR said:

    And as said, if you type much in one language you should use a dedicated layout like my locale layouts for it. For the odd press of an accent like I use them, a dead key on AltGr presses is just fine, as long as the most common ones are easy to reach (like ';/,. are).

    ok yes I have to admit that they are relatively nice because you stick with the Colemak letter keys and dont't have to relearn everything. But with every new language layout of yours you have to relearn the symbols of the number row. And if their are additional letter keys for a language they go either on column right of the right pinky or on wide mod to the middle column. In my opinion it's not so comfortable. If they all would be like your user requested italian and spanish version, with always the same number row that would be a great solution, I have to admit.

    And yes EurKEY is not perfect, and you have to learn like two keyboards, because base layer and AltGr layer are mostly not logically connected. But as you learned it ones you have to type just on the 3 letter rows with pressing sometimes the AltGr key preferably with the thumb and you can keep your other fingers in the letter rows. So they don't have to travel that often to the number row...

    Hitting a dead key on the unshifted layer and then a letter is the simplest way.

    Yeah, you're right, didn't see that one

    Last edited by Marcel (22-Sep-2020 22:29:03)

    Multilingual and sick of changing keyboard layouts?
    Give EurKEY Colemak-DH a try! Could be the solution for your European languages.

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    Thanks for an interesting discussion!  ( のvの) c[_]

    You're wrong about my locale variants: The symbols on the number row are the same for all language variants! Maybe you confused the proper locale variants with the "keep symbols" ones, which aren't my variants but some users ordered them as they want to keep the symbols like they are used to – even if it's not the best of ideas.

    The middle columns are very comfortable for the relatively rarely used letters of my language, and I've used it a lot so I know! For accent dead keys, the advantage is that either index finger can hit the dead key for the letter on the other hand. For é I'd hit the ´ with the left index finger then e with the right ring finger; for á I'd use the right hand index finger on the ´ key. So I really recommend using the Wide mod with these variants.

    Last edited by DreymaR (22-Sep-2020 17:52:30)

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    I have to thank You! I understand your approach more and more and also why it is called big bag :D. I think I should also link this discussion on the gitlab page or just collect our arguments there or write a little fair comparison of the EurKEY Cmk-DH and your multilanguage approach(es).
    OBTW, the unified symbols version just exist in wide mod right?

    With the middle column I'm still not sure, perhaps I do not touch-type right (and should find a good source to improve it). I have my fingers normally in home row and to reach that middle column (of the wide mod) I have to "decurl" middle and ring finger i.e. flatten the hand to get comfortably to the middle row or I have to move my hand (except middle column, lower row... yes, both is possible and it could also be less comfortable than this, but on EurKEY this keys are maximally one column away (and the pressing of AltGr with your thumb).

    Last edited by Marcel (22-Sep-2020 23:13:39)

    Multilingual and sick of changing keyboard layouts?
    Give EurKEY Colemak-DH a try! Could be the solution for your European languages.

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    As I try to keep things nicely modular, you could use any ergo mod with the US (Unified Symbols) locale layout variants. Using EPKL for Windows, you may have to edit a file slightly and the help images won't automatically update if you use a non-premade combination. They're easy enough to generate though. For the most part, the locale variants are premade for AngleWide and CAW (the DH mod with AWide) since I think those mods are so beneficial for these variants, but it's easy to add others if you wish.

    It's funny enough for sure that I promote a Curl(DH) mod that discourages the middle "trench" and yet I prefer to have my locale letters in the midlde of that very same trench? It's about frequencies of course. The D and H that are helped by the DH mod are a lot more common than æøå in my language, so it's the right dose for the case in my experience.

    Last edited by DreymaR (23-Sep-2020 14:54:47)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    The Windows Version is now online, I would be happy about some feedback :)

    Multilingual and sick of changing keyboard layouts?
    Give EurKEY Colemak-DH a try! Could be the solution for your European languages.

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