• You are not logged in.

    Colemak+QWERTY transmorphic layout?

    • Started by Andrew256
    • 6 Replies:
    • Reputation: 0
    • Registered: 07-Dec-2017
    • Posts: 9

    Hi,
    Does anyone have experience with transmorphic layouts? That is, without modifier keys your layout is Colemak, but with any modifier key pressed (CMD, OPT, CTRL) it changes to QWERTY.

    A bit of background - I'm using Colemak for ~5 years and pretty happy with it.The problem is - I have to constantly switch between Colemak for text, and QWERTY for shortcuts. I find it very hard to use Colemak for all gazillion shortcuts I use all the time, and have no problem with mentally switching between Colemak/QWERTY. However, an extra shortcut to switch between layouts is annoying.

    I searched and failed to find a solution, which I need both for Mac (priority) and Windows (secondary). macOS has a build-in Dvorak+QWERTY-CMD transmorphic layout, but it has two issues:

    1. It's activated by CMD only. No OPT or CTRL (Wtf?).
    2. It's not Colemak.

    All suggestions are appreciated.

    Offline
    • 0
    • Reputation: 171
    • From: Viken, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 5,145

    Many newbs want this, but I see no point. After all, <Mod>+<letter> is <Mod>+<letter> for me no matter where the letter is. Keeping the shortcuts in their QWERTY positions eventually means having to remember the position instead of the letter. And I remember my shortcuts by their letters. In Vim especially, most shortcuts are mnemonic (and I use Extend arrows instead of the HJKL arrows) like b/e for 'beginning/end of word', i/a for 'insert/append' etc etc. I would not want to keep those by their QWERTY positions for sure!

    On Windows you can achieve your "transmorphic" goals by keeping the VirtualKey codes from QWERTY while changing the layout output mappings to Colemak. This keeps the Ctrl+<letter> shortcuts as they were. But it comes at a price because you're cheating the system and I've heard that users have some issues with it.

    Last edited by DreymaR (05-Oct-2021 09:22:04)

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

    Offline
    • 0
    • Reputation: 110
    • From: UK
    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
    • Posts: 909

    Completely agree, if you've decided you're willing to learn a better layout than Qwerty, it seems strange to want to keep Qwerty vestiges in an awkward and inconsistent way. If you really want certain shortcuts to be on certain keys, instead of making exceptions for modifiers, it's better to just define your own custom Extend-like layer where you can make custom mappings as you see fit.

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

    Offline
    • 0
    • Reputation: 0
    • Registered: 07-Dec-2017
    • Posts: 9

    Well, to each their own. I learned Colemak to enter vast amount of text comfortably. I'm not a fast typer (80 wpm, 100% touch typing).

    When my fingers are in their default position on the home row, I'm in a "Colemak mode" and ready to type War & Pearce in a very relaxed and comfortable pace.

    But, when sliding fingers to modifiers, or putting right hand on the mouse, my brain instantly switches to QWERTY mode. I can't remember where the keys are without placing my fingers back in the home row (it's 100% muscle memory), but it's not always comfortable to press shortcuts from the default position. Just the way I work.

    Generally, I find shortcuts terrible to use with Colemak. E.g. some shortcuts designed for one hand can't be used comfortably. And, I'm 100% comfortable with this setup, if only I didn't need to switch layouts constantly.

    I'm a tiny bit disappointed by the whole "you're doing it wrong, noob" vibe.

    Last edited by Andrew256 (08-Oct-2021 01:38:02)
    Offline
    • 0
    • cm
    • Member
    • Reputation: 0
    • Registered: 31-Jul-2021
    • Posts: 5

    Generally, I find shortcuts terrible to use with Colemak. E.g. some shortcuts designed for one hand can't be used comfortably. And, I'm 100% comfortable with this setup, if only I didn't need to switch layouts constantly.

    Which is why you can setup Extend and implement modifiers in a fashion to your liking. :D

    Offline
    • 0
    • Reputation: 110
    • From: UK
    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
    • Posts: 909

    I'd also suggest considering sticky modifiers (ideally with timeout) - it's not very comfortable to do the awkward finger stretches using Ctrl/Alt etc on standard keyboards, whether using Qwerty or anything else.

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

    Offline
    • 0
    • Reputation: 171
    • From: Viken, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 5,145
    Andrew256 said:

    I'm a tiny bit disappointed by the whole "you're doing it wrong, noob" vibe.

    Hey, I said "newb" not "n00bl3t", okay? And I didn't call you a newb, I said that many newbs want this before they decide otherwise, which is a fact. And try to understand that I've gotten this request every month or so since 2007 (although that is quite possibly a slight exaggeration), to see where we're at.

    If you want my help, stay polite. If not, stop asking questions in a forum where you'll get answers from the most experienced colemakers hang out to help. If that's what you want, try Reddit where you'll get help from newbs and n00bs alike – as well as some of us.

    I agree with you that many shortcuts are in poor positions on any layout (and ZXCV are a bit awkward on Colemak too) which as mentioned is where an Extend layer or four can help a ton!

    Last edited by DreymaR (10-Oct-2021 15:30:45)

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

    Offline
    • 0