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    Pain in my left hand while using Colemak DH

    • Started by sparrxw
    • 4 Replies:
    • Reputation: 1
    • Registered: 09-Feb-2023
    • Posts: 2

    I have been touch typing on qwerty around 9 months then switched to Dvorak and used it around 6 months and its been 3 months since I have switched to Colemak DH. My speeds and accuracies were (100 wpm and 90%) on qwerty, (105-110 wpm and 92-95%) on Dvorak and (110-120 wpm and 95+%) on Colemak DH. I like to use Colemak DH but the pain around the ring finger of my left hand is so much annoying. I know that Colemak DH is supposed to be comfortable to hands but in reality Dvorak seems to be more comforting to my hands than Colemak DH but the downside of Dvorak is that weird placements of important letters. That just is not what I want. Can anyone help me out with the pain issue on Colemak DH because I don't want to switch to Dvorak again and don't even want to learn new layout like workman.
    I am using normal styled mechanical keyboard (65% keyboard) which is quite good.

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    • From: Viken, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 5,346

    Let me just ask: Aren't you the same guy I replied to on Reddit? If so, the answers I and SteveP gave over there should provide a good starting point I should think? And you should really link to that topic as you repost it here, so people can see what's going on.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Colemak/commen … vs_dvorak/

    Long story short, and some additional points:
    • Yes, a split mech keyboard may help. I wouldn't go too far down in size myself to account for Extend mappings etc etc, but ymmv.
    • The BigBag makes a normie keyboard more ergo, allowing you to do most of your work around the home position no matter the form factor of the board.
    • Better switches are in my opinion icing on the cake, not very essential as long as you don't type on some mushy cheapo board; laptop boards with chiclet jigs are often surprisingly nice despite their underlying membrane technology.
    • Like SteveP, I don't think it's the layout itself that's causing you trouble. So you're right in not wanting to switch any more, in my opinion.
    • Take care of your ergo habits and training. See the BigBag ergo page (Viper's guide is good).

    Last edited by DreymaR (10-Feb-2023 11:43:21)

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

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    • Shai
    • Administrator
    • Reputation: 36
    • Registered: 11-Dec-2005
    • Posts: 423

    When the left hand is at an angle when typing on Colemak-DH, I find the left Shift and Control keys to be uncomfortable to type.
    You can either try switching to an ortholinear keyboard or try Colemak instead.

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    • Reputation: 211
    • From: Viken, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 5,346

    That's interesting, since reaching for LShift while keeping the left wrist straight is a curling motion – while without the Angle mod it's more of a lateral stretch. In that respect, I guess it harmonizes with the two variants' priorities.

    Hard to say which is more or less comfy for me, really. The pinky is weak and I guess which motions are acceptable for it is quite individual. We're used to stretching the right hand pinky up-and-out a lot, so that motion doesn't seem to bad, but downwards is always worse.

    LCtrl is uncomfortable no matter what, in my experience. No wonder Linux users often move it to the Caps position. I often use workaround such as as Extend-tap mapping for commonly used shortcuts, which gets me the best of both worlds.

    Note that I don't recommend a single-slab ortho board, since straight wrists cannot really be maintained with those. If you fork out for a mech board, I'd recommend making it a good split. Once you're on a split board, I should think it matters less whether it's ortho, column-staggered or manuform – although the more fancy variants do look ... well, more fancy.

    Last edited by DreymaR (10-Feb-2023 13:26:22)

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

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    • Registered: 09-Feb-2023
    • Posts: 2

    Thanks Dreymay for answering, I think I got my answer. I have been playing around with the Colemak DH and Dvorak thing recently. I got upto 80 wpm on Dvorak. And my normal Colemak DH speed is not affected at all, but since relearning Dvorak is not where I am going back to. I will give Colemak DH more time and keep on practicing on that for a little longer. Also thinking about switching to Ergonomic keyboards. Lets see what will happen.

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