- Reputation: 0
- From: Santa Fe, NM
- Registered: 21-Nov-2008
- Posts: 18
This may be familiar to many of you, but ever since I first tried out Dvorak a few months ago, and shortly afterwards discovered the whole world of non-QWERTY keyboard layouts, this whole quest for the perfect keyboard has become something of an obsession...
And yet, though I can see so many merits of Colemak and others, I've been unable to make the switch. The main obstacles:
- The painful transition from QWERTY (I could get about 30 WPM Colemak on tests, but anytime I actually tried to do real work, this dropped to about 5 WPM...)
- The rearranging of shortcut keys. Sure Colemak keeps Ctrl-X, C and V in place, but what about Ctrl-S, R, D, A, N, Q and W?
- The need to continue to deal with QWERTY keyboards (e.g. on my phone, other people's keyboards, etc)
So, right now I've decided to scale back my efforts. Rather than go to an almost fully optimized layout (like Colemak), what options are there for a keyboard that is as much like QWERTY as possible, but that fixes a few of the more egregious defects?
I've come up with several designs. So far, my most-minimally changed keyboard is:
- QWERFY: simply switch the F and T keys. T is the second most common letter, and moving it to the F position greatly reduces the number of times I have to make that slightly awkward reach.
Other keyboards in decreasing order of QWERTY-ness:
- QWiKR: As QWERFY, but also switches E with K. Puts the most common letter in a better position; eliminates the ED, DE, CE, EC, VE, EV, BE and EB awkward combos; balances keystrokes between the hands better. Has the con of creating an awkward combo for CK (though I think it's still a win).
- QWiKR+: As QWiKR, but in addition, switch J with U, and L with O. Puts four of the vowels in a nice compact inverted-T shape on the right hand (familiar from the arrow keypad); reduces right hand row jumps between the vowels and the N and M keys.
- QWiPR+: As QWiKR+, but switch K and P in order to eliminate the CK row jump.
All of these layouts preserve most common shortcut keys in their QWERTY positions. They also tend to keep QWERTY keys on the same finger of the same hand when moving them, or at least the same finger of a different hand, which some people have suggested makes it easier to learn.
Anyway, those are just what I've come up with. Anyone get any better ideas for minimally changed improved QWERTY layouts? What are the best options for just changing two keys? Three keys? Five keys?