Anyone know about typing with one hand?

I’m a pretty competent typist on both QWERTY and Dvorak keyboards, and I mostly use a Dvorak in my daily life. But I’m thinking it would be handy to be able to type with my left hand and use the mouse with the other - so I’m wondering if any of the one-handed typing solutions (intended, as far as I know, for people with use of only one hand) would be practical to learn. I don’t need to be able to type as fast as I can two-handed - when it comes to typing a paper or something, I’m happy to switch back to two-handed typing. But it would be nice to be able to switch to one-handed sometimes.

Does anyone know anything about any of the one-handed layouts? My computer runs Win98se so any software layout would have to be compatible with that (I’m pretty sure Windows has drivers for both one-handed DVORAK layouts built in). Is it impractical to imagine that I would achieve minimally useful speeds typing one-handed? Which key layouts work best?

I know guys who type with one hand all the time.
ba dum dum!
Most single-hand boards use shift-like functions to apply multiple letters to keys.

My first choice would be R or L Dvorak, there’s also Half-QWERTY but I don’t know if Windows supports it.

Here’s a site with some One Handed Keyboard Alternatives, stand alone keyboards designed for one hand.
Have you considered an on-screen board, this one Click-N-Type is freeware and you can create a fully custom layout with CNTDesigner, an add on for Click-N-Type.
I’ve got Click-N-Type on my 'puter, made a striped down Dvorak layout (no “f” keys or number pad) and use it more than my regular kboard.


I’m using an AlphaGrip which is admittedly not one-handed (and in fact makes one-handed typing impossible.) But if the reason you are looking for an alternative is because you don’t like moving your hand back and forth, then this will work for you and still allow normal typing speeds.

I remember reading about ‘chord’ keyboards, which were built for one-handed use. They had 5 keys, rather like elongated piano keys. You produced a letter by pressing combinations of varying numbers of keys at the same time.

In this design, the user functioned as a sort-of manual encoder, in that they had to learn which chords to type to encode each character they wanted to enter. That was the downfall of these designs, generally. They required too much training & mental effort on the part of the user, without much gain in speed or accuracy to compensate for this.

Generally, one-handed typing is only used when it is absolutely necessary; for example in people who have only one functional hand to key with.

Regarding your question, are you aware that there are three Dvorak layouts, two-handed, one-handed left, one-handed right? If you’re used to 2-handed Dvorak, I’d think you could adjust to a one-handed version pretty easily.

Is there any reason why these half keyboards are so expensive? I could understand $50 - $100 for one of these, but $300? I would love to have one of these.

I don’t see it now, but I know they had a program on their website a few years ago that would emulate the one handed keyboard so you could try it. I was able to touch type in about 15 minutes of playing with it. Figure after a week I think I would be up to normal speed, and have a free hand for the mouse. I just can’t afford $300 for a keyboard.


Here is the software I was looking for. It lets you play with using a half qwerty keyboard on your system.


I looked that site over a bit more thoroughly, and it looks like there just hyping their product!
Googled and found the Half QWERTY Half Keyboard and the Frog Pad One Handed Keyboard selling for about $100.00 (US), and I’m guessing some more searching would turn up a better price!

CMC fnord

The Frog Pad dosen’t look any good to me, but I would be interesting in a link for the Half QWERTY keyboard for $100. I would buy one at that price.

Also fixing my link from above software emulator for one handed QWERTY. That will teach me to preview.