Dvorak vs Qwerty

Anyone here use a dvorak keyboard? What do you think of them?

I used dvorak for the past couple months but unfortunately just had to switch back to qwerty - It took me about an hour to be able to fluently switch between styles, which made it a pain to use computers other than my own, and since switching back I realised that I can type much much faster on qwerty. On dvorak I could barely manage an 80 wpm peak, though it was much more comfortable. Anyone else find this?

Qwerty keyboards are clearly superior.


I have Dvorak board, and I love it, but very few people actually are willing to deal with becoming conversant with two different styles of keyboard, so if you have to use office equipment, and they won’t buy you a Dvorak, stick with ‘QWERTY’.

I use the Dvorak layout and i absolutely love it. I cannot really say whether or not Dvorak is faster than qwerty, but it’s definitely a lot easier. My keyboard is actually qwerty, but with most operating systems today you can pretty easily re-map the keys to a Dvorak layout.

Linux: You can use ‘loadkeys dvorak’ in console mode, and under X use the utility ‘xmodmap’ (type ‘man xmodmap’ for detials)

Windows: ‘Control Panel’ -> ‘Keyboard’

OS X: ‘Control Panels’ (or whatever the OS X equivalent is… i forget) -> International

Yup… Palve should be along shortly…

Cthulthu: Yeah, I know. I did the same. And that’s my point, it seems like typing in dvorak is slower, even if the layout is more comfortable. I suspect it may because I’ve had far more practice with qwerty, but I was wondering if anyone had a similar problem.

clayton_e: Who’s Palve?

I love Dvorak. His “New World Symphony” kicks Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” ass eight ways from Sunday!


I’ve been using Dvorak for 6 years, but I just use Dvorak drivers on a Qwerty keyboard layout. Took me about 16 or 40 hours of dedicated typing to learn where all the keys were, but now I can touch type :wink:
I love it, especially since I do loads of writing. With Qwerty I used to overuse my right hand, and get lots of tension and ‘clicking’ in my right wrist. Switching to Dvorak got rid of that. I also like having most of my typing being places that my fingers actually like to reach.

It’s also pretty nice having someone come along to my workstation, start typing, then look up at the screen and scream in gibberish :smiley:

Now if I could just find a keyboard that had a 10 or 15 cm split down the middle, so my arms could lie straight, and keys that were actually STRAIGHT up and down, instead of the stupid slanty thing, I’d be good.

kitarak: When i first started using the Dvorak layout (which was about a few months ago), my typing speed was a lot slower than using qwerty. Right now i’d say that my Dvorak typing speed is about the same as my qwerty speed was before i switched over: Somewhere around 100wpm. On a similar note, i used to have those same wrist problems that Barbarian described… and they seem to have disappeared for me as well.

Dvorak is much more balanced and better put together than qwerty, but unfortunately Dvorak didn’t have computers to permute, test, and maybe even find something better. The locations of “s” and “l” kind of drive me nuts, for example. In typing “ls” and “sl”, you have to jump rows, and what’s more, you have to jump with your pinky. Yuck! So, in my spare time, i’ve been working towards writing a program to find an even better layout… The execution time for this program will probably be pretty long–we’ll see what happens…

“stewardesses” is the longest word one can type with the left hand on a qwerty keyboard using the standard hand positioning.

I started to teach myself the Dvorak keyboard a while back, but then I read Cecil’s column and decided it wasn t worth it. Was the QWERTY keyboard purposely designed to slow typists? Quoth the Master: