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Did you know about Dvorak keyboards? They are keyboard layouts designed to help you type faster, as the conventional Qwerty keyboard was designed by a typewriter salesman to slow you down. Some Dvorak keyboard layouts may help people who want to be single-hand typists (if they want to use the other hand to hold mouse),  and those who have only one hand to type. 

Dvorak keyboard layouts are based on designs created by August Dvorak, a professor at the University of Washington during the 1930s and 1940s. Dr. Dvorak studied the way people type standard English, and determined the most common letter combinations. He then designed new keyboard layouts to maximize efficiency (by placing common letters on the home row), reduce fatigue, and make the stronger fingers of the hands do most of the work. These layouts, now called Dvorak or simplified keyboards, were initially developed for two-handed typists. Following World War II, Dvorak layouts were developed for typists who use the right or left hand alone. 

TWO-HANDED DVORAK KEYBOARD LAYOUT


RIGHT SINGLE-HANDED DVORAK KEYBOARD LAYOUT


LEFT SINGLE-HANDED DVORAK KEYBOARD LAYOUT



Turning to Use the Dvorak Keyboards

Essentially, the Dvorak keyboard is a style of typing. But, you don't have to buy a real Dvorak keyboard to type in the Dvorak typing style, the most efficient typing style.

Dr. Dylan James recommended against labeling keys, but recommended printing out the layout and keeping it in view as you type. This is what Dvorak typing teachers want you to do in the first place (if you join a class) and it really works. This is a very effective way to help you resist the temptation to look at the keyboard. 

Before you decide to change to the Dvorak keyboard, there are some realistic things you have to think about.

If you are a secretary, or a professional typist using a computer, you or your colleague may have to spend several minutes  installing a Dvorak driver. By default, most computer systems offer a QWERTY keyboard. Despite these initial difficulties just think about the benefits that will come several weeks later:  more efficiency, more money, less tiredness, less typing injury, more joy. My advice to anyone considering switching is to choose a non-stressful week or two in which maximum typing speed isn't required. This will keep you from temporarily switching back when you get frustrated, which would wreak havoc with your learning. 

If you are a boss and want your staff to work more efficiently encourage them to change to the Dvorak keyboard. Maybe they are very busy at present and learning to type Dvorak may consume many hours, so, you may choose a non-stressful week to promote the Dvorak approach. 

If you are a student, and use network computers at school, it may be hard for you to install a Dvorak program. You may have to ask the administrator of the network to install it. If you can ask friends it may be much easier. 

If you are a person who uses various computers and type a lot, it may be impossible installing Dvorak drivers program an all the computers you use. Forget the Dvorak as I did. 

If you are a home computer user the Dvorak is your best choice to save typing time, and gain more time for playing games, and spending time with your family.

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Last modified: 04/03/09.