Dvorak Keyboard Layout Guide

Person typing on a laptop keyboard.

One of the joys of typing is when it comes with ease and in the most productive way possible. However, this can only happen when you use the right keyboard layout. The keyboard layout you use determines your speed, accuracy, and the ease at which you would type to a large extent.

The Dvorak Keyboard Layout provides you with all of these possibilities and more.

So, how do you explore the unique opportunities that the Dvorak Keyboard layout offers?

Today, we will show you more about the Dvorak keyboard layout, its benefits, how to switch to it, and how to get started.

What Is The Dvorak Keyboard Layout?

DVORAK Keyboard Layout

The Dvorak keyboard layout was created in the 1930s by August Dvorak. The Dvorak keyboard layout was created as a modification to the major errors that accompanied the American standard keyboard layout: Qwerty.

August Dvorak realized that the Qwerty keyboard required many frequently used letters to be typed with the left hand, which left the right hand idle.

He further discovered that about 52% of typing was done on the first row, 16% on the bottom role, while 32% appeared on the home row (also known as the middle row, the most convenient row to type with).

August Dvorak observed these challenges and came up with solutions. He made sure that the Dvorak Keyboard layout rectified the Qwerty keyboard layout incompetencies by placing the most frequently used letters on the home row. The least used letters came on the bottom row and other letters in the middle row, which made up to about 70%, 8%, and 16%, respectively.

With this arrangement, it was possible to alternate between two hands when typing, as against typing with a single hand with the Qwerty keyboard.

What’s more? Stroking shifted from the edge of the keyboard to the middle, making typing a lot easier for people.

Dvorak Keyboard Benefits

The Dvorak keyboard layout offers many benefits to users. Below are some of the unique benefits it provides.

Increased Speed

No matter how fast you want to type, if your finger has to travel far distances to hit the right keys, it will slow you down. This is why the Dvorak keyboard layout places the most frequently used letters on the home row to increase your speed.

Because keys on the home row are easier and faster to stroke, the Dvorak keyboard layout home row contains 70% of keystrokes, which means most frequently used alphabets are placed on it, making typing faster for users.

The Qwerty keyboard only places 32% of keys on the home row. This means you would have to stretch your fingers to the top to type all your most frequently used letters, which ultimately slows you down and makes you less productive when typing.

Another highly functional feature that aids your typing speed when you use the Dvorak keyboard layout is that vowels are on the left side of your keyboard. In comparison, the right side has your most frequently used consonant letters, which lets you alternate between two hands instead of one.

Fewer Mistakes

Dvorak keyboard layout makes you type more efficiently and reduces your mistakes. You can alternate between two hands, and you have your most-used strokes just where you need them, thereby reducing the rate at which you make mistakes.

Improved Comfortability

Having to reach the top of your keyboard to type most of your letters is stressful, influencing your productivity. It not only slows you down and increases the rate at which you make mistakes, but it also makes typing a rigorous activity.

But thanks to the Dvorak keyboard layout,you can type comfortably and with ease, which improves your productivity and makes typing enjoyable and less rigorous.

How to Change Your Keyboard to Dvorak

Switching to the Dvorak keyboard is easier than ever; all you have to do is follow these simple steps.

Before you switch, ensure you find out the type of operating system you use and switch layout. This is pretty easy because although Qwerty is your system’s default settings, the Dvorak keyboard layout has already been configured into your operating system.

To switch to the Dvorak keyboard layout on Windows, follow the steps below:

  • Press the “start button”
  • Go to the control panel
  • Go to regional language options
  • Go to the languages tab
  • Click the “details” button
  • Click “add” below the “settings” tab
  • Go to keyboard layout
  • Scroll to United States/Dvorak and press “OK”

To switch to Dvorak keyboard layout on Mac OS, follow these steps :

  • Go to the Apple menu
  • Go to system preferences
  • Press the keyboard icon
  • Go to Input sources
  • Press the box near “Dvorak”

To switch to the Dvorak keyboard layout on Chromebook, follow the steps below.

  • Visit settings
  • Go to “device”
  • Go to “keyboard”
  • Go to “change language and input settings”
  • Go to “manage input settings”
  • Select one of these options: US Dvorak keyboard, US programmer Dvorak keyboard, and UK Dvorak keyboard
  • Make the selected option your default settings

Learning to Type on Dvorak

After switching to the Dvorak keyboard layout, you would have to learn how to type with it and although it might be a bit unusual at first, you are guaranteed to get used to it with constant practice.

Below are the steps you need to take to get started.

Learn Where to Place Your Fingers

The same fingers work on the same keys when touch-typing with Qwerty; the only difference is the different letters.

Don’t Poke

Don’t try to look for letters and poke, although this might naturally occur as you are just getting familiar with the keyboard.

Slow and Steady Does It

Don’t expect to type at the same rate you type with the Qwerty keyboard when you are just getting started with Dvorak. It takes constant practice to type like a pro.

Print an Image of the Dvorak Keyboard Layout

This saves you time and makes learning much easier and faster. All you have to do is place the printed image besides you and type.

Look at the Screen When You Type

On your journey into professionally typing with the Dvorak keyboard, you have to learn how to shift your focus from the keyboard to your screen so you would be able to type efficiently without looking at the keyboard over time.

Maximize Available Online Resources

There are many resources available to help you learn how to use the Dvorak keyboard layout. You can visit the Dvorak section of typing.com or learn.dvorak.nl and typingclub.com.

More so, you can explore a wide range of videos available on YouTube and do more research to select the most suitable lesson for you.

However, it’s important that you absolutely learn at a pace you are most comfortable with to achieve the best results.

Final Thoughts

If your goal is to type more productively and comfortably, switching to the Dvorak keyboard layout is one of the best decisions you would ever make. The Dvorak keyboard layout was created with your comfort in mind and was designed to let you type conveniently and achieve optimal results by increasing your speed and lessening your mistakes.

Learning to type with Dvorak keyboard layout is also easier when you have access to the right resources, and you are willing to invest the required time. The Dvorak keyboard layout is a must-have for anyone desiring to have an enjoyable and stress-free experience whenever they type. You can start your journey into typing with ease by switching to this efficient layout.

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