What layout do you use?

What’s your current layout (or planning to use…)?

  • Qwerty or any local variant
  • Dvorak or any of its variations
  • Colemak or any of its variations
  • Workman or any of its variations
  • Other

0 voters


@merlin and @noseglasses, what layouts do you use? How did you end up with your layout?

I wanted a layout that’s substantially different from QWERTY. That, coupled with the physical layout of the Model01’s keys, should give me the best chance of not clobbering my QWERTY typing skills by learning to type on my Model01. I based my layout on Dvorak, but made a bunch of modifications, in ways that I find logical and easy to remember. I haven’t settled on a final version yet, but I posted the first draft a while back: Individual custom layouts

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I am using Norman since more than half a year now. When writing prose, I am faster than I used to be with QWERTY. That’s probably because my QWERTY usage was not perfect.

When programming or working in command shells I often make characteristic mistakes now, like mixing up ‘d’ and ‘e’. This happens mostly with those letter pairs where only the row differs between QWERTY and Norman.

This is sometimes quite annoying and because of this I am not sure if I would recommend to learn any new layouts that are based on this kind of same-finger-different-row swapping. It’s a bit ironic because keeping letters on the same finger is what Norman’s inventor regards as most important :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Layouts like Dvorak, that switch letters and fingers more consequently appear preferable to me, even though it might take a little longer for them to learn. Maybe I will move on to another layout…


Thanks for the info. I also took the opportunity to learn a new layout with my m01 (you know, full pain for a couple weeks with the double cold turkey method). Now I’m feeling that it’s starting to get to a more-than-10-wpm state of lesser pain. I just took the winter holidays as an opportunity to properly touch type, so when I’m back to work I’m not totally useless.

I’ve got to say I’m starting to like colemak.


Norman has too little os support for me. I wanted something that I couid easily configure in the os level when i don’t have the m01 with me.


Yeah, sadly, OS support for some alternative layouts is quite an issue.
On Windows Norman it is pretty easy to install, on Linux it is a bit more work. Of course, if you want a layout that is naturally supported by any OS, Norman is definitely not a good choice (for the moment).

I don’t use enough different machines for it to be an issue. I have a custom Dvorak variation (swap l/c I/u). Not had a problem using QWERTY for the few times I have to.

You can make anything work. I have switched from QWERTY to Dvorak to QWERTY to Dvorak to QWERTY to colemak to QWERTY to Norman to Dvorak in the last 5-10 years. But I think I’m going to stick here for some time.

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How the heck did you manage to make aii those switches? I’m starting to feel comfortable with colemak and i really wouldn’t want to go through the pain again…


How can you even live without plane 3 and 4 and call the other ergonomic?
Windows support is an auto hotkey script, and Linux has it by default, just activate it. (setxkbmap de neo)


The first time I left Dvorak was because I was teaching and using a lab computer in QWERTY got just a bit too annoying.

The other times I used my transitions to slow myself down. No matter what layout I chose I always got to a point where I was fast enough to get fatigue. Changing layouts slowed me down enough to get me back to comfortable typing.

Now I’m too old to change again so will try sticking to my custom Dvorak. And then learning some more long term solutions to avoiding fatigue.

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That’s got some really interesting features. I’m going to have to look into what it does in the keymap/OS.

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After a week of practice with Colemak during the holiday season via Epistory and now Z-Type I have gotten quite well at touch typing accurately if I slow down and consider what I would like to type.

I intuitively remember the placement of all the keys now though my brain occasionally picks the opposite finger for the required key. The “L” instead i of the “P” for example.

I expect things will improve further now that I no longer have to use the reference sheet I wrote out on the laminated paper.

I use ADNW (aus der neo welt), a german layout based on typing research.

To be more specific, I use the optimized version for split keyboards, which I used before on my TECK.

I’m currently creating the keyboard layout for the keyboardio model 01.

I’m terribly lazy and left my system on en-GB QWERTY, which in hindsight was probably a bad idea. I’ve figured out where in XCompose all the important programming/shell symbols are hiding but it definitely would’ve been easier to use en-US. Probably going to put together a custom Dvorak layout in the future.

I don’t have it yet, but am planning on designing a custom layout using some variations on the tools from http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/

Basically, I like their methodology and ideas, but am not going to use their keyboard layouts because:

  • I don’t like their weighting
  • Their methodology assumes staggered and not ortholinearity
  • I plan to move a lot of the punctuation keys to alternate locations (especially thumb) and have the letters so each non-thumb finger has access to 3 letters (home row, up, down) except for the index (home, up, down, sideways)
  • I want to optimise for the kind of typing I do (ophthalmic medical reports and neuroscience journals)

Same here - I’m also using neo2.

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I started using QGMLWY a couple years ago and I’m still using it with my Model 01. The change from staggered layout to ortholinearity hasn’t been an issue at all. I do have a couple issues with it (which I already had with my old keyboards), but nothing is big enough for me to want to change it:

  • Semicolon placement is non-awesome for a programmer;
  • The right forefinger placement results in more same-finger clusters in English-language words than I might like.

I thought about how I might want to change the right forefinger cluster, but I came to the conclusion that anything I’d do would probably be worse, so I left it.

But I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into what layout was really going to be best for me anyway. I knew I’d be happy with better, and I wanted something better that still preserved a few keyboard shortcuts I had long-ingrained habits for. Dvorak and Colemak each had details I didn’t quite like. QGMLWY kept ZXCV, Q, and S, and it also put a safe distance between Q and W. That change prevents the fat-finger scenario where I mean to close a window but end up quitting a whole application, and it makes me very happy. That was pretty much my whole decision making process. I didn’t focus too much on individual difficulty scores on the Carpalx web site.


Yeah, I’ve had similar thoughts to you in that I want to fix the left hand with shortcut keys (including the zxcv fixing) and let the right hand be for all the letters not used in many shortcuts, and optimise within those bounds.

The current versions of Karbiner and Karabiner Elements are working also nicely for Mac.
So far only one key does not work in Mac and only in Microsoft Teams. The Microsoft developers have hardwired caps + h to the hotkey overview. So i can not type an „?“, which is on layer 3 at exactly that position. :frowning: