Talk:Keyboard layout

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Keyboard layout:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Article requests : * Clear distinguish physical layout from logical layout. This is certainly at the basis of this article's usefulness. For starters:
    • Would it be a good idea to create separate Wikipedia articles for each language (like "English keyboard layouts") or other small group (like there is already for "Dvorak simplified keyboard")? Then this article could be restricted to general issues and a list of links to those articles.
    • Describe technical aspects. How various operating systems translate keys.
    • History of keyboard layouts?
    • When article gets too big, split lists of to separate articles?

I made some keyboard layout images...

See commons:User:Yes0song#Keyboard_layouts. The most of them are Korean and Japanese keyboard layouts. Please use them if images are needed. --Yes0song (talk) 17:14, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

The Pratt keyboard --> deletion?

Just added this week (2012-07-17) in "Non-QWERTY keyboards for Latin scripts", immediately following Colemak. Has absolutely no sources, makes quite a few claims, and a google search for "Pratt keyboard layout" (with quotation marks) indicates that this edit is nothing but a joke. (talk) 12:50, 20 July 2012 (UTC) Nils

Totally agree. PaBLoX CL (talk) 14:28, 30 July 2012 (UTC)


Suggesion to complete history as follow:



Circular character selection

Double row keyboards

Keyboard of a Letter-Printing Telegraph Set built by Siemens and Halske in Saint Petersburg, Russia, ca. 1900
File:Cembalo scrivano.jpg
Cembalo scrivano di Ravizza

First letter printing telegraph was based on a double row of keys, like a piano. Several models existed, such as:

bcdfgh aeioujl
  • Année 1.884: Hammond Typewriter Company, New York , USA :

The hammond had separated voyels and had following layout:

zqjbpfd? ?thrsuw?
oxkgmcl, üaeiony·[2].

Short history

Sholes typewriter, 1873. Museum, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. Here layout is: qxertyuiop asdfghjklm zxcvbn
Keyboard layouts have evolved over time. The earliest mechanical keyboards were used in musical instruments to play particular notes.

First keyboards were not easily usable[3]

First keyboards/typewriters were:

In 1873, Remington keyboard was:


With the advent of printing telegraph, a keyboard was needed to select characters. Some of the earliest printing telegraph machines used a layout similar to a piano keyboard.[5][6]

Triple row keyboards

1910: Azerty keyboard: Bennet; Bennet Typewriter Company; New York, USA [7].

Multiple rows keyboards

Peerless (1895) had several rows for lower case and several rows for upper case[8].

Modern history

In countries using the Latin script, the center, alphanumeric portion of the modern keyboard is most often based on the QWERTY design by Christopher Sholes, who laid out the keys in such a way that common two-letter combinations were placed on opposite sides of the keyboard so that his mechanical keyboard would not jam, and laid out the keys in rows offset horizontally from each other by three-eighths, three-sixteenths, and three-eighths inches to provide room for the levers. Although it has been demonstrated that the QWERTY layout is not the most efficient layout for typing[citation needed], it has become such a standard that people will not change to a more efficient alphanumeric layout.
Sholes chose the size of the keys to be on three-quarter inch (0.75-inch) centers (about 19 mm, versus musical piano keys which are 23.5 mm or about 0.93 inches wide). Actually, 0.75 inches has turned out to be optimum for fast key entry by the average size hand, and keyboards with this key size are called "full-sized keyboards".
The standard 101/102-key PC keyboard layout was invented by Mark Tiddens of Key Tronic Corporation in 1982.[citation needed] IBM adopted the layout on its PC AT in 1984 (after previously using an 84-key keyboard which did not have separate cursor and numeric key pads).
Most modern keyboards basically conform to the layout specifications contained in parts 1, 2, and 5 of the international standard series ISO/IEC 9995. These specifications were first defined by the user group at AFNOR in 1984 working under the direction of Alain Souloumiac.[9] Based on this work, a well known ergonomic expert wrote a report[10] which was adopted at the ISO Berlin meeting in 1985 and became the reference for keyboard layouts.
The 104/105-key PC keyboard was born when two Win keys and a Menu key were added on the bottom row (originally for the Microsoft Windows operating system). Newer keyboards may incorporate even further additions, such as Internet access (World Wide Web navigation) keys and multimedia (access to media players) buttons.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Titre : Dictionnaire encyclopédique universel, contenant tous les mots de la langue française et résumant l'ensemble des connaissances humaines à la fin du XIXe siècle.... Tome 6 Auteur : Flammarion, Camille (1842-1925) Éditeur : E. Flammarion (Paris) Date d'édition : 1894-1898 Langue : Français
  4. ^ Titre : Dictionnaire encyclopédique universel, contenant tous les mots de la langue française et résumant l'ensemble des connaissances humaines à la fin du XIXe siècle.... Tome 6 Auteur : Flammarion, Camille (1842-1925) Éditeur : E. Flammarion (Paris) Date d'édition : 1894-1898 Langue : Français
  5. ^ Phelps, George M (November 1, 1859), Improvement in Telegraphic Machines (U.S. Patent 0,026,003) 
  6. ^ "The House Printing Telegraph". Telegraph history. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Souloumiac, Alain (1983), Les perspectives de l'informatique, La Documentation Française, p. 72 
  10. ^ Neuville, Yves (1985), Cedic-Natan  Unknown parameter |titre= ignored (|title= suggested) (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
To my knowledge, the KeyTronic corporation did not "invent" the 101-key keyboard. However, they did make a keyboard with a very similar layout prior to IBM coming out with the Model M. It was, however, different in the following ways - it had only ten function keys, not twelve, and the cursor key cluster, instead of being an inverted-T, had an additional key in the center for a plus-sign shape. There were other differences in the layout of the KB5151 as well. (talk) 21:20, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Keyboards designed for users with disabilities (but with wider potential markets?)

What about keyboards designed for users with disabilities, which perhaps inevitably address possible wider potential markets? See: (talk) 22:25, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Well, obviously the ABC order would constitute a new layout, but just a "Big Keys" QWERTY isn't, neither is the "color coded", whatever the colors are supposed to mean. I know that there are versions of the Dvorak for single hand use - both a left-hand and right-hand version, so it's not a completely out-of-bounds suggestion. I just think you need to really examine the distinction between a differently executed keyboard vs. an actual different layout of letters on that layout. The former probably belongs in Computer keyboard, while the latter is definitely in scope for this page. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 10:01, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
I just feel that a keyboard with keys in alphabetical order opens up a whole new, perhaps overlooked world for many in terms of a layout easy to remember.-- (talk) 21:27, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Missing Image for Persian layout

The text references an image. But it seems to be missing/edited out. Keyboard_layout#Persian_.28Farsi.29 Real Joe Cool (talk) 14:11, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Spanish Dvorak

This variant is missing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:55, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Qwpr, workman.... etc.

I don't quite see by what criteria some "alternative" layouts are included and some aren't. Colemak, Neo, and Bepo are in; but not workman, which is comparably popular I think. (Neither is my favorite layout, qwpr, but that's understandable because its userbase is still microscopic). Homunq () 18:24, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

It's likely because of lack of knowledge and/or reliable sources. Decisions are not taken with consistent criteria on wikis. Diego (talk) 09:38, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the dividing line is when the layout gets adopted by a major company. Colemak has been (by Apple). Neo and Bepo have hardware manufacturers. At best, the rest are hobby layouts. BTW, Workman does have a mention on the main article, just not a heading. I think it's fair to qualify for a mention that there be some evidence that they layout has at least a minor adoption rate since using tools like Ukelele makes it easy to create a couple new layouts a day. Deekayen (talk) 20:06, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

"Broken" links pointing here

I've found an article that points at Keyboard layout#United_States. However, this article doesn't contain such section (maybe it contained it before but was removed), so I changed it to QWERTY#United_States. Is there an easy way to do this to all links on Wikipedia pointing to Keyboard layout#United_States? (similarly for Keyboard layout#US-InternationalQWERTY#US-International) — (talk) 10:50, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

change of layout in multimedia keboards

I didn't find any reference in wiki (nor in any any other site) to the fact that End Key, together with it's neighbour keys (Insert key, Home Key etc'), was moved in the multimedia keyboards, where you have two rows of keys in this area, instead of three - like in the picture given here.
Can anyone change the standards? I find it hard to type because of this change.
sorry if I shouldn't have posted this here.Ritai (talk) 14:39, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Microsoft Interactive Keyboard Layout

The Microsoft Interactive Keyboard Layout linked to at the top of the page shows incorrect layouts for both US and UK English, 2 of the most common layouts for visitors to this English-language page. I'm removing this link. (I didn't check all the other languages available, but they should be getting English right since it's most relevant to this page.)— (talk) 17:05, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I just looked, and they're fine. I checked several (not all) other layouts, and they're fine too. Please list the actual errors you've "found". (talk) 13:33, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Layouts that I would expect to look like a standard US or UK keyboard: US-International, US English, US English (IBM Arabic 238_L), United Kingdom, and United Kingdom Extended. None of the those layouts corresponds with the layouts listed at British and American keyboards. The layouts listed on the latter page actually look like what you'd see if you were buying a standard size keyboard at retail in the UK or the US. (Note: I'm not referring to Win/Menu keys.)— (talk) 21:07, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
I've just reviewed all the layouts you listed (minus the Bulgarian one), and they're all fine. I think that perhaps you are being confused by the differently-shaped ENTER key, which is a known difference between ANSI and ISO keyboards. (talk) 01:09, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

The 'US English' option in the selection input takes you to the layout I linked to (which is mis-titled 'Bulgarian (Latin) Keyboard Layout' and another reason why this link isn't the best quality and shouldn't be in the introductory section of the article).
There is no question mark key shown on either of the UK layouts or on the mis-titled 'US English' layout. I think that this error alone is enough to disqualify this page from prominent listing.
No-where on the linked page is there any mention of ISO or ANSI or a particular standard corresponding to the linked layouts.
In part because of this, the double-row Return keys are an issue. As well, the Return key forms are the opposite of what you would expect for US and UK keyboards—the double row form is the norm in the UK whereas the single row form is the norm in the US (as illustrated both on this page (Keyboard layout Mechanical, visual and functional layouts) and at British and American keyboards).
Regardless of what the official standards are, the most important information for a reader would be what layout to expect, not what layout is the standard (especially when there are no indications on the linked page that the layouts are of a particular standard rather than of common use). And none of the five layouts is the typical layout in its respectively labeled country.
However, it still wouldn't suffice to caveat the link with references to ISO or ANSI because none of the five layouts corresponds to either of the ISO and ANSI layouts illustrated on this page.
Keyboard layouts are not rough approximations—changing the output of a single key would yield a different layout. As such, this isn't a matter of the layouts being fine, it's a matter of their being accurate, which they are not.
We shouldn't be linking to confusing—and inaccurate absent some other standard to which the layouts adhere—information from Wikipedia.— (talk) 16:00, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps as a compromise, it could be included with numerous caveats in the External Links section, although it's far less useful as a source than the keyboard diagrams in this and other Wikipedia articles.— (talk) 16:00, 6 February 2014 (UTC)


Discussions with no activity for some time are at Talk:Keyboard layout/Archive 1. --Wtshymanski (talk) 22:34, 6 February 2014 (UTC)


"Because of a design decision, the comma and full stop symbols are on the same key in this layout, and users need to hold Shift every time they enter a comma although the comma is much more frequent in the language."

How can this be true? A sentence doesn't have to have a comma, but a fullstop is always needed. -- (talk) 22:59, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

A sentence may contain multiple commas, and on average this more than makes up for the sentences without any. I would also like to point out that while you say a full stop is "always" needed, your first sentence ends in a question mark. :) However, I agree the paragraph is poorly written, and I certainly wouldn't say the comma is much more frequent (the source simply says comma occurs "more often"), so I will edit that away. —WOFall (talk) 23:32, 4 December 2014 (UTC)


I agree with the commenter above who asks what criteria are used to decide whether it's appropriate for a layout to be here. I notice now that the extremely obscure iKare layout is now added (in second place even, above the much more popular and well-known Colemak!). As a layout nerd, I know about most of the layouts mentioned, and some that aren't, such as Workman. But I have never heard of iKare. Reads to me like someone's personal project. There are any number of personal layouts out there, there needs to be some minimum level of establishment for them to appear on this page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:56, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

I don't think there's much of a case to be made for iKare's notability. Removed. —WOFall (talk) 20:15, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

keymap redirects here from audio article

From Sampler_(musical_instrument), there's a link to keymap that looks as though it's going to tell some of the technical stuff about how sound data gets to be associated with the keys of a keyboard (in the sense of an electronic piano-like object). Instead it redirects to this article on qwerty vs dvorak vs etc. --Dan Wylie-Sears 2 (talk) 14:46, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Japanese input

The statement that input uses (either) standard romanisation is incorrect. No input system current in Japan accepts "mannen" for 1000 years, because the two n's are consumed to produce ん, so producing what would be written in Hepburn or Kunreishiki as "man'en". The systems current also accept an extraordinary range of non-standard romanisations -- for example "cyu" produces what would standardly by "chu" (Hepburn) or "tyu" (Kunreisiki). (This is one reason why Japanese speakers cannot in general produce romanisation following either standard, as can be observed in things like "Funassyi", and numerous URLs including things like . Even a government site, which tries to be a bit more "correct", is using a mixture of Hepburn and Kunreishiki: Imaginatorium (talk) 17:10, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

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