Dvorak Keyboard Layout

Kenneth Burgener kenneth at mail1.ttak.org
Thu Sep 27 10:18:54 MDT 2007

Hello all,

I have recently decided that I would like to invest the time in learning
the Dvorak keyboard layout, to help reduce such things as Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome.  I am curious to find out who here uses the Dvorak keyboard,
and what tips and tricks they have found to make the switch easier?

The issues I have stumbled upon are:

1. Solutions needed for both Windows and Linux environments.  I live in
both a Windows and Linux world so it is important to find solutions for
the following problems that work in both.

2. Lack of keyboards.  The few Dvorak keyboards I have found are all
$100+, and I have yet to find an "ergonomic" shaped Dvorak keyboard. 
The most common Dvorak keyboard I have found is the TypeMatrix  2030,
but it is not ergonomic.  For now I have settled upon using Windows
"Local - Dvorak" feature, and Linux alias/xmodmap/loadkeys solutions I
have found.

3. Location based keys: Cut/Copy/Paste/Undo or Vi's 'hjkl'.  Vi's 'hjkl'
movement keys are no much of an issue for me, as I use the arrow keys
provided on all modern keyboards, but for the die hard Vi purists, this
may be a rather irritating point.  For me Cut/Copy/Paste/Undo being the
"ZXCV" positions is very convenient, especially since they are one
handed, and you can use the mouse while performing these actions. 
Switching to Dvorak breaks this convenience.  Any one familiar with a
good solution?

The TypeMatrix 2030 keyboard does have an extra set of keys for the
cut/copy/paste, which is an awesome solution, but I really don't like
the fact that it is not an ergonomic shaped keyboard.  I have seen
mention that this is solvable using software, but I have yet to find
software for either Windows or Linux that will remap the CTRL+ZXCV keys
combinations only.

The other solution I have seen is using a modified Dvorak layout called
"Capewell Layout" [1], which keeps the ZXCV keys in their location, and
makes some other improvements to the Dvorak layout.  I have also heard
of a Programming Dvorak layout.  Anyone had any experience with these

My final comment is when I refer to an "ergonomic" style keyboard, I
don't just mean one that "bumps" out.  I have also seen "separated
halves" style keyboards, which I think work as well.  Anything to give
more distance between the two hands.

Thanks in advance,


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