Monday, 6 August 2012


So, for the past year and a half, I've been preforming an experiment on myself. Like all good ideas, this one came from the internet. I was reading some ideas that people had posted about how to be more efficient when using my computer. One such idea was to switch keyboard layouts away from the standard QWERTY layout to the newer, much, much more efficient Colemak layout.

If you don't know, the QWERTY layout is the layout that has been used on all keyboards since forever. It was originally developed for typewriters, but has now been adopted for use with computers as the standard. It's name comes from the first six letters on the top row of the keyboard.

This is what the Colemak layout looks like:
A picture of the layout of where each button is on the Colemak layout.
Image from
Clearly, it's not the same as the QWERTY layout, but it is very similar.

Because I haven't been using QWERTY in over a year and a half, this has led to the problem of using other people's computers. I can no longer type with any sort of accuracy or speed when I am forced to borrow another computer. However, I've just recently discovered a new program that I can use to take the Colemak layout with me when I travel, so hopefully it will work out. I would just like to say congratulations to Apple for (apparently) adding standard support for Colemak into their OS (as of Lion, I believe).

It's actually not that hard to switch from QWERTY to Colemak, due to their similarities. If you do a lot of typing, I would recommend that you give it a try. It can take a bit of time to get used to the new system (it took me about 2 weeks), but it's well worth the effort in terms of speed and the overall ease of typing.

Plus, if you don't change the physical keys on your keyboard, it can make your computer frustratingly difficult for anyone else to use! Endless hours of amusement right there...