General Question

ben's avatar

How many people type using the Dvorak keyboard layout?

Asked by ben (8518points) December 21st, 2012

I’ve been dvorak for almost a decade, and anecdotally I know a handful of other people who do as well, but I’m really curious what population of the world types using this layout.

(For a great comic that explains dvorak, see:

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15 Answers

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CWOTUS's avatar

Thanks for the link, @ben. I’m looking forward to trying it out.

When I first learned that there even was a Dvorak keyboard / layout, I had been touch typing QWERTY for over a decade (and it wasn’t going to be easy or cheap to switch on a typewriter!). But the zine was very informative. I think I’ll give it a go.

_Whitetigress's avatar

I want to know why it was invented? Any benefits? More fluid movement or something?

CWOTUS's avatar

lol… I think I’ll wait until I have the keyboard template in front of me for reference, though I have now installed the keyboard.

Oh, there it is. You can also put up the On-Screen Keyboard via (Windows) Start / Accessories / Ease of Access, and the keyboard floats on top of other applications. But I’m totally going to have to spend more time on this. Typing “Oh, there it is,” took nearly a minute.

dxs's avatar

I dont. and I’m too used to the qwerty keyboard format to change.

augustlan's avatar

It can’t be too terribly many…I’d never even heard of it before this question. It makes a lot of sense for me to use it, given how much I type every day. I don’t know if I’d be able to make the switch at this late date, though. I’ve been a QWERTY touch typist for over 30 years!

There’s a Linkedin group for Dvorak users. Maybe you could find more info there.

Unbroken's avatar

I have previously read an article detailing the disadvantages of qwerty and how several other keyboards were more intuitive.

I never switched because it seemed silly to learn a new keyboard and then have to relearn every time I borrowed a computer and laptops come with their own keyboard.

I touchtype like previous posts have stated. Not being a techie I never researched it and wasn’t aware of any software. It didn’t seem practical to go to the extra length when work and other computer’s would be qwerty.

However I have always secretly loathed qwerty and I don’t think it would be that difficult to switch. We go from keyboard to keyboard every day. Cellphone the old style tap texting to texting phone, to swype or word prediction, keyboards, erogonomic keyboards etc.

We adapt every day. I just glanced at the home row and already have it memorized. I think it would be slow for the first week then down hill from there. Switching back to qwerty would be a bit confusing.

When I get back on my computer I will add the software. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

oratio's avatar

Very intersting, and I might give it a serious go. I feel one drawback might be that every other computer which I might use doesn’t have it. But then again one speaks and switches between languages as well, so I am sure I could learn how to type on both layouts proficiently.

I think most people are comfortable with qwerty being good enough for their needs, and switching to Dvorak seems like just a small improvement to that. I think people like programmers and other professions where you type much, might truly benefit. But for the most, I think people don’t consider qwerty a problem, even with being aware of alternatives.

whitenoise's avatar

Dear @ben,

Great to see that fvorak is working out so well for you. Those that consider shifting to Dvorak, should maybe read this, however.

It seems that Dvorak may not be so obviously better tham qwerty, as claimed.

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El_Cadejo's avatar

I tried learning dvorak a couple years ago when you first posted a question about it. I tried it out for about a week or two but it got pretty frustrating whenever I was on someone else’s computer I’d type all retarded like cause I was still thinking in dvorak. It ended up being more of a hassle than a benefit so I just stuck with qwerty

Shippy's avatar

I’d have to say I’d cry if that came into full play, since I am 100% touch typist based on the old method. I know my entire key board in the dark.

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ETpro's avatar

Well the QWERTY was developed to deliberately slow typist down back in the days of mechanical typewriters. Type to fast, and up-swinging key arms would get tangled with previously hit ones which had not fully fallen back in place. But by the time mechanical movements no longer mattered, the whole world knew touch type on QWERTY. Many, myself included, were never motivated to relearn touch typing on a new key layout.

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