Alternative Keyboard Layouts

For people who type with one hand or finger

Free keyboard layouts—called Dvorak layouts—are available for people who type with one hand or finger. These layouts make the most frequently typed characters on a keyboard more accessible to people who have difficulty using the standard keyboard layout (called the "QWERTY" layout). Dvorak keyboard layouts reduce the amount of motion required to type common English text. Use of these layouts may also help avoid some types of repetitive strain injuries associated with typing. Studies have also shown an increase in typing speed and accuracy when using the Dvorak layout for two hands. The left-hand or right-hand keyboard layouts can also be useful for people who type with a wand.

Three Dvorak layouts are available:

How To Get Free Dvorak Layouts

The Dvorak layouts are included with Windows XP, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows Me, Windows 98, and Windows NT 3.51 and higher. You do not need to modify your hardware keyboard to use these layouts, but you will need to change your keyboard settings to use the Dvorak layouts. Here's how:

For Other Windows Operating Systems

If you are using one of the following Windows operating systems, you will first need to download the keyboard layouts from:

Self-extracting executable Download the Dvorak keyboard layouts (free) for the following operating systems:
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows NT 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows for Workgroups
  • Microsoft Windows 3.0 or higher
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0 or higher

Stickers for Your Keyboard and Training Materials

The illustrations of standard and Dvorak keyboard layouts can help you learn a new keyboard layout.

You may want training materials or stickers to put on you keys so that you can see the new layout as you type. For information about training materials and stickers, contact:

5508A Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105-3631
Phone: (206) 522-TYPE (522-8973)
Fax: (707) 924-8973

Windows XP

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. Technical assistance for Windows XP is no longer available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

What's A Keyboard Layout?

A keyboard layout is a map or a definition of how keys are laid out on your keyboard. The keyboard layout you use is determined by software in your computer. The letters on your keys indicate the standard layout for your keyboard. There are many different keyboard layouts in use throughout the world. The one you ordinarily use depends on the country you are in or the language you use.