Simon on Dvorak

Simon Willison is switching to Dvorak. I switched years ago and haven’t looked back since. People claim it’s a hoax, but they haven’t used it over a period of years. My QWERTY chops are still pretty good too, mostly thanks to the Treo. It’s not hard doing both, it’s just like learning a new musical instrument.

11 thoughts on “Simon on Dvorak

  1. I’ve had good intentions of switching (even manually made a Dvorak keyboard out of an old spare QWERTY by popping the keys off and rearranging them), but because I spend so much time using a computer at work, I—sadly—haven’t been able to make the switch.

  2. No use for me to switch. A laptop is my main computer and it would be a waste to learn a new keyboard layout if I have to switch back and forth depending on my location.

  3. I’ve been using dvorak for quite some time now and I am very comfortable with it. I have also movet most of the symbols down to the alfa part of the keyboard to make them easier to reach. Changing keyboard layots and trying interesting keyboards is not just a waste of time.

    And for Chris, why switch back and forth? Xmodmap makes the switch easy without administrator privileges in unix systems while autohotkey scripts can do that for you in windows. Mac OSX seems to be more of a pain if you don’t have admin privs.

    Check out

  4. I tried switching to Dvorak a while ago, but since I couldn’t use Dvorak at work it seemed like a bit of a waste, so eventually I gave up. Since then I’ve thought about buying an abKey keyboard, but I haven’t been able to justify paying US$108 + Delivery to the UK for a keyboard that I might not like 🙂

  5. I thought about it, but decided that even though Dvorak is more intuitive, sometimes it’s just easier to stick to the status quo (or should I say, ‘QWO’?).

  6. I switched my home, office and laptop to Dvorak. First I tried the switch using the Windows control panel Regional and Language function. If you leave the English keyboard you must tell each app which keyboard to use which is a pain. As well when you first login the computer defaults to the QWERTY keyboard even if you delete the English keyboard. I eventually decided to buy hard wired switchable keyboards from since at work I use a DOS program that does not recognize the DVORAK keys using the regional settings in the control panel. All windows compliant programs worked with the control panel setting.

    I taught myself DVORAK the same way I learned QWERTY except instead of typing AAAA SSSS DDDD I typed AAAA- OOOO- EEEE until I learned home row. Once I learned where the letters where I downloaded a free DVORAK typing tutor program and started typing words and sentences. I was painfully slow for about 2 weeks.

    I never bothered changing the keyboard layout on my laptop or home keyboard since I never look at the keys anyway. The hard wired switchable keyboards available from show both layouts on each key. I can no longer touch type using a QWERTY keyboard- have to hunt and peck but I am very fast on DVORAK and I am glad I switched as I have less wrist pain now.

  7. Hi,

    I switched to Dvorak out 3 years ago. I love it because when someone asks to use my computer (I teach high school) I say yes knowing they will hate it and never ask again.

    At home I have a switchable keyboard ( for my family.

    A good place to learn Dvorak is at They have a free online tutorial. It is great.

  8. Hi. Went dvorak just last year but sticking to it for long. Love it for all it’s features, and like to talk about it evely time iget to somebody’s Qwe. Allways thought there was to be a better way to type. DVO rulz!

    Looking for a tutorial on manually resetting layout to DVO on low profile keyboards. the ones thinner than a pencile with laptop style locking pins…. and drooling to get a DVO laptop.

    Among good reasons to go DVO – [ QWE guys do not use your computer! They give up in a minute! ] And no one’s messing with your files!