How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (2023)

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (1)

The so-called QWERTY keyboard layout–the keyboard most of us use every day–is a typing mainstay. Most people will never need or want to use anything else. But, there are other keyboard layouts out there, some of which claim to be more efficient.

RELATED: Alternative Keyboard Layouts Explained: Should You Switch to Dvorak or Colemak?

QWERTY, as legend has it, was invented with the typewriter by Christopher Sholes in 1868. TheQWERTY layout was developed to space outoft-used letters and prevent the keysfrom getting jammed (as old typewriters were wont to do). And we’ve been using it ever since.

But, that doesn’t mean others haven’t tried to invent something better. Indeed,there are two other oft-tried alternate layouts: Dvorak and Colemak. Dvorak is by far the most popular and routinely mentioned. It is designed to place the most-often used letters on home row, meaning your fingers have to go through fewer motions.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (2)

The Colemak keyboard, meanwhile, maintains someof the QWERTY layout but does mix things up a bit. The Colemak layout is intended to place the most frequently used letters under the strongest fingers. For example, the “E” key is placed under the right middle finger since E is the most-often used letter in the English language.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (3)

This only brushes the surface, and we recommend you read our explainer on alternative keyboard layouts for more information on the advantages and disadvantages between QWERTY, Dvorak, and Colemak.

There is one caveat to trying out a new layout, at least on your computer:your old physical QWERTY keyboard won’t change, so you’ll need to try to learn using a printout or similar visual guide.

You could also try rearranging the keys, by prying them off and giving them new locations. This is however, time consuming and on some keyboards, the keys may be designed to fit specifically in their default locations. Plus, you may want to switch back to QWERTY regularly.

Alternatively, you could buy a special Dvorakkeyboard, but they can be pretty pricey andwould imply you’re really devoted to this change.

Perhaps the best compromise is to try usingkeyboard stickers or even buying a special keyboard overlay. Both these are temporary and far less inexpensive than the previously mentioned options.

So, let’s say you’ve decided that you want to try to change your keyboard layout to see how Dvorak or Colemakwork for you.Here’s how to make Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS use an alternate layout.

How to ChangeYour Keyboard Layout on Windows

To change your keyboard layout on Windows to Dvorak (or any other layout), firstopen the Control Panel. From there, navigate to the Language options.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (4)

Once you’re in the Language panel, click on “Options” to the right ofthe English panel.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (5)

In the language options, now click on “Add an input method”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (6)

(Video) How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone

Choose the Dvorak layout from the list and then click “Add”. There are a lot of alternative layouts available from the selections, but sadly Colemak isn’t one of them. You can however, download and install a Colemak layout using a standalone application.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (7)

Back on the language options screen, you can now see that Dvorak has been added.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (8)

If you’re using Windows 10, there is another way as well. First open the Settings and choose “Time & language”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (9)

Click open “Region & language” then click “English (United States)” and then “Options” from the resulting selections.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (10)

Click “Add a keyboard” and choose the Dvorak layout from the the choices.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (11)

Now you can change to the Dvorak layout anytime by clicking on the language selector in the taskbar and choosingit from the popup menu.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (12)

Though it might look slightly different, the language selector should still be located in the same place on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

Changing Your Keyboard Layout on a Mac

To change your keyboard layout on a Mac, first open the System Preferences, then click open “Keyboard”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (13)

In the Keyboard preferences, click the “Input Sources” tab and then the “+” sign in the bottom left corner.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (14)

Now, from the list of English sources, choose Dvorak, Colemak or whatever layout you desire.

(Video) How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (15)

Once your alternative layouts are installed, you can access them quickly and easily from the menu bar.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (16)

How to ChangeYour Keyboard Layout on Android

InAndroid, you can change to other foreign keyboard layouts or the Dvorak or Colemak layout using the official Google Keyboard. To make this change, open Settings and tap “Language & input”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (17)

On the next screen make sure the “Google Keyboard” is assigned under Current Keyboard. If not, tap “Current Keyboard”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (18)

The selector screen will have your available keyboards you can set, choose “Google Keyboard”. If you don’t see it, first make sure it is installed.

If you don’t see Google Keyboard and you know it is installed, then make sure it is on. Tap “Choose Keyboards”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (19)

Now, tap on “Google Keyboard” to add it to your available keyboard selections.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (20)

Once you’ve selected the Google Keyboard, you can now add other keyboard layouts. Back on the language & input screen, tap “Google Keyboard”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (21)

On the next screen, tap “Preferences”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (22)

You can either override the default German and French layouts here, or add new ones using the “+” symbol in the upper-right corner. Whatever you decide, you will then need to choose your language (English (US) in this case) and then the layout, then tap “Save”.

(Video) How to switch to the Dvorak keyboard layout in Windows 10

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (23)

As you can see, we now have both layouts available if you want to use them.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (24)

From the Google Keyboard settings screen, now tap “Languages”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (25)

Activate Colemak and Dvorak in the active input methods.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (26)

Now, in any app that utilizes text input, tap and hold the globe key in the lower-left corner until the change keyboard options appear.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (27)

Now you can switch between various layout on the fly.

Note, this works just the same for foreign layouts as well so if you ever need to switch to Russian or French, then you can use this method to add and activate whatever keyboard you require.

How to Changethe Keyboard Layout on iOS

Just like with Android, iOS doesn’t come with any alternative keyboard layouts, unlike Android,it’s not free. We did find one, though, that only costs $0.99and seemed to do nicely.

The Dvorak + Colemak Keyboards app has both keyboard layouts and can be had from the App Store.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (29)

Once installed, open the Settings and tap “General”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (30)

(Video) I Learned Dvorak So You Don't Have To

In the General settings, tap “Keyboard”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (31)

Once you’re in the Keyboards settings, tap on the “Keyboards” button.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (32)

In the Keyboards settings, tap “Add New Keyboard…”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (33)

From the offerings on the Add New Keyboard screen, we tap “Dvorak+Colemak”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (34)

And, we can then activate one or the other or both, then tap “Done”.

How to Switch to Dvorak (and Other Keyboard Layouts) on Your Computer or Phone (35)

With that, your alternative keyboard layouts are now active and can be selected from any keyboard screen by tapping the globe icon in the lower-left corner.

Of course, with any of these systems, you’re not limited solely to Dvorak or Colemak. Indeed, if you intend to type anything in Russian or Arabic or Chinese, you will be able to change your keyboard layout to suit you.

With these alternative English layouts, however, you can challenge yourself to learn a new way of typing and perhaps even bolster your speed and accuracy in the process. It won’t be necessarily a fast or easy process, especially if you’ve been using QWERTY for your whole life, but you might find they work better for you, perhaps even reducing typing fatigue.

So, what do you have to lose? As you can see, it’s a rather simple process, and could actually be a lot of fun and best of all, it’s free if you use Windows, Mac, or Android, and if you use an iPhone, you get two keyboard layouts for the low price of $0.99.

Image credits: Wikipedia Dvorak, Wikipedia Colemak

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FAQs

How do I switch between keyboard layouts? ›

Keyboard shortcut: To switch between keyboard layouts, press Alt+Shift. Note: The icon is just an example; it shows that English is the language of the active keyboard layout. The actual icon shown on your computer depends on the language of the active keyboard layout and version of Windows.

How do I toggle Dvorak keyboard? ›

Use Dvorak keyboard layouts on Mac
  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard , then click Input Sources. Open the Input Sources pane for me.
  2. Click the Add button , then search for Dvorak.
  3. Select one or more Dvorak layouts, then click Add.

How do I change my phone keyboard to Dvorak? ›

Choose the layout from SETTINGS > LANGUAGE AND INPUT and the settings button on the side of the ANdroid keyboard. You might also try long-pressing the SPACE bar on the keyboard.

How do I get Dvorak keyboard on ANdroid? ›

In Android, you can change to other foreign keyboard layouts or the Dvorak or Colemak layout using the official Google Keyboard. To make this change, open Settings and tap “Language & input”. On the next screen make sure the “Google Keyboard” is assigned under Current Keyboard. If not, tap “Current Keyboard”.

How do I reassign my keyboard keys? ›

To reassign a key

Connect the keyboard that you want to configure. Select the Start button, and then select Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center. From the displayed list of key names, select the key that you want to reassign. In the command list of the key that you want to reassign, select a command.

How do I change the keyboard settings on my phone? ›

Set keyboard options
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open any app that you can type with, like Gmail or Keep.
  2. Tap where you can enter text.
  3. At the top left of the keyboard, tap Open features menu .
  4. Tap More Settings .
  5. Choose which settings to turn on, like Glide typing, Text correction, and Voice typing.

What is the fastest keyboard layout? ›

A lot of tests and demonstrations have shown that DVORAK is a lot better than QWERTY. Estimates are that you can be more than 60 per cent faster typing on a DVORAK keyboard.

Is Dvorak better than QWERTY? ›

Dvorak proponents claim that it requires less finger motion and as a result reduces errors, increases typing speed, reduces repetitive strain injuries, or is simply more comfortable than QWERTY.

Is it worth switching to Dvorak? ›

Switching to Dvorak isn't something I'd recommend to anyone who can already touch type using QWERTY. There's no conclusive evidence that it'll make you faster, and learning is a pretty painful process if you need to type with even the slightest sense of urgency.

How do I switch from QWERTY to Dvorak? ›

On Windows, you can also easily toggle between QWERTY and Dvorak by pressing ctrl + shift. Or, you can click where it says “ENG DV” at the bottom of your screen to toggle between layouts.

How do I get the QWERTY keyboard on my Android? ›

Android (Gboard):
  1. Open Settings app on Android device.
  2. Tap System.
  3. Tap Languages & input.
  4. Tap On-screen keyboard.
  5. Select Gboard.
  6. Select Languages, and then adding QWERTY for the language you're learning.

How do I get Dvorak keyboard on Windows 11? ›

How to Add a Keyboard Layout in Windows 11
  1. Right-click Start and select Settings > Time & language > Language & region.
  2. Click Add a language.
  3. In the pop-up, select the language you want to install and then click Next at the bottom.
  4. Click Install to install the new language.
May 26, 2022

How do I change keyboards on Android? ›

Here's how to change your keyboard on Android. To change your keyboard on Android, go to Settings > System settings > Keyboard and input method > Current keyboard and choose the keyboard (the steps might differ a little depending on your phone). You can download third-party keyboards from the Google Play Store.

How do I change keyboard language on Android? ›

Add a language on Gboard through Android settings
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Settings app.
  2. Tap System. Languages & input.
  3. Under "Keyboards," tap Virtual keyboard.
  4. Tap Gboard. Languages.
  5. Pick a language.
  6. Turn on the layout you want to use.
  7. Tap Done.

How do I use Dvorak on Windows? ›

Change keyboard layout to Dvorak
  1. On your keyboard, press Windows + I.
  2. Select Time & language.
  3. On the left pane, click Region & language.
  4. Under Languages, highlight English (United States), then click Options.
  5. Under Keyboards, click Add a keyboard.
  6. Choose United States-Dvorak.
  7. Close the settings.
Jul 16, 2018

How do I reset my keyboard settings? ›

Follow these steps:
  1. In the. SymDump. Eclipse plug-in, select Window, Preferences. ...
  2. Select General, Keys. The Keys dialog shows the preferences for shortcut keys.
  3. Click Restore Defaults. The Restore Keyboard Defaults dialog opens.
  4. Click OK to restore all keys to the default settings.
  5. Click OK to close the Keys dialog.
Aug 15, 2022

How do I enable function keys? ›

Enabling FN Lock on the All in One Media Keyboard

To enable FN Lock on the All in One Media Keyboard, press the FN key, and the Caps Lock key at the same time. To disable FN Lock, press the FN key, and the Caps Lock key at the same time again.

Why have my keys swapped on my keyboard? ›

This is useful for when you're typing and suddenly the @ and “ keys are swapped as you are typing. It happens because you accidentally pressed the Windows Key + Spacebar at the same time – this will cycle through the languages.

How do I know what keyboard layout I have? ›

Click Start, type osk in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER. Match the keyboard on the screen with the physical keyboard to make sure that the layout matches. To check the uppercase characters, click the shift key on the keyboard or on the screen, and match the characters printed on the keyboard.

How do I change the keyboard layout on my Samsung? ›

You can change the language, layout, themes, size, feedback, and even add custom symbols. From Settings, search for and select Samsung Keyboard, and then adjust your desired keyboard settings. You can also access this page by tapping the Settings icon in the keyboard's toolbar.

How do I switch between keyboards on a Samsung? ›

How to Switch Between Android Keyboards
  1. Launch the app you want to type in.
  2. Tap to display the keyboard.
  3. Tap the keyboard icon on the bottom right.
  4. Choose the keyboard from the list.
  5. Repeat these steps to switch to another keyboard.
Apr 22, 2021

What is the shortcut to switch tabs? ›

Windows & Linux
ActionShortcut
Jump to the next open tabCtrl + Tab or Ctrl + PgDn
Jump to the previous open tabCtrl + Shift + Tab or Ctrl + PgUp
Jump to a specific tabCtrl + 1 through Ctrl + 8
Jump to the rightmost tabCtrl + 9
13 more rows

How do you switch between keyboards on Iphone? ›

Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards. Tap a language at the top of the screen, then select an alternative layout from the list.

How do I change my keyboard from Qwerty to Azerty? ›

Click the language icon on the Language bar, which should appear on your taskbar near where the clock is, and then click the language that you want to use. QWERTY TO AZERTY keyboard shortcut: to switch between keyboard layouts, press Alt+Shift.

How do I change my keyboard quickly on Android? ›

To find the keyboard settings, swipe down from the top of the screen twice and tap the gear icon. Scroll all the way down to “System.” Select “Languages & Input” at the top. Now tap “On-Screen Keyboard.”

How can I change my Android keyboard? ›

Tap on Gboard, and if you see the word "Open" in a green box, you already have the most up-to-date version. If you see the word "Update," tap it and the updating process will begin.

How do I change keyboards in Windows 10? ›

To switch the keyboard layout you're using in Windows 10, press and hold the Windows key and then repeatedly press the Spacebar to cycle through all your installed keyboards.

How do I change the keyboard app? ›

Hold down the Alt key and tap the Tab key. This will open a gallery of all your open applications. Whilst continuing to hold down the Alt key, you can tab to the application you want to go to or use the mouse to select the application. Using this keyboard shortcut is an efficient way of switching applications.

How do I switch tabs using Chrome keyboard? ›

The keyboard shortcut Cmd + Shift + A (Mac) or Alt + Shift + A (Windows) is the easiest way to switch between tabs in Chrome.

How do I automatically switch tabs in Chrome? ›

Use of of the following button combinations to switch to a specific tab:
  1. Press Ctrl + 1 to open the first tab on the left.
  2. Press Ctrl + 2 to open the second tab.
  3. Press Ctrl + 3 to open the third tab.
  4. Press Ctrl + 4 to open the fourth tab.
  5. Press Ctrl + 5 to open the fifth tab.
  6. Press Ctrl + 6 to open the sixth tab.
Jun 20, 2022

How do I get the Dvorak keyboard on my iPhone? ›

Answer: A: When the keyboard is connected, you go to settings > general > keyboard and look for the Hardware Keyboard item. Over at the right edge for English, you can tap and choose the layout. Just select Dvorak instead of "automatic" or anything else.
...
from the iOS app store:
  1. Dvorak for all.
  2. Dvorak Keyboard 8.
  3. Dvorak.
Apr 16, 2019

Can you customize keyboard iPhone? ›

You can adjust the onscreen (software) keyboard on iPhone. If you use an external (hardware) keyboard with iPhone, you can customize keyboard shortcuts and change settings such as the key repeat rate.

What is AZERTY layout? ›

A keyboard layout used in France and neighboring countries. A, Z, E, R, T and Y are the letters on the top left, alphabetic row. AZERTY is similar to the QWERTY layout, except that Q and A are swapped, Z and W are swapped and M is in the middle row instead of the bottom one.

Is Dvorak better than QWERTY? ›

Dvorak proponents claim that it requires less finger motion and as a result reduces errors, increases typing speed, reduces repetitive strain injuries, or is simply more comfortable than QWERTY.

How can I change AZERTY to QWERTY in Android? ›

How do I change my keyboard from AZERTY to QWERTY?
  1. Open Settings app on Android device.
  2. Tap System.
  3. Tap Languages & input.
  4. Tap On-screen keyboard.
  5. Select Gboard.
  6. Select Languages, and then adding QWERTY for the language you're learning.

What is the fastest keyboard layout? ›

A lot of tests and demonstrations have shown that DVORAK is a lot better than QWERTY. Estimates are that you can be more than 60 per cent faster typing on a DVORAK keyboard.

Videos

1. HOW TO CHANGE QWERTY KEYBOARD LAYOUT TO DVORAK
(Leroy)
2. How to Change Keyboard Layout (CHANGE TO DVORAK!)
(dolla)
3. Different keyboard layouts around the world explained!
(Mr Chops)
4. How to change Google keyboard's layout from qwerty to Dvorak/Colemak/PC sweet and simple
(Techfitness)
5. how to turn on or add Dvorak keyboard on windows 10
(boji luping)
6. Should you learn to type with Dvorak? Question answered by fastest Dvorak typist
(NoThisIsJohn)
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