Dvorak Keyboard

Updated 2009-07-08 22:44


These pages are meant to help you learn to touch-type on the Dvorak Keyboard Layout, by memorizing locations of keys in relation to your fingers.

About the Dvorak layout

The Dvorak layout is an alternative to the Touch Typing layout. All major operating systems let you use the Dvorak layout with no additional hardware. The advantages of the layout, due to it's more efficient arrangement of the keys, include slight typing speed increase and (many argue) much reduced finger strain.

Keeping it simple

To make memorization easier, we'll split the keyboard up into groups of three keys:



We'll also only consider the 3 rows above the spacebar (10 keys each) as pictured above.

Fingers and keys

As you most likely already know, when typing, each finger is responsible for a group of three keys. An exception to this rule are the index fingers - each index finger is responsible for the group under itself as well as the group above the adjacent thumb.


Thus, we'll memorize the letters each finger is responsible for. First we'll memorize the middle row key for each finger, then the other 2 keys for each finger.

Rows, etc

Question Answer
Top',.p   yf   gcrl/=
Middleaoeu   id   htns-
Bottom;qjk   xb   mwvz
keys with querty same as dvoraka, and m

Middle row

We'll start out simple, remembering the middle key for each finger. This should be easy - there are only 5 of them per hand:) This row is also sometimes referred to as the "home row".

Left hand, middle row

You'll likely want to look over the table for a moment before beginning. Click (memorize) next to Middle Key and go through the table. (See /Help if you're confused here). Then, to memorize in reverse, click (memorize) next to Letter.
Middle KeyLetter
A (quote)
O (comma)

Right hand, middle row

Now do the same for the right hand.
Middle KeyLetter


Remember that the thumb doesn't actually press any keys (other than the spacebar). The index fingers are responsible for the keys above the thumbs (in addition to the keys above themselves).

Three keys for each finger

Now that you know the middle keys, we'll memorize the other 2 keys for each finger (the top and bottom keys).

Left hand fingers

Memorize the left column and then the right.
FingerThree Keys
- ' - (A) - ;
- , - (O) - Q
- . - (E) - J
- P - (U) - K
- Y - (I) - X

Right hand fingers

Do the same.
FingerThree Keys
- F - (D) - B
- G - (H) - M
- C - (T) - W
- R - (N) - V
- L - (S) - Z


Dvorak Keyboard 2 - groups for each letter
Dvorak Keyboard 3 - key for each letter