Custom Keyboard Layouts in Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

So, a few days ago, I sporadically decided to install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on my laptop. I just wanted to get a good look at what’s coming in the next version of Windows. Now, all commenting about Windows 8 aside, I had one pretty serious issue. You see, I’ve become incredibly reliant on the Programmer Dvorak Keyboard Layout. I switched layouts just over a year ago, but it’s put me in a relatively small group of people. While Windows includes three versions of Dvorak by default, Programmer Dvorak isn’t one of them.


Dvorak Invasion!

Dvorak KeyboardI have to say, Dvorak has to be my favorite composer. Well, okay… Truthfully, he’s my favorite composer because my favorite classical piece is one of his. So, yeah. That’s why he’s my favorite.

But this post has absolutely nothing to do with that. I’ve officially decided that I’m going to learn how to type using the Dvorak keyboard layout, which is quite different from the QWERTY keyboard layout that we’re all so used to. I’ve just decided that I’m not very likely to increase my typing speed any with the QWERTY layout unless I actually set aside time specifically for practicing. But since I don’t want to do that, but I still want to type faster (if only for the purpose of typing faster in class), I’m going to be teaching myself how to type Dvorak style.

If you don’t know the history, the QWERTY layout was designed specifically to slow down typists, because the typewriters of long ago couldn’t handle high-speed typing. But now, with computers, that’s not so much of a problem. We’ve just stuck with QWERTY because… Well, I suppose it’s just that we don’t like change.

But I figure that it will be something like learning a new language. I hope that I’ll still be able to retain my QWERTY skills (even if they slightly diminish, I’ll still be happy) and still learn how to type Dvorak-ishly. Kind of how an English-speaker can learn Spanish and still retain his (or her) English-speaking skills.

Anyway, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. I’ll let you all know how it goes.