Switching to DVORAK

By thegoldengod128 - updated: 1 month ago - 9 messages

I'm thinking of switching, or at least learning, DVORAK. It is worth it? My average is in the mid-high 90s, sometimes greater depending on the quote. Is it worth the time? And how will it affect my QWERTY speed, if at all?

Does any one have any stories of their transition?
By meiquer - posted: 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I was considering it until I saw this video: https://www.youtu....
By brennanisokay - posted: 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Take a look at colemak too! I just switched and three months later im about on par with where I was before. The first month was brutal but after that it's just gaining speed. It also improved my accuracy a ton because I was intensely focused on learning the keys and could drop any bad habits I had from qwerty.
By coolby - posted: 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Well. My transition was rather protracted, with varying levels of familial support. It is a bit of a story, I hope you have the time.

It all started when I was young. I never felt quite myself, when sitting at a QWERTY keyboard, or otherwise. There was always a nagging sense of "your natural self is something else... something or someone TRUE". At that time, I didn't know about DVORAK or any of the other alternatives. So for years I continued, trying to accommodate this body, these hands, I had been given to something I felt wasn't right. I didn't use my pinkies for the longest time with the QAZ or P;. keys, I had them splayed out in a rather effeminate way. Little did I know.

Finally with the changes that come about in those early pubertal years, I knew I had to take action. I couldn't tell my parents though. The house was filled with conventional QWERTY keyboards. I didn't know if I would be kicked out, or put in some sort of Christian DVORAK-conversion camp if I told them I wanted to switch. They were tense times to be sure, and for a while I fell into a deep depression. Eventually, I was able to talk to some doctors about it, without my parents around, when I was 17-18. The doctors encouraged me to think specifically about the ramifications of switching. Society is filled with QWERTY, and hardly any DVORAK. People judge the unconventional layout; they stare. Once you make the switch, you can't really change back because certain muscles atrophy. They encouraged me, before taking more drastic measures, to try taking medication that could make me feel more comfortable. I did, but it felt like a half-measure. And besides, we all know QWERTY is non-optimized.

Fast forward to my early twenties, and I knew it was time. I made the switch. Like others have mentioned, there was a long recovery process that took weeks, months. Sometimes I hear people saying they're worried about the QWERTY-switching feeling like an "infection" once you go DVORAK, and I was certainly worried about that after switching. But good news- I feel myself now. And obviously, my parents have to know about it. They can see when I'm using my phone, I have even converted that to DVORAK, too. They've been slow, but accept me now. I don't think either of them will ever really switch, but they understand on some level at least. My typing speed has gone up 10% after a couple years. As far as my personal life goes, I don't mind if my partner is QWERTY or DVORAK, but I always tell them about my status. Some QWERTY users actually really like me because I'm different. Oddly enough, it is an especially popular conversion in Thailand. Go figure.

Anyway, I hope that was helpful. Everyone's journey is different. Do what's best for you. Forums like this can be helpful. I have gotten a lot of support from the DVORAK/COLEMAK/T9/QWERTY (DCTQ+) community over the years.
Updated 3 months, 2 weeks ago
By user32216 - posted: 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I haven't tried DVORAK, but I learned COLEMAK for a while. I gave it a month, but I hit a hump at about 70 wpm, coming from high 80s in QUERTY. In addition to that, I found QWERTY more comfortable to type, since I usually rest my right hand middle, ring, and pinkie finger on the top row on it, allowing for a more natural wrist angle. Also, I found the more left-dominant typing that QWERTY features to my liking, probably due to dexterity in that hand developed during guitar playing that I'm just lacking in my right hand, even though I'm usually right handed.

As for the QWERTY speed, I found myself becoming utterly lost on QWERTY layouts during that time. Once the COLEMAK layout was engrained, I had to look at QWERTY keys and do 2 finger eagle eyed search system. I transitioned back to QWERTY in about a week without a major hit to my previous speed, but being proficient at both was not possible for me.

So, I guess give it a try, but don't stick to it if it's not right to you, even though it might be the superior layout in theory.
By pablo.r.c - posted: 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Hi! I've just started to research through different layouts a month ago, I tried some of them including DVORAK. And with this testing, I have seen that the best option for me it was the "WORKMAN" layout, is not that famous but more modern and I've really found the advantages of it. Just check that https://workmanla....

But what I can say is that learning a new layout is a bit frustrating and at the same time kind of enjoyable process in which you will need some time. After one month I'm still far from my qwerty speed. But I'm learning changing from QWERTY to WORKMAN from time to time. And I can say to you that thanks to learn a new layout in that way I've also improve my skills in QWERTY! (Taking the good manners from the new one) .

Finally also it is kind of weird that my brain sometimes get one minute of confusion when I've just changed from one to other, but after one minute just everything works well.

Good luck with the learning and enjoy it :)
Updated 1 month, 2 weeks ago
By demicuz - posted: 1 month, 2 weeks ago

You can also take a look at Colemak mod-DH: colemakmods.github.io/mod-dh/
I've been using it for over two years already. I've also had a short experience with Dvorak, but for me it wasn't very comfortable, and it turned out it has quite a lot of bigrams (two characters in a row you type with the same finger, which has a major impact on your speed). So I've done a bit of research and switched to Colemak mod DH, and I'm pretty happy with it ever since.
Also you can check out keyboard analyzing tool on that website: colemakmods.github.io/mod-dh/analyze.html
And also I've written an AutoHotKey script that lets you preserve QWERTY key combinations (when pressing alt, ctrl, etc.), while typing with Colemak: https://gist.gith...
Updated 1 month, 2 weeks ago
By zer039 - posted: 1 month, 1 week ago

Being a Computer Science student, I have started to code and when coding I have to use a lot of symbols, like the period, comma, semi-colon, brackets, mathematics sign, etc. and all of these are accessed by only the right-pinky finger, this wasn't a fair with the little finger.
Until this I was a QWERTY user, wasn't a fast typist but learned touch typing recently and speed was around 60WPM.

But then I came to know about DVORAK, it was fascinating but wasn't worth the pain in switching the layout and developing a new muscle memory for another layout.

Then I came across PROGRAMMERS-DVORAK, it arranges all the symbol across the whole keyboard so it reduces the burden of the right-pinky and distributed it to all the fingers, which was a bless for any programmer.

So know after practicing PROGRAMMERS-DVORAK for a year I have achieved a typing speed of 70WPM, overall it's a progress for me, but I have forgotten QWERTY and many of the users say to remember it as well but I don't think it's will be necessary, because I can still type in QWERTY at around 40WPM, which is enough to get the work done, if needed.
By tj10777 - posted: 1 month ago


I wish I could upvote. This should be at the top of the page!
By ze_or_qwerty - posted: 1 month ago

I used to type averaging 80 on QWERTY and now type averaging 120 on Dvorak, but the success probably greatly had to do with the fact that I swapped very early when I was in middle school.

I actually find the comfort benefits more attractive than the speed benefits to this day.

And lastly as you can see with my newly made QWERTY account, I am actually relearning QWERTY again more for fun than anything. not that I ever got slower on QWERTY in the first place, but I was definitely lacking the intentional understanding of QWERTY, and the only way I could really type on it was to let my inner deep muscle memory come out.

So far what I found is that QWERTY is still a disgusting layout, especially with "proper touch typing techniques." But you can definitely maintain your skill on 2 different layouts at the same time.