Dvorak Keyboard

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What Does Dvorak Keyboard Mean?

The Dvorak keyboard is an ergonomic keyboard layout. It is designed to increase typing speed compared to the QWERTY keyboard layout. The keyboard layout was patented by Dr. August Dvorak and his brother-in-law, Dr. William Dealey in 1936. Since then, some changes have been made to the keyboard layout in order to improve it.


The Dvorak keyboard is also known as the Simplified Keyboard or American Simplified Keyboard.

Techopedia Explains Dvorak Keyboard

The purpose of designing the Dvorak keyboard layout was to reduce finger travel distance and making typing faster. Dvorak extensively studied the physiology of people’s hands and the most frequently used letters. After that, he designed the keyboard layout to make it more efficient in terms typing speed and user friendliness. The Dvorak layout was purposefully designed to overcome issues faced with the QWERTY layout.

The Dvorak layout is designed based on the following principles:

  • Letters should be typed by alternating hands.
  • Vowels are placed on the left home row, with the most used symbols on the left and most used consonants are on the right.
  • To increase the typing speed, the most common letters and letter combinations should be easiest to type.
  • The least common letters are placed on the bottom.
  • The right hand should type more.

Apart from the standard Dvorak layout, two other types of Dvorak layouts are available: one for left-handed and the other for right-handed people.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.