Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

A Full Endorsement of the Colemak Keyboard

Posted by Michael Dickens on July 10, 2009

Everyone who spends more than thirty minutes a day at the computer needs to learn this layout. Sure, your fingers might not care too much now, but after years of typing on the infamous QWERTY keyboard, your fingers will not be pleased.

Why is QWERTY even used? Back when the mechanical typewriter was invented, key jams were common. To solve the problem, Christopher Sholes decided to redesign the keyboard so that key jams would be less common. But as a side effect, it actually made it harder on the fingers. And thus, the QWERTY layout was born.

In today’s world of computers, key jams are no longer a problem. But finger comfort is. In 1936, August Dvorak created the Dvorak keyboard, an optimized keyboard designed for comfort. Today, the Dvorak is available on most operating systems. But when Dvorak was designing his keyboard, he did not have the advent of computers to aid the creation of his keyboard.

And that’s where Colemak comes in. Colemak, designed by Shai Coleman, is the keyboard of the modern world: fast, efficient, and fully optimized for computers. Why should you use Colemak?

Easy to access. It requires but a simple download, and you’re good to go.

Easy to learn. Learning a new keyboard layout is far easier than learning a new language. Not only that, but QWERTY is specially designed to be easy to learn. The dedicated practicer can be up to speed within a couple of weeks.

Easy to remember. You can fully retain knowledge of a keyboard layout just by typing in it for ten minutes every day.

Comfortable. In QWERTY, your fingers are jumping all over the place. Colemak gives them a chance to calm down. It simplifies the whole typing experience, and in the long run, your fingers will thank you.

Fast. Many users have experienced a burst in typing speed after learning Colemak.


What do the users say about Colemak?

I am loving colemak. I feel less pain when I type . . . The person who invented it is a genious :D.


I’ve been practising touchtyping on Colemak . . . my hands don’t hurt anymore[.]


. . . I’ve never been more comfortable then in Colemak, so thank you Mr Colman!


Thanks for this fantastic layout.


My qwerty speed was about 48 wpm . . . my typing speed with colemak is about 68 wpm.


Very satisfied . . . If you can make it through the first two months you will be rewarded!


The choice is clear: it’s time to learn Colemak!


3 Responses to “A Full Endorsement of the Colemak Keyboard”

  1. Phynnboi said

    Does this mean you’ve given up rolling your own?

  2. phynnboi said

    I guess I just didn’t expect you to champion Colemak unless you’d given up trying to make something better. In retrospect, though, I guess you always did say on the Colemak forum that you were just growing your own layouts for fun, and not to compete with Colemak. Oh well.

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