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Qwerty vs Dvorak vs Colemak? - Page 2

Poll Results: Which layout do you use?

 
  • 77% (71)
    Qwerty
  • 10% (10)
    Dvorak
  • 9% (9)
    Colemak
  • 2% (2)
    Other? Please describe
92 Total Votes  
post #11 of 43
Despite never sitting down and properly learning to type in a formal way, I can type anywhere from 70-110 WPM on a QWERTY keyboard, depending on my levels of concentration and whether I am transcribing something, typing something that is being dictated from me or typing my own stuff. It would seem to me that I can type more than fast enough on a QWERTY layout such that any speed gains from using Colemak or Dvorak wouldn't mean much to me, and yet there's all the downsides as discussed above.

I guess I'd be interested if there were tangible improvements in accuracy and ergonomics (well, there is some evidence in regards to the latter) but really I think typing, irrespective of layout, is all muscle memory. I learned to type by using computers a lot. I think if I had switched to a different layout, it probably would have required as much effort anyway.

Yes, the Qwerty layout is a hack designed in the days of yore to prevent people breaking their Remington manuals, but unless you need to type as quickly as a stenographer, there are plenty of more immediate limiting factors to your typing speed than it.
Edited by ch_123 - 3/22/11 at 5:16pm
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post #12 of 43
I have very recently made the switch to Colemak. I am not at my full QWERTY speed yet, but I'm getting there. I used to be between 80 - 100. Right now I am somewhere between 50-60.

My motivation for switching had nothing to do with speed. I was trying to avoid hand injuries. But if I can come out of this as a faster typer, I certainly won't complain.
I use my computer all day, everyday, for work and for play. After a hard day I was getting pains and cramps in my fingers. Colemak is designed to prevent that because the distance your fingers travel is much shorter, and it is far less common to use the same finger twice in a row.

I started learning Colemak about two months ago, for the first two weeks I only put in about 1/2 hour of practice per day. They say you should practice at least 1 - 2 hours per day if you want to learn it more quickly.
I've been using Colemak full-time for about a month now, and I haven't experienced any finger pains in that time. It's still early, and I haven't reached full speed yet, but so far its looking good.
While I'm typing on Colemak, I can't really feel that it's better. But when I have to type on QWERTY, that's when I feel the difference. QWERTY is much harder on your hands, the amount of finger movement is much greater.

Before I learned that Colemak existed, I was planning on learning Dvorak. But Colemak is so much better. It is designed to be learned by people who already know QWERTY, but want/need something better. It keeps all but one of the punctuation keys the same. It keeps most of the common windows shortcut keys the same (ctrl+A, ctrl+Z, ctrl+X, ctrl+C, ctrl+V), and it keeps the entire bottom row almost completely unchanged from QWERTY.

In the beginning you really have to force yourself to use it. If you don't, then you will never make the switch. I think I started to switch once I reached about 25wpm, but I was still using QWERTY like a crutch from time to time.
This is the training I was using in the beginning: http://www.learncolemak.com/lessons.php
After I went through that enough times, I just started doing pure speed tests.

I'm over 50wpm now, but that's mostly due to mistakes, I never have to hunt for keys. I just sometimes instinctively hit the wrong ones. But that continues to improve every day.

For games, I could remap all the keys in game... But instead, I just hit WinKey+Space to switch to QWERTY before I start a game, it takes about .3 seconds.

More Colemak info: http://www.colemak.com/wiki/index.php?title=FAQ
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post #13 of 43
I use QWERTY as it's basically the standard in 'Murica nowadays so trying to remember another one alongside it might be a bit confusing. I can get pretty good speeds though with QWERTY (138wpm was my record. Used TyprX) though so I don't have too much of a reason to switch, since normally I don't try too hard to hit those speeds.

It also depends on what I'm doing like ch_123 said, so IMO something like TyprX or TypeRacer isn't that good of a measure of how fast you type since it's also somewhat limited by your ability to read (which usually isn't too much of a problem though).
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post #14 of 43
I have been a Colemak user, from Dec 2010. I found Dvorak first, then after a week I realized that Colemak is a modern and even better alternative to Qwerty.

Colemak is designed especially for Qwerty users, since it have 10 keys in common with Qwerty, especially the shortcuts remain the same. You only have to learn the rest 17 keys.

Colemak is very comfortable for typing since most of the keys are put at optimum places, top ten 10 most frequent keys is put to homerow, so your fingers remains on the home row for ~70% of the time.

To switch you have to invest 3 weeks of practising each day so that your new muscle memory can be built up in your brain. And after that you must use Colemak full time so that the speed can continue to increase.

My Colemak switching experience, day by day, for anyone interested. In the topic I have included all my learning and drilling software for Windows users.

http://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?id=970
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleslikejohn View Post

I just realized with other layouts, the game hotkeys would be screwed up, greaaaaaaaaat..

You don't have to, since you can toggle the layout between Colemak and Qwerty anytime with a hotkey.

I did so when I play FPS
Edited by Tony_VN - 7/10/13 at 12:56am
post #15 of 43
Good news: Colemak keyboard has been available for jailbreaked iPhone/iPad ver 5 or 6. Now you can hunt and peck in Colemak as well as touch type :-)

In Cydia do a search with Colemak keyboard and you will get one.

http://moreinfo.thebigboss.org/moreinfo/depiction.php?file=iamhariccolemakkeyboardDp
post #16 of 43
I've been using dvorak for 16 years and never looked back. It's vastly superior to QWERTY imho and only took me a month to learn/get back to my old speed. Later, I was even faster and more accurate than my old QWERTY speed/accuracy.
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post #17 of 43
I never know whether to trust other layouts' proponents or not. It seems to me a lot of people switch over and learn how to type on the new layout in a far more appropriate way than they'll have learned the QWERTY, and then will believe that the layout caused that change in speed. I actually DO believe that Dvorak and Colemak might be better options (still use QWERTY though) because of the typewriting thing, but I don't really know if it's a real thing.
post #18 of 43
Humans are always afraid of trying new things. That's fine if you are hesitant and clinging with Qwerty but you know that is your own choice, and you know that you have other options to try if you want.

With Colemak, I type a bit faster, and more comfortable. My fingers rest on the home row most of the time. Comfort is what I gain, not speed.

50wpm of speed is good for most practical cases. Most of the time we just stare mindlessly at the screen anyway.
post #19 of 43
QWERTY defines simplicity. Dvorak is confusing because all the buttons are in the wrong place.
post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by SYBINK View Post

QWERTY defines simplicity. Dvorak is confusing because all the buttons are in the wrong place.

That doesn't make any sense.
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