Q:

Why are the keys all mixed up?

A:

Quick Answer

The familiar arrangement of letters used on English language keyboards known as QWERTY originated with the first commercially successful typewriters patented in 1878 by Christopher Latham Sholes. The purpose of his design was to prevent mechanical jams by spreading out the most frequently used letters.

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Full Answer

Many alternative arrangements have been proposed over the years, most notably the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard introduced in the 1930s by Dr. August Dvorak. Though adopters of his design achieved faster typing speeds than possible with the QWERTY layout, it was never successfully marketed. Consumers were satisfied with what they had and could not be persuaded to relearn how to type.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why are typewriter keys arranged the way they are?

    A:

    In the QWERTY layout of the keyboard used for most computers, keys are arranged so that combinations of frequently used letters are across the keyboard from each other for a faster typing speed. Creators of the Dvorak layout of the keyboard tried to minimize the distance between the most commonly used letters, making one alternate between hands.

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  • Q:

    What is the standard layout of a keyboard?

    A:

    Most computer or typewriter keyboards have a QWERTY layout, which is named for the first six letters of the top row of the layout's alphabet keys. While other keyboard layouts exist, QWERTY is the most common.

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  • Q:

    When was the first keyboard invented?

    A:

    Although the English inventor Henry Mill patented the first typewriter in 1714, the American publisher Christopher Latham Sholes invented the modern keyboard in 1868. The Remington Typewriter Company mass-produced Sholes' version of the typewriter and made it commercially successful.

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  • Q:

    What is PowerTyping for QWERTY?

    A:

    PowerTyping for QWERTY is an online tutorial that helps users improve their typing skills with keyboards that use the QWERTY layout. PowerTyping.com provides users with an explanation of the QWERTY keyboard layout, the proper positioning of fingers on the keyboard to maximize typing performance and multiple typing lessons.

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