What Are Some Advantages to the Dvorak Keyboard?

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Many Dvorak keyboard users claim less typing errors and less overall discomfort with long hours of typing. Unfortunately, most typists have learned how to type on a QWERTY keyboard because it is the most commonly available layout.

A study by the United States Navy in 1944 showed typists taught to use the Dvorak keyboard became faster and were less prone to error. However, other investigations since then have not supported these results. Dvorak claimed his keyboard would naturally improve typist performance because of the letter key placement. For example, the QWERTY keyboard separates commonly used letter pairs to prevent the key levers on older model type writers from jamming. Dr. Dvorak designed his keyboard with newer technology in mind and reversed this placement. Moving commonly used keys closer together and dividing the workload to be more evenly distributed based on finger strength. He theorized that moving common letter pairs closer together would place less strain on the hands through "hurdling" to move from one letter to the next. He estimated the fingers of the average typist on a QWERTY keyboard traveled 12-20 miles per day as opposed to the same typist only traveling one mile. Despite these assertions, most users report ergonomic relief and lessening of repetitive strain injuries as the biggest advantages. Head-to-head studies offer conflicting reports about improved accuracy and speed.