Qwerty Keyboard Facts

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The first six keys of the keyboard are where QWERTY gets its name.
The first six keys of the keyboard are where QWERTY gets its name.

The "QWERTY" arrangement on a keyboard is the most common keyboard layout. Look at the first six letters on the second row of your keyboard, and you will see the reason for the name, QWERTY.

  1. History

    • The man who invented the typewriter in 1875, Christopher Sholes, also came up with the QWERTY layout. The original layout for the typewriter keyboard was the alphabetical format, which did not work because the typewriter kept jamming up. The QWERTY format kept the typewriter from jamming as much because the most common letters were on opposite sides of the type bar, which kept the rods that held the keys from clashing and sticking.

    Function

    • Many people believe that the QWERTY layout is to help people maximize their typing speed. But, that is not completely true. When the original keyboard was in alphabetical order, typists would jam the typewriter by typing too fast. The QWERTY arrangement slowed down typing speed, according to the Science Museum website. The old typewriters still jammed, but not as much.

    Considerations

    • The biggest competitor to QWERTY is the Dvorak keyboard. August Dvorak designed a keyboard in 1932 that put vowels and the consonants people use most all on the middle row of the keyboard. Using Dvorak, typists can type about 400 common words without their fingers leaving the middle row, compared to 100 using QWERTY.

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References

  • Photo Credit keyboard #5 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com

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