How to Change the Keyboard to Qwerty From Dvorak


The Dvorak arrangement of typewriter keys places the most-used keys in the home positions and arranges keys that tend to be adjacent to each other in words on opposite sides of the keyboard. This reduces wear on the hands and increases speed. The trick though is that the typist has to learn the key locations, and most typing classes teach the Qwerty system only. If you want to take the plunge and switch to a Dvorak keyboard, operating systems allow the change. You don't need to get a new keyboard.


  • Open the "Start" menu.

  • Open the "Control Panel."

  • Select "Classic View."

  • Select "Regional and Language Options."

  • Select the "Language" tab in the "Regional and Language Options" panel.

  • Select the "Details" button under the "Text services and input languages" heading.

  • Click "Add."

  • Select the "Dvorak" keyboard and click "OK."

  • Click "Close" to close the Control Panel.


  • Open "System Preferences."

  • Open "International."

  • Click the "Input Menu" tab.

  • Deselect your current keyboard layout and select either "Dvorak" or "Dvorak-Qwerty." The latter has the nice property that shortcut keys using the command key don't change position. For example, the copy shortcut Command-C will still be in the same position, though the key which types C traditionally now types J. In other words, Command-J now copies text to the Clipboard.

  • Close the "International" panel by clicking the red ball in the upper-left corner.

Tips & Warnings

  • After changing the computer settings, you can pop off the key covers and rearrange them to match each key's new letter.
  • You can always switch back to Qwerty if you have to do a rush job and you're still slow on the Dvorak keymap. The keys themselves aren't easy to switch back and forth. On the Mac, you can select multiple keyboards in the "International" panel and toggle between them in the dropdown menu when you click on the flag in the upper-right corner of your screen.

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  • Photo Credit qwerty image by Glenn Jenkinson from
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