The QWERTY layout was designed in the 19th century to allow typewriter salesmen to easily type the word "typewriter" and to prevent typebars from sticking. We've been stuck with QWERTY ever since.
Colemak is a modern alternative to the QWERTY and Dvorak layouts. It is designed for efficient and ergonomic touch typing in English.
Learning Colemak is a one-time investment that will allow you to enjoy faster and pain-free typing for the rest of your life. Colemak is now the 3rd most popular keyboard layout for touch typing in English, after QWERTY and Dvorak.
- 22-Nov-2009: Colemak for Android phones is now available from Google Play.
- 25-Jan-2009: Colemak for the iPhone is now available (requires jailbreaking).
- 24-May-2008: Colemak added to the NetBSD kernel, it will be included with NetBSD 5.0. More information.
- 26-Nov-2007: The hi-games.net typing test has a cool feature which allows you to visualize the your finger movements before and after switching to Colemak.
- Read the FAQ
- Is it worth switching? Read reviews and experiences from people who made the switch in the forum.
- See the Fun page to read a version of Genesis rewritten using only Colemak's home row
- Compare QWERTY, Colemak and Dvorak (Java applet)
- Learn the layout in 12 easy lessons
- Download – Available for Windows, Mac and Linux/Unix. Consistent implementation across platforms.
- Ergonomic and comfortable – Your fingers on QWERTY move 2.2x more than on Colemak. QWERTY has 16x more same hand row jumping than Colemak. There are 35x more words you can type using only the home row on Colemak.
- Easy to learn – Allows easy transition from QWERTY. Only 2 keys move between hands. Many common shortcuts (including Ctrl+Z/X/C/V) remain the same. Typing lessons available.
- Fast – Most of the typing is done on the strongest and fastest fingers. Low same-finger ratio.
- Multilingual – Allows to type in over 40 languages and to type various symbols, e.g. "pâté", "mañana", €, em-dash, non-breaking space.
- Free – Free software released under the public domain. You don't have to buy a new keyboard, just install a program.
On a US 101-key keyboard, on other keyboards the layout will slightly vary