Learning Dvorak

Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into?

Matt Mullenweg has been preaching the benefits of Dvorak for many years now. After his latest sermon, I decided it was finally time that I give it a go. I’m only using Dvorak here and there as it murders my WPM (I type like a letter per 5 seconds — this post took forever to write), but I did rearrange my keyboard keys to help me out:


(The F and J keys on my keyboard have their connectors turned 90 degrees, so they and the keys that replace them had to be rotated.)

Currently I type with only 2 or so fingers (hunt and peck without the hunting), so I’m hoping that switching to home row Dvorak will be better on my hands even though home row is really uncomfortable. We’ll see. 🙂

10 thoughts on “Learning Dvorak

  1. Good luck! I’ve tried to switch twice, and failed. I’ve not had a two-week vacation where I could power through. It’s maddening trying to get any real work done at 8 WPM.

    Oh well. My job doesn’t require fast typing skills. 80% of what I do is thinking, not typing. I don’t think I’ll attempt again, though I may have my future children learn on it.

    • From what I hear, it’s like being multilingual. It’s easy to type on either layout once you learn Dvorak.

      To be honest though, I think the chances of me actually switching permanently are really low, but it’s still kinda fun to give it a go. 🙂

  2. I’ve heard that having the letters on your keyboard can actually make it harder to learn. Instead you’re supposed to have a printout of the letters taped next to your monitor or something. That way you don’t get into the habit of looking at the keys all the time. When I did it, I used a keyboard that had been used so much the markings had worn off, so the qwerty letters didn’t confuse me, but Das Keyboard is a high-end option that would accomplish the same thing.

  3. I know this is a (very) late response, but clean your keyboard! 😛

    Also, you need to just type war and peace into your favourite word processor for a weekend and you’ll have DVORAK down quite decently. Not stupid fast by any means, but it only gets better from there.

    • That picture was taken after I literally disaseembled the entire keyboard and washed every key and plastic piece of the keyboard in the bathtub and sink. Hard to get much cleaner than that. 😉

  4. I taught myself Dvorak a few years ago. Daniel Nelson is correct. That is the preferred method, have a printout of the layout next to your screen. You’ll thank yourself for it after 2 weeks. It’s a blessing.

    And yes, it’s like being multilingual. It’s like when I switch to speaking english instead of norwegian. I can type just as fast as before on qwerty; it only takes a one minute warmup.

  5. I switched to Dvorak around a year ago and after using it for a year, I can’t type in QWERTY. I completely forgot it.

    I even use Dvorak on my Android phone. I don’t know how to use QWERTY anymore.

    I think you really don’t need to reassemble the keyboard. I just touch type so I just have the QWERTY layout keyboard.

    Plus, people won’t be able to type on your computer. Extra security. haha

    I wrote this a year ago when I first started using Dvorak: http://enwil.com/dvorak

    Maybe it will be of help to anyone who wants to start fresh. Thank you 😉

  6. The best way that I found to switch and train on Dvorak was to get a printout of the layout on a small card and then place it near your screen. That way you are not looking at the keyboard when you learn to type. Also it to good for building muscle memory.

Leave a Reply