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Why I Went Back to Qwerty After Trying Colemak-DH


Alexander Eckert

March 06, 2023

After using Qwerty for years, I decided to try Colemak-DH to improve my touch-typing skills. Colemak-DH is a keyboard layout that's designed to be more efficient and comfortable than Qwerty. It places the most frequently used keys under the strongest fingers, reducing finger travel distance and promoting a more natural typing posture. While I liked the Colemak-DH layout, I ultimately decided to switch back to Qwerty for a few reasons.

Configuration Challenges

One issue I encountered was configuring my keyboards to use Colemak-DH. Neither of my mechanical keyboards were fully programmable, and while one had a pre-programmed layer with Colemak, it didn't have Colemak-DH. Even if I settled for regular Colemak, I still had another non-programmable keyboard to consider. This meant I would have to use software to configure my keyboards to use the Colemak-DH layout.

While this wasn't a huge issue on its own, it became a hassle when I had to configure the layout on multiple computers with different operating systems (Windows, Linux, and Mac). It made me realize that Qwerty's ubiquity made it easier to use across different systems.

Qwerty Is Everywhere

Another reason I decided to stick with Qwerty is its prevalence. Most keyboards in public spaces and shared devices use Qwerty, so it's easier to switch between devices without needing to adjust to a different layout. Additionally, most people are familiar with Qwerty, so it's easier to collaborate on documents or troubleshoot issues with others.

Future Plans

While I'm currently using Qwerty, I'm still open to trying different keyboard layouts in the future. One keyboard that caught my attention is the Moonlander, which is fully programmable and can be customized to any layout. It could be a good option for me if I decide to switch to a non-Qwerty layout again.

In the end, the decision to switch back to Qwerty was based on practical considerations. While I appreciated Colemak-DH, its configuration challenges and lack of ubiquity made it less feasible for my needs at the moment. However, I'm not ruling out the possibility of trying it again or exploring other layouts in the future.