Sign up ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm looking for a keyboard, (preferably mechanical) that I can use at work that has a physical switch that switches between Dvorak and qwerty. I've been told that these exist but I'm having a difficult time finding one.

In case you're wondering, the reason I don't want to use the OS to manage input language is because I need to switch between input languages all the time, for instance, if someone else needs to use my computer I can't have it on Dvorak mode. And even though there is a keyboard short-cut to switch layouts, it only works for the currently selected window. Worse of all though is that there is a bug in windows where if you connect to a remote PC with a different keyboard layout, the remote machine's language will change to your local layout and the next person that logs in will be typing in Dvorak. I already got burned for that before and so I'm stuck typing qwerty at work now even though I'd be much more productive typing in Dvorak.

share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

up vote 0 down vote accepted

It would be easier to just change the software you are using. Instead of using the built-in keyboard layout manager, you could use a different tool. You could even write your own using AutoHotkey!

I just started working on such a tool which conditionally remaps the QWERTY keys to the Dvorak layout. You press CapsLock twice in a row within 500 milliseconds to switch between layouts. A tooltip in the tray informs you of the event.

You can give it a try here:

share|improve this answer
Amazing, finally a use for the capslock key LOL. I'll check it out later. – Bizorke Mar 6 '12 at 17:47

I use a Kineses Advantage Pro USB keyboard. It uses a keyboard hotkey combination to switch between Qwerty and Dvorak modes. This means you can set the keyboard to Dvorak mode, plug it into any system that accepts a USB keyboard, running any operating system, and type Dvorak without ever changing the operating system's key map.

To toggle the keyboard between Dvorak and Qwerty modes, you press Program+Shift+F5.

In addition, it also switches between native Mac and PC modes, it has a programmable macro memory (so I can program the keyboard to type things with a hotkey) and it's the most comfortable keyboard I've ever used.

It's not cheap, but it is a great keyboard.

My keyboard has both Qwerty and Dvorak labels

share|improve this answer

The CODE Mechanical Keyboard uses Cherry MX Clear keyswitches and has a series of DIP switches which control (among many other things) whether the keyboard layout is QWERTY, Dvorak, or Colemak. I haven't used one myself but I have read some positive reviews about them, and have heard that they are fairly quiet for mechanical keyboards.

DIP switches on a CODE keyboard

share|improve this answer

I ran across this USB pass-through device that will let you re-map any USB keyboard. Kinda spendy, but would let you dynamically re-map whatever keyboard you want at the hardware level, on the fly.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.