I tried to learn Dvorak keyboard layout a few years ago, and got reasonably good at it, but I couldn't get past the fact that command-key shortcuts were no longer in the right place.

In particular, Ctrl+Z (undo), Ctrl+X (cut), Ctrl+C (copy), and Ctrl+V (paste) are all chosen specifically because of the location of those keys on a Qwerty keyboard (well, maybe Ctrl+C makes sense). Ctrl+A (select all) and Ctrl+S (save) are also very convenient because of their Qwerty keyboard location.

Is there any way (on Windows XP) to use Dvorak except when a control key (Ctrl, Alt, and/or WinLogo) is pressed? (Preferably without having to install any third party app.)

  • Have you transitioned to typing on Dvorak?
    – William
    Aug 13, 2019 at 16:52
  • @William no, I guess I gave up on this. Neither of the solutions below seemed to work for me long term, though I don't recall why (this question is now 10 years old). I'm curious if there's anything better on Windows now. I think I also ran into learning curve issues, as a programmer, because of the changes to punctuation character locations. Those were actually harder to adjust to than the letters being in different places.
    – Kip
    Aug 14, 2019 at 14:10

2 Answers 2


This is called "Dvorak - QWERTY command" on Mac, and it is useful. I have found this a autohotkey script for windows which claims to do what you want, but I haven't tested it.

This also seems to be a dupe of a stackoverflow question, which suggests you can use the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator to do it as well.


I wrote a tool that implements the "Dvorak-Qwerty command" layout on Windows, and even another one for Unix. You can get them here:

Dvorak-Qwerty ⌘" (DQ) keyboard layout for Windows and Unix/Linux/X

I guess this is a "third-party app" from your point of view, but I haven't been able to find a better solution.

  • 1
    thanks, i'll have to try this out soon. you say it doesn't work with some apps that write their own listeners-- do you happen to know if it works with Eclipse, Safari, and Chrome?
    – Kip
    Feb 8, 2010 at 22:34

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