I'm using Windows Vista, and I type English with the Dvorak keyboard layout, and I want to be able to type Japanese text that way, too.

I've figured out how to set it up to let me type Japanese here, but it uses QWERTY. What I've got so far is:

  • click the "EN" in the taskbar, and select "JP"
  • if the letter that appears in the taskbar is "A", hit alt-~ to change it to "あ"
  • type as if I was typing Romaji on a QWERTY keyboard, (e.g., left pinky home row, right ring finger top row), and hiragana appear (あお)
  • press spacebar to convert to kanji (e.g., 青), and return to accept

That all works great, but it assumes I'm on QWERTY, which isn't very comfortable for me. I want everything the same, but to be able to type kana with Dvorak (e.g., left pinky home row, left ring finger home row -> あお).

I can do this on Mac OS, so it's not an unheard-of feature. But it was kind of an obscure setting to find, so I figure on Windows it's probably a really obscure setting. :-) But I haven't been able to find it yet.


  • OP please check the most upvoted answer, that should be the accepted one.
    – Jose Faeti
    Jul 26, 2018 at 17:26

5 Answers 5


Apparently it can´t be done directly, but you can edit the advanced properties of the Microsoft IME and change the series of keystrokes that generate each kana. A lengthy process but I don't see any other solution.

  • I'm not convinced there isn't a registry key lurking somewhere that lets me do this, but until somebody figures it out, sadly, this is the best answer. :-(
    – Ken
    Dec 1, 2009 at 17:44
  • 1
    This does not work as dvorak uses dot and comma for w and v, and windows IME don't allow me to enter those. Do anyone possibly have instructions?
    – Max
    Mar 16, 2016 at 14:16

I did this for chinese. I just did it for japanese as well. Heres what you do:

Using the following link by Michael Kaplan, please read it before you change your continue.

How can I use the Chinese IME with a Dvorak layout?

Start > Run > type regedit > press enter (registry editor will open)

Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Expand SYSTEM > Expand CurrentControlSet > Expand Control > Expand Keyboard Layouts > Select E0010411(japanese IME) > Export a copy for backup > Double-click Layout file > type kbddv.dll in the value data box.

You may need to restart your computer. note that E0010411 is for japanese, E00E0804 is for chinese.

Good luck!

  • 1
    You are correct but after that, choose Microsoft IME, it will automatically use Dvorak layout Jun 4, 2012 at 9:17
  • 5
    On my computer running Windows 7, the keyboard layout was 00000411 not E0010411. May 21, 2014 at 10:00
  • Amazing! I knew there must be an easy setting to change for this to happen!
    – Jose Faeti
    Jul 26, 2018 at 17:27
  • Is this supposed to change the layout for both Romaji and Kana inputs? Mine only seemed to update the Romaji characters to DVORAK. Kana is still being input with the QWERTY layout.
    – MXMLLN
    Mar 24, 2021 at 12:02

This isn't an answer, but I don't have 50 rep yet, so I couldn't just comment on an actual answer.

In order to do the registry hack on Windows 7, the IME MUST be removed first, or else it won't work. I was struggling with this all day until I figured this out! So watch out for that.

  1. If your IME is on -> turn it off (click 'Remove' in the language settings), if it isn't on yet, great!
  2. Do the registry hack.
  3. Turn on the IME, and whallah! It's Dvorak now!

Have you tried NJStar Japanese word processor? Its like a simple word processor that lets you type Japanese (kana and kanji) using a regular keyboard layout

I can't find anything on their website, and I don't have it installed on this machine, but I believe there should be a setting to say what your keyboard setup is

  • Thanks, but I'm not interested in a word processor. I'm interested in typing kana and kanji in my existing software.
    – Ken
    Nov 30, 2009 at 23:14

If you feel like trusting internet regfiles above diving into regedit by hand I made the working answer into executable scripts.


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layouts\00000411]
"Layout File"="KBDDV.DLL"

japqwerty.reg (to revert)

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layouts\00000411]
"Layout File"="KBDJPN.DLL"

This works for me on Win10, and, so long as you know the layout code, you can change 00000411 to anything. For example to make Chinese Pinyin IME (00000804, he's using pre-Vista codes) use Dvorak too (remember to take a look at what the old keyboard value was if you want a proper revert script though).

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