Enabling Dvorak for the Windows 8.1 on-screen keyboard

Dvorak keyboard layout in Windows 8.1

I’ve always been curious about the Dvorak keyboard layout, but the difficulty (and expense) of finding a quality keyboard to try it with has meant I never actually have tried it.

Then it occurred to me: I only ever use the on-screen keyboard on my Microsoft Surface (since I was too cheap to buy a type cover), and that can be remapped fairly simply:

The result:

Dvorak in IE 11

It’s safe to say you develop a new found appreciation for auto-complete immediately after turning it on. I am now taking bets on how long it takes me to switch back (place your bet on the back of a £50 note to the usual address). If nothing else, it certainly gives you an insight into how difficult children find using a QWERTY keyboard for the first time…

About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

4 responses to “Enabling Dvorak for the Windows 8.1 on-screen keyboard”

  1. sumgeek says :

    You’ll switch back pretty soon! I tried this for a while and got good enough to (slowly) touch type dvorak… Typing of the Dead helped a lot! But then I went to use a shared QWERTY keyboard and was slower and confused.
    So unless you can switch all your school keyboards to dvorak, it’s going to make your job a lot harder!

  2. Andrew says :

    “Swipe in from the left to bring up the charms”

    The charms appear by swiping in from the right.

  3. mekko says :

    I learned Dvorak four years ago during winter break for shiggles. It was 6 weeks of hell before I before I attained the speed I was generally typing on QWERTY, about 70 wpm, although I never changed the keycaps on my keyboard, and just kept them as they were. At the time, if I tried to type on QWERTY, I was totally incapable, and would have to look at the keys, but after being forced to type a bit of QWERTY, I can type either with relative ease, and have sped up in both. Dvorak averages about 100, while QWERTY is at about 70 or 80.


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