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Keyboard structure

Keys labelled with only a capital letter can type both small and capital letters. To type the symbol at the top left of a key, the shift key, often labelled " ", is used. To type the symbol at the bottom right of a key, the AltGr key is used. (Further symbols are available on the smaller keyboards of laptop computers, which require further keystroke combinations.)

The standard keyboard structure also includes the control, alternative, and function keys. These keys are commonly known as modifier keys.

Dead key

A dead key produces no output when it is pressed, but modifies the output of the next key pressed after it.

Many languages include characters additional to the standard upper and lower case 26-letter alphabet, such as accented characters, that do not easily fit onto a standard English-language keyboard (UK, US or other varieties). Typing accented characters is made easier by using the dead key feature. When a dead key is pressed, nothing happens on the screen, but then pressing the character to be accented makes the desired accented character appear on the screen. For example, typing the acute accent dead key followed by the letter a gives . To type a diacritical mark on its own, it needs to be followed by a space.

In the Mac OS, dead keys are accessed with the option (alt) key as follows:









which is then followed by the letter the accent is intended for. For example, the keypresses option-e e results in the character. In Mac OS X, pressing one of these key combinations creates the accent and hi-lights it, then produces the finalized character when a vowel is pressed, or simply leaves the accent if a consonant is pressed.

Note on keyboard layouts

The following layouts assume that the physical locations of the keys are the same as on a US 102-key PC/AT keyboard. In practice, keyboards from other countries may have keys in slightly different locations. However, on a US 102-key PC/AT keyboard with an operating system configured for a non-English language, the keys will be placed as follows. "Dead keys" ( see above) appear in red. Characters accessed using the AltGr key appear at the bottom right of the corresponding key, or in some images in blue.

Keyboard layouts for Roman script

Although there are a large number of different keyboard layouts used for different languages written in Roman script, most of these layouts are quite similar. They can be divided into three main families according to where the Q, A, Z, M, and Y keys are placed on the keyboard. These are usually named after the first six letters.

While the core of the keyboard, the alphabetic section, remains fairly constant, and the numbers from 1-9 are almost invariably on the top row, keyboards differ vastly in:

  • the placement of punctuation characters,
  • which punctuation characters are included,
  • whether numbers are accessible directly or in a shift-state,
  • the presence and placement of accent deadkeys and accented characters.


Main article: QWERTY

By far the most widespread, the only one not confined to a particular geographical area. Keys like "enter" and "caps lock" have not been translated to the language of the keyboard in question.

Canadian French

linux configuration code: ca_enhanced

  • In many versions, the guillemets key is moved to the other end of the character line, right of "", making both shift keys the same size.

Canadian Multilingual Standard

United States keyboards are also used in Canada.

Portuguese ( Portugal)

Main article: Portuguese keyboard layout

Portuguese ( Brazil)

Main article: Portuguese keyboard layout



Finnish/ Swedish



  • braces (right above square brackets and shown in purple) are given with both AltGr and Shift pressed.

UK and Ireland

The United Kingdom and Ireland keyboard layout is similar to the United States layout. Hong Kong uses US and Chinese (Traditional) keyboards rather than UK and Ireland ones. See the article British and American keyboards for details. See also Technical standards in colonial Hong Kong.


  • the key to the immediate left of numeral 1 (backtick, `) gives (logical NOT, ) when shifted (instead of ~) and with AltGr either
    • vertical bar | ( OS/2`s UK166 keyboard layout, Linux UK keyboard layout),


    • broken vertical bar ( Microsoft Windows` UK/Ireland keyboard layout);
  • the key to the immediate left of Z gives, when shifted, either
    • broken vertical bar ( OS/2`s UK166 keyboard layout),


    • vertical bar | ( Microsoft Windows` UK/Ireland keyboard layout and Linux UK/Ireland keyboard layout).


The US keyboard layout does not use AltGr or any dead keys, and thus offers no way of inputting any sort of diacritic or accent; this makes it unsuitable for all but a handful of languages. On the other hand, US keyboard layout is widely used by programmers.

U.S. keyboards are used not only in the Poindexter, but also in most English-speaking countries, e.g. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In the United Kingdom, UK keyboards are used. See British and American keyboards for details.


The US keyboard layout can be configured to type accents efficiently. This is known as the US-International layout. Using the same layout as the US keyboard, accented characters can be typed by pressing the appropriate accent key, then the letter on the keyboard in its unaccented form. Accent keys share the same key as `, `, ", ^ and ~.

Accent keys are activated by pressing it, letting go, and then immediately pressing the letter that requires an accent. After the two strokes, the single accented character would appear on the screen. If one wishes to use the normal single quotation mark, caret etc, one would press the accent key then the spacebar. Accented characters can be typed with the following combinations:

  • ` then letter ()
  • ` then letter ()
  • " then letter ()
  • ^ then letter ()
  • ~ then letter ()

Thus in this sense, the keys `, `, ", ^ and ~ are dead keys when first depressed, then become normal keys functioning in the same way as keys on the US keyboard if the spacebar is pressed.

There are also alternative US-International formats, whereby modifier keys such as shift and alt are used, and the placement of the accented characters are different from the placement of their unaccented counterparts.


Main article: QWERTZ

The QWERTZ layout is fairly widely used in Germany and much of Central Europe. The main difference between it and QWERTY is that Y and Z are swapped, and most special characters such as brackets are replaced by German special characters.

Germany and Austria (but not Switzerland)

Swiss German, Swiss French, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg

Luxembourg does not have a keyboard layout of its own. Public education uses the Swiss-French keyboard, while the banking sector prefers the Belgian layout. Other places use either, or the US layout.

Romanian in Romania and Moldova

The above layout is not widespread the American QWERTY layout is the most common in these two countries.



Most typewriters use a QWERTZ keyboard with Polish accentuated letters accessed directly, while practically all computers (except custom-made, e.g., in public sector) use standard US layout (commonly called Polish programmers layout, in Polish: polski programisty) with Polish letters accessed through AltGr (AltGr-Z giving "" and AltGr-X giving "").


Main article: AZERTY

The AZERTY layout is used in France, Belgium and some neighbouring countries. It differs from the QWERTY layout thus:

  • A and Q are swapped
  • Z and W are swapped
  • M is moved from the right of N to the right of L
  • The digits 0 to 9 are on the same keys, but to be typed the shift key must be pressed. The unshifted positions are used for accented characters.

The French AZERTY keyboard also has special characters used in the French language, such as , , , and other characters such as &, " ,` ,, , all located under the numbers.

Some French people use the Canadian Multilingual standard keyboard. The Portuguese (Portugal) keyboard layout may also be preferred, as it provides all French accents (acute, grave, trma, tilde, circumflex, cedilla, and also quotation marks ) and its dead-letter option for all the accent keys allow for easy input of all the possibilities in French and most other languages(). is, however, a separate key, as can be seen above.



The Belgian AZERTY was developed from the French AZERTY but some adaptions were made in the 1980s. All letters remain the same as on the French keyboard, but some signs ( ! @ - _ + = ) are on different locations.


The QZERTY layout is used mostly, if not exclusively, in Italy, where it is very common on typewriters. Computer keyboards are usually QWERTY, although non- alphanumeric characters vary.

  • Z and W are swapped
  • M is moved from the right of N to the right of L, as in AZERTY

Dvorak and others

There are also keyboard layouts that do not resemble QWERTY/QWERTZ/AZERTY very closely, if at all. Best-known among these is the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard layout (named after its inventor, not the key order), which reduces finger movement and is claimed by some proponents to offer higher typing speed along with ergonomic benefits. There are also single-handed Dvorak layouts (one each for left-handed and right-handed typing), as well as adaptations for languages other than English.

Some languages use the Roman script but with non-QWERTY-based keyboard layouts, such as Latvian and Turkish (the majority of Turkish keyboards are QWERTY, though the "Turkish-F keyboard layout" is older and said to be better suited to the language).

A syllabic chord keyboard is a keyboard with three sets of keys that are used to type in a single syllable with one (combined) keystroke.

Besides Dvorak, other keyboard layouts include:


  • Colemak (2006)
  • XPeRT (2003)
  • Asset (2004)


Turkish language uses Roman script and keyboard layout was designed in 1955 by hsan Yener. During the design period Turkish Language Academy (TDK) investigated the frequency of subsequent letter repetitions for all the words in Turkish dictionary. With these statistical basis Turkish-F keyboard got success. Turkish-F keyboard enabled a balanced distribution of work for hands.%49 for left and %51 for right hand. Turkey won several world championships with world records with F layout.Turkish-F keyboard layout is the only official layout in Turkey.

QWERTY- and Dvorak-based

  • Qwerak (2002)


  • DAS, a Dvorak variant for writing in Finnish


  • Kiwi (custom layout evolver) (2006)
  • Writer`s Keyboard Layout (2006)
  • Michael Capewell`s evolved layout (2005)
  • NEO layout (German) (2004)
  • Plum (2003)
  • Arensito (2001)
  • Peter Klausler`s evolved layout (2002)
  • Maltron layout (1977)
  • HCESAR (1937)
  • Roy E. Hoke`s layout (U.S. patent 1,506,426, 1924)
  • Sidney W. Rowell`s layout (U.S. patent 943,466, 1909)
  • DHIATENSOR layout (1893)
  • The QWERF layout reduces finger movements 28% over regular QWERTY.

Keyboard layouts for non-Roman alphabetic scripts

Some keyboard layouts for non-Roman alphabetic scripts, most notably the Greek layout, are based on the QWERTY layout, in that glyphs are assigned as far as possible to keys that bear similar-sounding or appearing glyphs in QWERTY. This saves learning time for those familiar with QWERTY.

This is not a general rule, and many non-Roman keyboard layouts have been invented from scratch.

Most non-Roman keyboard layouts have the capacity to be used to input Roman letters as well as the script of the language, for example, when typing in URLs or names. This may be done through a special key on the keyboard devoted to this task, or through some special combination of keys, or through software programs that do not interact with the keyboard much.






People who do not have a Cyrillic keyboard sometimes use a phonetic (transliterated) layout where `` is obtained by pressing `A`, Russian `` by pressing `B`, `` by pressing `D`, `` by pressing `O` etc. See also Russian keyboard: standard and phonetic.


The Bulgarian BDS layout.

The Bulgarian Phonetic layout. Although not standard, this layout is widespread because of its similarity to the QWERTY layout. It is a Phonetic not Transliteration layout, and produces cyrillic symbols.

Both layouts are in widespread use.

Transliteration using Roman script is used only in informal electronic written communication, mainly because of a long history of compatibility issues with different encodings, history of lack of native OS support and user laziness.




East Asian languages

Chinese, Japanese, and Korean require special input methods, often abbreviated to CJK IMEs, due to the thousands of possible characters in these languages. Various methods have been invented to fit all these possibilities into a normal QWERTY keyboard, so East Asian keyboards are essentially the same as those in other countries. However, their input methods are considerably more complex, without one-to-one mappings between keys and characters.

In general, first the range of possibilities is narrowed down (most often by entering the desired character`s pronunciation), then, if there remains more than one possibility, selecting the desired ideogram either by typing the number before the character, or using a graphical menu to select it. The computer assists the typist by using heuristics to guess which character is most likely desired. Although this may sound clumsy, East Asian input methods are today sufficiently sophisticated that for both beginners and experts, and typing in these languages is only slightly slower than typing English.

In Japanese, the QWERTY-based JIS keyboard layout is used, and the pronunciation of each character is entered using Hepburn romanization or Kunrei-shiki romanization. There are several kana-based typing methods. See also Japanese language and computers.

Chinese has the most complex and varied input methods. Characters can be entered by pronunciation (like Japanese and Korean) or by structure. Most of the structural methods are the most difficult to learn, but they are extremely fast for experienced typists, as they do away with the need for selecting characters from a menu. For a detailed treatment, see Chinese input methods for computers.

There exist a variety of other, slower ways a character may be entered. If the pronunciation of a character is not known, the selection can be narrowed down by giving its component shapes, radicals, and stroke count. Also, many input systems include a "drawing pad" permitting "handwriting" of a character using a mouse. Finally, if the computer does not have CJK software installed, it may be possible to enter a character directly through its encoding number (e.g. Unicode).

In contrast to Chinese and Japanese, Korean is typed the same way as Western languages. There are two major kinds of keyboard layouts: dubeolsik and sebeolsik. Dubeolsik, based on the QWERTY keyboard, is more commonly used. While Korean consonants and vowels (jamo) are grouped together into syllabic characters when written, the language itself is actually alphabetical, and therefore typing in Korean is quite simple for someone who understands the Korean alphabet Hangul. Each jamo is assigned to a single key. As the user types letters, the computer automatically groups them into syllabic characters. Given a sequence of jamo, there is only one unambiguous way letters can be validy grouped into syllables, so this grouping is done seamlessly by the computer, with the result that Korean can be typed in the same way as English or any other alphabetical language.


Chinese (traditional)

Computers in the Republic of China (Taiwan) often use Zhuyin (bopomofo) style keyboards (US keyboards with bopomofo labels), many also with Cangjie method key labels, as Cangjie is the standard method for speed-typing in Traditional Chinese. The bopomofo style keyboards are in lexicographical order, top-to-bottom left-to-right.

The codes of three input methods are typically printed on the Chinese (traditional) keyboard: Zhuyin (upper right); Cangjie (lower left); and Dayi (lower right).

This is an example with Cangjie (blue) and Bopomofo/Zhuyin (red).

In Hong Kong, both Chinese (Traditional) and US keyboards are found. Japanese keyboards are occasionally found, but UK keyboards are rare.

See also British and American keyboards, Technical standards in colonial Hong Kong

A Chinese (Traditional) keyboard has a US layout with Chinese input method labels printed on the keys. These keyboards can be used for Roman characters, provided that US keyboard layout is selected in the operating system.

Chinese (simpified)

Keyboards used in the mainland of the People`s Republic of China typically use a US keyboard and input Chinese characters using Hanyu pinyin, which represents the sounds of Chinese characters using Latin letters.

See the section on Chinese languages above, and also Chinese input methods for computers.

Hangul (for Korean)


Dubeolsik( ) is the most common Hangul keyboard layout in use in South Korea. Pressing the Ha/En( / ) key once switches between Hangul as shown, and English. There is another key to the right of the Ha/En key for Hanja input. If using a standard 104-key keyboard, the right Alt key will become the Ha/En key, and the right Ctrl key will become the Hanja key. Alternate keyboard styles exist, such as those used by IBM mainframes, but these are rarely used. Consonants occupy the left side of the layout, while vowels are on the right.

Sebeolsik 390

Sebeolsik 390 ( 390) was released in 1990, hence its name. It is based on Dr. Kong`s earlier work. This layout is notable for its compatibility with the QWERTY layout; all QWERTY symbols are available in Hangul mode. Numbers are placed in three rows. Syllable-initial consonants are on the right (shown green in the picture), and syllable-final consonants and consonant clusters are on the left (shown red).

Sebeolsik Final

Sebeolsik Final ( ) is another Hangul keyboard layout in use in South Korea. Syllable-initial consonants are on the right, and syllable-final consonants and consonant clusters are on the left. Vowels are in the middle. It is more ergonomic than the dubeolsik, but is not in wide use.

Sebeolsik Noshift

Sebeolsik Noshift is a variant of sebeolsik which can be used without pressing the shift key.


Usually the JIS keyboard is used. Some people type Hiragana directly, but most people prefer typing Latin alphabets, which are automatically converted to Hiragana. In both cases, the Alt+Zen/Han key combination is used to switch on input method editor. Some people prefer the US layout, in which case Alt+` does the role, or Cmd-Space for Macs.

See the section on East Asian languages above, also Japanese language and computers and Japanese input methods.

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Keyboard layouts
  • Language code
  • Chinese input methods for computers
  • Japanese language and computers
  • Technical standards in colonial Hong Kong
  • British and American keyboards
  • Unicode

External links

  • On-Screen Windows Keyboard.
  • IBM`s database of keyboard layouts
  • IBM site about keyboard layouts
  • Learn2Type.com has free online typing lessons
  • Multilingual Windows keyboards in both QWERTY and Dvorak layouts
  • Variant Windows keyboards, U.S. and non-U.S.
  • Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (free)
  • Ukelele a Mac OS X Keyboard Layout Editor (free)
  • Creating custom keyboard layouts in Linux/UNIX
  • PowerTyping - Flash-based Online Typing Tutor for Qwerty and Dvorak
  • Gate2Home.com - Onscreen Virtual Keyboard with Multilingual layouts
  • JavaScript Virtual Keyboard - Lightweight, zero-configuration script for use on the web (free)
  • Esperanto keyboard
  • Apple Powerbook Keyboard Layout
  • Diktor Keyboard Layout (Russian)

Here`s to Your Good Health with Astrology - By Nancy R. Fenn


Who doesn`t want to be healthy? I`ve been fascinated with health ever since I can remember. My grandmother`s best friend was bedridden with rheumatoid arthritis since she was in her early thirties. My own mother had chronic mental and physical illnesses (some would call it hypochondria). Seeing these people suffer set me on my path as a healer.

In my family, it was not an easy thing to be interested in good health. Believe it or not, being interested in health opened me to ridicule. Adele Davis, a pioneer in the health food community, was just beginning to write books like, "Let`s Eat Right to Keep Fit". My father, who overate and smoked heavily, called her a "health food nut".

My grandparents lived past 95 in excellent health. My parents died at 58 and 60. They cut more than 35 years off those wonderful genes with their lifestyle.

These are the principles I advocate for a lifetime of good health.

1. It`s your health.

2. Your physical health and your mental health are the same thing.

3. Be yourself.

Let me explain each one with some examples.

#1 It`s your health.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is your health. It`s not the doctor`s health or the government`s health. It`s your health and it`s your responsibility to keep yourself healthy.

The Greeks had a wonderful saying about this, "After 30, every man is his own doctor."

If, by the time you`re 30, you don`t understand your own body and what makes it work, there is no power on earth that can save you from yourself.

? If there are some things that run in your family you`d like to

change, learn about DNA reprogramming and healing with The Sunhealer at www.sunhealer.com

? Jesus is one of many great healers through the ages. The first

question Jesus asked a sick person was, "Do you want to be healed?" Ask yourself this question. Listen to your answer.

? Food is preventive medicine or slow poison. Please learn about your

own body; take the time to educate yourself about nutrition; and avoid white sugar and white flour as if your life depended on it.

? Know your stress points. When you`re under stress, what`s the first

thing in your body to "go"? Is it your stomach, headaches, your back? From now on, this will be your flagship. Your body knows before you do, it`s time to make a change.

#2 Your physical health and your mental health are the same thing.

This principle is nifty for self healing because you can come at a problem either through the mind or through the body.

? If you`re feeling depressed, you can take Yoga and by putting your

body into positions of self confidence and life force energy, your spirits will lift.

? If your stomach is tied up in knots all the time and you have

chronic anxiety, you can raise in your consciousness the idea of self acceptance and the concept that you are safe and wanted in the world and these symptoms will disappear.

? You can make changes in the physical world, such as leaving an

abusive spouse and your mental and physical health will improve.

? The easiest and fundamental connection between the mind (mental

health) and body (physical health) is the breath. When we breath consciously, no negative emotion can be present. Simple but profound, this is one of the great secrets of meditation.

#3 Be yourself.

Trying to be something you`re not is life-threatening. Most people will interpret the statement "trying to be something you`re not" negatively. What we mean is, trying to be a different type of person than you naturally are.

"Type" is defined according to the popular concepts of typing personality that we find in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(r) or in Keirsey Temperament Theory. If you wonder what your "type" is, visit www.keirsey.com for a free self test.

Here are some examples from real life.

. If you love solitude and the great outdoors, don`t get yourself

stationed on a submarine.

. If you love confrontation, competition and running the show don`t be a

teacher or case worker.

. If you love children, soft moments, nurturing and intimacy don`t try

being a litigation attorney.

Why do we try to be something we aren`t? It happens in a context of trying to please others - parents, teachers, religious leaders, spouses.

According to Dr. Katherine Benziger (www.benziger.org) the short term cost of trying to be something you`re not is "increased irritability, headaches and difficulty in mastering a new task."

The long term results include "exhaustion, depression, lack of joy, a homeostatic imbalance involving oxygen or the pre-mature aging of the brain and a vulnerability to illness."

I have clients with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, insomnia, cancer, tumors, esophagitis, migraines, bleeding ulcers, chronic diarrhea, obesity, manic-depressive disorders, deep scarring acne, strokes, apnia, and drinking problems who still will not consider making a lifestyle change.

Could these people be healed? Yes, certainly. When they begin to shift

over into who they really are, the symptoms will disappear, sometimes dramatically.

If this solution is too simple, please ask yourself why things have to be so complicated in your life.

My special message today is for introverts. Our definition of ourselves has been controlled for the most part by people who don`t understand us because the majority of people in the world, 70%, are extroverts.

We`re in the process of reclaiming our right to be exactly the way we are. Introverts need to spend at least half their time alone for good mental health. This has nothing to do with our love of people. We give energy to others and need time alone to fill up again.

Introverts, please be honest about your needs for time alone and other territorial issues. You can find some great resources for introverts at my website www.theintrovertzcoach.com .

For all people wanting to cut down on their stress, one of the greatest services I can render is an astrology reading. Astrology is one of the few places you can go in the world where you will find someone holding up a clear mirror to who you really are.

Astrology is a paradigm that gives each person permission to be exactly who they are. We get as close as we can to the "god`s eye view" of you. Astrologers recognize the absolute uniqueness of each individual.

When you see an astrologer, we will say to you, "Let me tell you about the wonderful person I see here in your astrology chart.." We are positive and supportive people.

If you have drifted so far from yourself, you can`t find your way back home, give an astrologer a call. We have the map.

All change starts within. I hope I`ve given you some great things to think about on your road to good health. Please remember these three principles .

. #1 It is your health.

. #2 Your physical health and your mental health are the same thing.

. #3 Be yourself.

Nancy R. Fenn is an astrologer and intuitive consultant in the San Diego area. She enjoys working with creatives, intuitives and visionaries to help them discover their mission in life. Nancy is also an advocate for introversion as a legitimate personality style. Viist Nancy on the web at www.bemyastrologer.com

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