BUILD YOUR OWN DVORAK KEYBOARDIntroduction | Build Your Own | Dvorak International Driver
this document i will demonstrate you with some photo material and a few
comments how i do the keyswapping, converting a €10,00 qwerty
keyboard to Dvorak layout.
Materials you need:
* A qwerty keyboard, US-style, with equally shaped keys. This means that most ergonomic designed keyboards will not do. However, typically the cheap keyboards will but beware
most laptops do not allow swapping the keys, you will damage four
notebook so don't try. Use stickers and/or a permanent marker for your
notebook or ergonomic-designed keyboard.
* A flat screwdriver, a sharp knife and maybe some soft paper to protect your keyboard from scratches
* An example of a Dvorak layout.
entire swap will take you about 10-60 minutes. Don't haste yourself,
once you removed a few you will notice it is an easy job. Replacing is
relative easy, just click them in while making sure the silicon rubber
spring underneath is nicely in place.
most difficult part will be your lifting technique, to remove the keys
easily. For any keyboard i've encountered, keys will pop off very
gently as long as you do it correct. Don't use excessive force, as soon
as you need force you risk damaging the key or keyboard. The weight of
the screwdriver itself, directing the force with your finger, should
almost be sufficient to lift the key.
PhotographsThis is my example, and how the end result should look like
The unmodified keyboard.
The two together
twisting the screwdriver i try to put te force to the center of the key
as much as possible. To do so, i help with my finger by pressing on the
corner of the key. The result of pressing and lifting will be that the
force is directed to the center of the key, it should easily unclick.
As soon as the key itself is tilted, you will be unable to lift it
gently, or even damage it (breaking the little plastic nozzles that
keep the key in place). You should lift the key straight up.
You will discover the first key is the hardest. Once you gained some more room, the following keys will far more easy lift off.
i you see me pressing the corner with my finger, while tilting with the
screwdriver. It is a bit hard to make the photograph since i have only
two hands ;)
Look what i found here! Now i know why this keyboard was so cheap!
Another demontstration of the lifting technique.
And yet another demonstartion of the lifting... Maybe the most clear photo.
are the two special keys, the J and the F. They contain little markers
to aid blind typers. I just remove them. You can consider using some
nail polish to create new markers (on the H and U key) if you really
like them, but i skipped that. This is where you need the sharp knife.
that some keyboard vendors also have extra guides on the bottom of the
keys to avoid them falling in the wrong place (Guess those keyboards
will be printed later). If so, you will notice because the J or F key
don't fit in another place, just remove those guides with the knife as
well in such case. Take care of your fingers.
you're handy it is easy to do a nice job, don't force it to cut it of
entirely at the first cut, you can repeat it, cutting a slice each time.
the stripped keys. You may decide to polish them, or even burn it with
a lighter. But don't worry, if you start using the keyboard they will
become invisible within few weeks due to your fingers polishing them.
keyboard, all keys stripped that need to be replaced (and including the
'A' and the 'M' but this is just to have better access to the other
2 minutes later:
5 minutes later:
Here another keyboard i've done, cutting the marker afterwards
And the finished result, the process is identical.