carpalx - keyboard layout optimizer - save your carpals

Japanese version and translation details.

Carpalx optimizes keyboard layouts to create ones that require less effort and significantly reduced carpal strain!

Download keyboard layouts, or run the code yourself to explore new layouts.

X11 layouts are available! Many thanks to Sven Hallberg for providing X11 configuration for Carpalx layouts. Richard Gomes contributed an archive of these files for KDE/Gnome users.

Love your coworkers? Switch them to QWKRFY layout or a fully optimized QGMLWY layout.

Hate your coworkers? Switch them to TNWMLC layout. It's the only keyboard layout that has its own fashion line.

Have ideas? Tell me.

9/sep/14 — A new layout—De Correspondent—for the Dutch language in collaboration with De Correspondent.

18/may/14 — Updating text — some of the copy needs to be reworked.

17/may/14 — Made the CSS less useless.

16/may/14 — Added evaluation of the Norman layout. This layout modifies 14/26 keys and has statistics similar to Colemak. Detailed statistics are available.

12/feb/14 — Added evaluation of the abKey layout. Its alphabetic layout makes no attempt at ergonomics. Detailed statistics are available.

Summary of Keyboard Layouts

Standards and Popular Alternative Layouts

The entries in the table below are current popular layouts, along with my own optimized layouts. Some like QWERTY and Dvorak are popularly used, though Dvorak much less so, while others like Colemak and Arensito are proposed variants that improve on Dvorak.

Each layout is characterized in the table by its stroke and run length statistics, which should be compared to the layouts' typing effort.

Hand asymmetry is the difference between left and right hand frequencies. Asymmetry is negative if the right hand is favoured, and positive if the left hand is favoured.

Finger frequency is irrespective of hand and shows usage frequency of pinky, ring, middle and index fingers.

Run length distributions are cumulative and show the number of consecutive uses of left hand (rhl), right hand (rhr), either hand (rh), top row (rtr), home row (rrh), bottom row (rrb), any row (rr), and any finger (rf).

Same-hand row jump distance is rj.

carpalx effort optimization keyboard name statistics effort
rowh rowb hand asym finger freq cumulative run distribution mod_01
none QWERTY standard
QWERTYUIOP[]\
ASDFGHJKL;'
ZXCVBNM,./
0.34 0.15 0.15 0.10 0.21 0.27 0.42
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.42 0.69 0.83 0.91 0.95 0.97 0.99 0.99 1
rhr 0.61 0.83 0.94 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1
rh 0.51 0.76 0.88 0.94 0.97 0.98 0.99 1 1
rrt 0.55 0.78 0.91 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rrh 0.68 0.91 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rrb 0.94 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.68 0.88 0.95 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1
rf 0.89 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.68 0.83 0.94 0.96 0.99 0.99 1 1 1
3
none Dvorak standard
',.PYFGCRL/=\
AOEUIDHTNS-
;QJKXBMWVZ
0.71 0.09 -0.14 0.18 0.21 0.26 0.34
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.76 0.94 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rhr 0.47 0.81 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rh 0.62 0.88 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rrt 0.80 0.97 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.33 0.54 0.67 0.77 0.85 0.90 0.93 0.95 0.97
rrb 0.96 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.60 0.77 0.84 0.89 0.93 0.95 0.97 0.98 0.98
rf 0.93 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.84 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
2.098
none Capewell-Dvorak
',.PYQFGRK/=\
OAEIUDHTNS-
ZXCVJLMWB;
0.71 0.15 -0.09 0.15 0.22 0.28 0.35
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.70 0.90 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rhr 0.48 0.82 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rh 0.59 0.86 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rrt 0.87 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.33 0.54 0.67 0.77 0.85 0.90 0.93 0.95 0.97
rrb 0.89 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.62 0.78 0.85 0.89 0.93 0.95 0.97 0.98 0.98
rf 0.92 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.82 0.94 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
1.985
none Klausler
K,UYPWLMFC[]\
OAEIDRNTHS'
Q.';ZXVGBJ
0.74 0.05 -0.06 0.17 0.18 0.29 0.35
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.70 0.90 0.96 0.99 0.99 1 1 1 1
rhr 0.55 0.85 0.97 1 1 1 1 1 1
rh 0.62 0.88 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rrt 0.79 0.95 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.26 0.46 0.60 0.71 0.79 0.85 0.89 0.92 0.94
rrb 0.97 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.56 0.72 0.81 0.86 0.90 0.93 0.95 0.96 0.97
rf 0.93 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.86 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
1.867
none Arensito
QL,P';FUDK[]\
ARENBGSITO'
ZW.HJVCYMX
0.67 0.17 -0.01 0.17 0.28 0.24 0.30
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.47 0.77 0.89 0.95 0.98 0.99 0.99 1 1
rhr 0.47 0.74 0.88 0.94 0.97 0.99 0.99 1 1
rh 0.47 0.76 0.89 0.95 0.97 0.99 0.99 1 1
rrt 0.81 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.38 0.61 0.76 0.85 0.91 0.94 0.96 0.98 0.99
rrb 0.88 0.98 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.63 0.80 0.89 0.93 0.96 0.97 0.98 0.99 0.99
rf 0.94 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.75 0.93 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
2.23
none c-qwerty
QWDRFJYPLK[]\
ASETGHUIO,'
ZXCVBNM;./
0.62 0.15 0.15 0.09 0.21 0.28 0.42
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.42 0.69 0.83 0.91 0.95 0.97 0.99 0.99 1
rhr 0.61 0.83 0.94 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1
rh 0.51 0.76 0.88 0.94 0.97 0.98 0.99 1 1
rrt 0.77 0.96 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.46 0.69 0.82 0.90 0.95 0.97 0.98 0.99 0.99
rrb 0.94 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.67 0.85 0.92 0.96 0.97 0.99 0.99 1 1
rf 0.89 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.71 0.90 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1
2.119
none c-qwerty 0.5
QWDRTJYKLP[]\
ASEFGHUIO;'
ZXCVBNM,./
0.55 0.15 0.15 0.10 0.21 0.27 0.42
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.42 0.69 0.83 0.91 0.95 0.97 0.99 0.99 1
rhr 0.61 0.83 0.94 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1
rh 0.51 0.76 0.88 0.94 0.97 0.98 0.99 1 1
rrt 0.74 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.53 0.82 0.92 0.96 0.99 0.99 1 1 1
rrb 0.94 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.69 0.90 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1
rf 0.89 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.68 0.88 0.95 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1
2.354
none c-qwerty n
QWDRFJYPL;[]\
ASETGHUNIO'
ZXCVBKM,./
0.68 0.09 0.15 0.16 0.20 0.28 0.36
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.42 0.69 0.83 0.91 0.95 0.97 0.99 0.99 1
rhr 0.61 0.83 0.94 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1
rh 0.51 0.76 0.88 0.94 0.97 0.98 0.99 1 1
rrt 0.77 0.96 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.35 0.57 0.71 0.81 0.87 0.92 0.95 0.97 0.98
rrb 0.95 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.60 0.79 0.86 0.91 0.94 0.96 0.97 0.98 0.99
rf 0.89 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.77 0.92 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
2.068
none Capewell
.MYDG:WH<"?+
ARESFKTNIO-
XCZVJBPLUQ
0.66 0.14 -0.01 0.16 0.21 0.31 0.32
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.48 0.74 0.87 0.94 0.97 0.98 0.99 1 1
rhr 0.46 0.74 0.86 0.94 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1
rh 0.47 0.74 0.87 0.94 0.97 0.98 0.99 1 1
rrt 0.85 0.98 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.37 0.60 0.76 0.85 0.91 0.95 0.97 0.98 0.99
rrb 0.79 0.97 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.61 0.80 0.89 0.93 0.96 0.97 0.98 0.99 0.99
rf 0.93 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.75 0.93 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
2.078
none Asset
QWJFGYPUL;[]\
ASETDHNIOR'
ZXCVBKM,./
0.74 0.09 0.04 0.14 0.21 0.25 0.40
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.48 0.76 0.90 0.95 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rhr 0.57 0.80 0.92 0.97 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rh 0.52 0.78 0.91 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rrt 0.79 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.26 0.46 0.60 0.71 0.79 0.85 0.89 0.92 0.94
rrb 0.95 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.57 0.73 0.81 0.86 0.90 0.93 0.95 0.96 0.97
rf 0.91 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.82 0.94 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
1.894
none Colemak
QWFPGJLUY;[]\
ARSTDHNEIO'
ZXCVBKM,./
0.74 0.09 -0.06 0.16 0.17 0.26 0.41
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.55 0.85 0.94 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1
rhr 0.49 0.77 0.90 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rh 0.52 0.81 0.92 0.97 0.99 0.99 1 1 1
rrt 0.79 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.26 0.46 0.60 0.71 0.79 0.85 0.89 0.92 0.94
rrb 0.95 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.57 0.73 0.81 0.86 0.90 0.93 0.95 0.96 0.97
rf 0.93 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.83 0.95 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
1.842
none Workman
QDRWBJFUP;[]\
ASHTGYNEOI,
ZXMCVKL,./
0.68 0.11 0.05 0.15 0.20 0.30 0.35
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.47 0.77 0.90 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rhr 0.57 0.80 0.92 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rh 0.52 0.79 0.91 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rrt 0.80 0.97 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.37 0.58 0.72 0.82 0.88 0.92 0.95 0.97 0.98
rrb 0.88 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.62 0.79 0.87 0.92 0.94 0.96 0.98 0.99 0.99
rf 0.93 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.79 0.94 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
1.993
none Norman
QWDFKJURL;[]\
ASETGYNIOH'
ZXCVBPM,./
0.68 0.10 0.05 0.15 0.21 0.32 0.33
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.47 0.76 0.89 0.95 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rhr 0.56 0.80 0.92 0.97 0.99 0.99 1 1 1
rh 0.52 0.78 0.91 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rrt 0.79 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.37 0.58 0.72 0.82 0.88 0.92 0.95 0.97 0.98
rrb 0.94 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.62 0.79 0.87 0.92 0.94 0.96 0.98 0.99 0.99
rf 0.90 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.77 0.92 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
1.992
none abKey
FGHJKLMN
AEIOUPQRST;'\
BCDVWXYZ
0.62 0.13 0.15 0.08 0.32 0.22 0.35
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.49 0.79 0.90 0.95 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rhr 0.67 0.92 0.98 1 1 1 1 1 1
rh 0.58 0.85 0.94 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1
rrt 0.84 0.98 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.47 0.70 0.83 0.91 0.95 0.97 0.99 0.99 1
rrb 0.91 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.69 0.86 0.93 0.96 0.98 0.99 0.99 1 1
rf 0.90 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.74 0.92 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
2.109

Partially Optimized Layouts

Below are keyboard layouts optimized for typing English text. The training set was Alice in Wonderland, Dracula, Great Expectations, Huckleberry Finn, Moby Dick, Picture of Dorian Grey, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Count of Monte Cristo, Ulysses, Walden (7371647 characters, 3085666 triads, 7967 unique triads).

In partial optimization only letter keys were subject to relocation.

carpalx effort optimization keyboard name statistics effort
rowh rowb hand asym finger freq cumulative run distribution mod_01
partial min (5 swap) 5 steps to typing heaven version 1
QWKRFYUIJP[]\
DSATNHOEL;'
ZXCVBGM,./
0.65 0.10 0.02 0.06 0.13 0.31 0.50
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.51 0.81 0.91 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rhr 0.54 0.81 0.92 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1
rh 0.52 0.81 0.92 0.97 0.99 0.99 1 1 1
rrt 0.79 0.95 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.39 0.59 0.74 0.84 0.90 0.94 0.96 0.98 0.98
rrb 0.96 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.64 0.80 0.88 0.93 0.95 0.97 0.98 0.99 0.99
rf 0.87 0.98 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.79 0.93 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
1.868
partial min (10 swap) 10 steps to typing heaven version 1
QWYRFMLUBP[]\
DSATNHOEI;'
ZXCVJGK,./
0.68 0.07 0.02 0.06 0.17 0.28 0.48
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.51 0.80 0.91 0.95 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rhr 0.52 0.81 0.92 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1
rh 0.52 0.81 0.91 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rrt 0.72 0.94 0.98 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.37 0.56 0.70 0.80 0.87 0.91 0.94 0.96 0.97
rrb 0.95 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.58 0.77 0.85 0.90 0.94 0.96 0.97 0.98 0.99
rf 0.89 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.79 0.94 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
1.755
partial optimization with 6 swaps CarpalxQ (by Jay Walker)
QWKRFYULP;[]\
ASDTGHNEIO'
ZXCVBJM,./
0.70 0.08 -0.07 0.16 0.17 0.24 0.42
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.57 0.85 0.95 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1
rhr 0.48 0.76 0.90 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rh 0.52 0.81 0.92 0.97 0.99 0.99 1 1 1
rrt 0.76 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.35 0.53 0.66 0.76 0.83 0.89 0.92 0.94 0.96
rrb 0.96 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.60 0.77 0.84 0.89 0.92 0.95 0.96 0.97 0.98
rf 0.91 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.81 0.94 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
1.954

Fully Optimized Layouts

carpalx effort optimization keyboard name statistics effort
rowh rowb hand asym finger freq cumulative run distribution mod_01
full Colemak-like optimization qgmlwb
QGMLWBYUV;[]\
DSTNRIAEOH'
ZXCFJKP,./
0.74 0.07 -0.03 0.11 0.17 0.29 0.43
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.56 0.90 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rhr 0.58 0.86 0.95 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1
rh 0.57 0.88 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rrt 0.79 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.26 0.46 0.60 0.71 0.79 0.85 0.89 0.92 0.94
rrb 0.92 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.56 0.73 0.81 0.86 0.90 0.93 0.95 0.96 0.97
rf 0.91 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.84 0.95 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
1.668
colemak improvement 1 colemak-imp-01
PBFMWJLUY;[]\
SNATDHOEIR'
ZVGCQXK,./
0.74 0.07 0.01 0.14 0.18 0.28 0.40
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.50 0.80 0.91 0.96 0.98 0.99 1 1 1
rhr 0.51 0.81 0.92 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1
rh 0.50 0.80 0.92 0.97 0.99 0.99 1 1 1
rrt 0.76 0.95 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.26 0.46 0.60 0.71 0.79 0.85 0.89 0.92 0.94
rrb 0.95 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.55 0.72 0.81 0.86 0.90 0.93 0.95 0.96 0.97
rf 0.92 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.83 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
1.738
colemak improvement 2 colemak-imp-02
GYLMWPFUB;[]\
RSNTDHAEOI'
ZXCVQJK,./
0.74 0.05 -0.02 0.15 0.18 0.28 0.39
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.57 0.88 0.98 1 1 1 1 1 1
rhr 0.57 0.87 0.95 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rh 0.57 0.88 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rrt 0.75 0.95 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.26 0.46 0.60 0.71 0.79 0.85 0.89 0.92 0.94
rrb 0.94 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.53 0.72 0.80 0.86 0.90 0.93 0.95 0.96 0.97
rf 0.91 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.84 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
1.756

Fully Optimized Foreign Language Layouts

Dutch

carpalx effort optimization keyboard name statistics effort
rowh rowb hand asym finger freq cumulative run distribution mod_01
full De Correspondent 1
XKGLMPUVWY[]\
SDTNRIAEO;'
QBJHFZC,./
0.71 0.09 0.01 0.04 0.17 0.32 0.46
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.49 0.90 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rhr 0.59 0.88 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rh 0.54 0.89 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rrt 0.84 0.98 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.30 0.53 0.67 0.78 0.86 0.90 0.93 0.96 0.97
rrb 0.87 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.59 0.77 0.84 0.89 0.93 0.95 0.97 0.98 0.99
rf 0.87 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.79 0.95 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
1.608
full De Correspondent 2
QFKLMWVUJY[]\
SDTNRIAEOG'
;ZBHXPC,./
0.74 0.08 -0.06 0.07 0.15 0.31 0.46
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.54 0.93 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rhr 0.52 0.84 0.94 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1
rh 0.53 0.89 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rrt 0.83 0.98 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.27 0.48 0.61 0.72 0.80 0.86 0.90 0.93 0.95
rrb 0.86 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.57 0.74 0.81 0.86 0.90 0.93 0.95 0.96 0.97
rf 0.88 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.81 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
1.555

Worst Layouts

When typing effort is maximized, layouts like in the table below are born.

carpalx effort optimization keyboard name statistics effort
rowh rowb hand asym finger freq cumulative run distribution mod_01
maximized effort tnwclr
TNWCLRBFMH[]\
SKJXGPQZV;'
EODIAUY,./
0.12 0.45 0.47 0.34 0.19 0.09 0.38
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.33 0.50 0.64 0.74 0.81 0.86 0.90 0.93 0.95
rhr 0.81 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rh 0.57 0.73 0.82 0.87 0.91 0.93 0.95 0.96 0.97
rrt 0.65 0.91 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.89 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrb 0.74 0.93 0.98 0.99 1 1 1 1 1
rr 0.73 0.93 0.98 1 1 1 1 1 1
rf 0.83 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.65 0.69 0.84 0.86 0.93 0.94 0.97 0.97 0.98
5.495