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.

TNWMLC - Worst Keyboard Layout

This is typing hell.

Most Difficult Layout

Using knowledge for evil is sometimes a lot more fun than using it for good. By having a model of typing effort, we can ask the question "What layout has the largest effort?".

I applied the effort minimization simulation to QWERTY, but this time asked carpalx to maximize typing effort. In other words, find the layout which is hardest to use. The result is the finger-breaking TNWMLC, which increases effort by almost 90% over QWERTY.

Figure 1 | The canonical QWERTY layout.
Figure 2 | If carpalx is subverted to maximize typing effort - the result is the worst layout TNWMLC.

TNWMLC spawns Brazilian Fashion Line

In a collaboration that brings keyboard layout design and fashion together — what a combination! — Brazilian designer Julia Valle used the carpalx worst layout (TNWMLC) as a design element in her Winter 2011 line.

The work was shown in a show in Rio de Janeiro. Julia accented the clothes with beautiful necklaces made out of parts of an 1956 Smith Corona typewriter.

This project is nearly an cosmic alignment of eclectic interests. Keyboard layout research is subverted to generate the most difficult English layout, which is then transformed into beautiful clothing design. This cross-pollination of ideas has particular meaning to me, since I once dabbled in fashion photography.

TNWMLC - typing effort

The effort of TNWMLC is nearly 2x that of QWERTY. A huge penalty increase of 180% is seen - look at that finger-based penalty increase of 200%!

model keyboard total effortrel% effort contributionsrel%
base penalties path
mod_01 qwerty 3.000

1.00033.3
1.00033.3
R0.408
F0.408
1.00033.3

tnwmlc 5.610 (+87.0)

1.44025.7 (+44.0)
2.80450.0 (+180.4)
R0.749 (+83.6)
F1.230 (+201.5)
1.36724.4 (+36.7)

TNWMLC - detailed statistics

Stroke statistics for TNWMLC are frightening, even when compared to the already suboptimal QWERTY. Hand asymetry is 51% - the left hand is absolutely hammered ... just look at those left hand stroke runs! For ~70% of key strokes, the left hand is used for two or more successive key strokes. The bottom row is used 45% of all strokes and the home row is used only 13% of the time. The pinky is used 34% of the time and the middle finger is extremely underused (9%).

carpalx effort optimization keyboard name statistics effort
rowh rowb hand asym finger freq cumulative run distribution mod_01
maximized effort tnwmlc
TNWMLCBPRH[]\
SGXJFKQZV;'
EADIOYU,./
0.13 0.45 0.51 0.34 0.24 0.09 0.34
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
rhl 0.29 0.47 0.60 0.70 0.78 0.84 0.88 0.91 0.94
rhr 0.82 0.97 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rh 0.56 0.72 0.80 0.85 0.89 0.92 0.94 0.96 0.97
rrt 0.65 0.92 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rrh 0.90 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 0.94 0.98 1 1 1 1 1 1
rf 0.82 0.96 0.99 1 1 1 1 1 1
rj 0.63 0.68 0.83 0.85 0.91 0.93 0.96 0.96 0.98
5.61
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

The uses of TNWMLC are limited, and include practical jokes and alertness drills. TNWMLC may also figure prominently in the manager's Employee Disciplinary Action Toolbox.

TNWMLC - word difficulty

Using the typing effort model described in Carpalx - Typing Effort, I ranked 6-12 character words by their corresponding effort (effort is normalized to word length) using a dictionary of 480,000 words (/usr/share/dict/words, Red Hat 4 Enterprise). Below is a table that shows sets of words representing effort percentiles.

TNWMLC ENGLISH Word Efforts
average effort percentile wordeffort
10.5 hardest teetee11.5 teeter11.2 aeetes10.9 ateeter10.8 teetan10.8 thetes10.7 teethe10.7 teeters10.6 teethes10.5 tetter10.4 rehete10.4 teether10.4 teetery10.4 settees10.3 hetter10.3 testees10.2 teeterer10.2 meeteetse10.2 sheeter10.1 teethy10.1 teethed10.1 tether10.1 retest10.1 hetero10.1 teethers10.1
6.4 90% anastomosis6.4 apehood6.4 apparentness6.4 cherie6.4 fresser6.4 hushed6.4 pegeen6.4 rostella6.4 rottock6.4 shahidi6.4 tabulates6.4
5.9 80% angeronalia5.9 antigo5.9 clementi5.9 crampette5.9 hadendoa5.9 hexereis5.9 imparters5.9 lunulites5.9 matuta5.9 outthrobs5.9 unwheel5.9
5.6 70% aeriform5.6 antilipase5.6 catamarca5.6 echolalic5.6 milanion5.6 predread5.6 subcarinate5.6 toryweed5.6 turbinotome5.6 unspitted5.6 whaleries5.6
5.4 60% aparai5.4 blendes5.4 cionocranian5.4 comptonite5.4 myrrhed5.4 preprinted5.4 questrist5.4 richart5.4 semiflint5.4 unchannelled5.4 uncoloredly5.4
5.1 50% bunglesome5.1 cyperus5.1 flouting5.1 grunewald5.1 huppert5.1 ischiocerite5.1 miltier5.1 phyciodes5.1 recompact5.1 semimucous5.1 unfingered5.1
4.9 40% bombasts4.9 carcassonne4.9 engoue4.9 grewitz4.9 hypobasis4.9 microanalyst4.9 participancy4.9 prologs4.9 signwriter4.9 sladen4.9 stroking4.9
4.7 30% allosaur4.7 darwinism4.7 disdeceive4.7 footballer4.7 garrons4.7 hailproof4.7 invertible4.7 maiocco4.7 oofbird4.7 sapremic4.7 simdars4.7
4.5 20% apophyllous4.5 bookboard4.5 dialogged4.5 drinkability4.5 foraker4.5 guachipilin4.5 myersville4.5 orchialgia4.5 passback4.5 procaccia4.5 underwarmth4.5
4.1 10% bedbug4.1 carking4.1 culmed4.1 jurassic4.1 knocking4.1 lollygagged4.1 mordvin4.1 piercingly4.1 subnormal4.1 subrailway4.1 vicaire4.1
1.4 easiest jazzed1.0 jizzen1.1 zizzle1.1 gizzen1.2 kizzie1.2 kizzee1.2 jazzes1.2 fizzed1.2 fuzzed1.3 jazzer1.3 quizzee1.4 fizzle1.4 quizzed1.4 fuzzle1.4 guzzle1.4 fizzes1.4 gozzan1.4 fuzzes1.5 dizzen1.5 wizzen1.5 fizzer1.5 zigzag1.5 sizzle1.5 lizzie1.5 quizzes1.6 fezzed1.6