US vs French vs Swedish vs 1337 keyboard layout aka 1773 keyboard

A keyboard layout aimed at programmers for Windows and OSX.

It swaps numbers and characters in the top row so one doesn’t have to press shift for every parenthesis.


Most programming languages I have tried work better with a US keyboard layout than a Swedish.  For instance my current language, C#, is riddled with {s and [s and these are a pain to use.  One has to press the right Alt-button (labeled alt-gr) and then 7 or 8 respectively.  Try this, it really twists your hand.

The US keyboard has {, [, ], } to the right of P and it works much better than the Swedish keyboard.

But then we have (, ), =, & and the rest above the number keys.  Most languages use plenty of parenthesises and even though you don’t have to twist your hand it is still awkward to use two keys (and hands with a “proper” finger setting) to write these common characters.  The French keyboard has solved this by flipping the number keys/shift setting.  Press the key to get an ! and shift-key to get 1.  If one write lots of number there is always the proper number keyboard to the right.

So the French keyboard is better for some other characters.

Then we have the Swedish characters å,ä and ö.  Even though I usually hack in English I write text, outputs and user information in Swedish so these cannot be left out.

Thinking that there was no reason to have a second rate keyboard layout I fired up MSKLC from Microsoft and hacked together the 1337 keyboard layout.  I have used it for a couple of years now in WinXP, Vista and Win7.

For almost all use other than programming I keep the Swedish layout so I have set leftshift-leftalt for a fast keyboard layout toggle.

Lastly: I do use touch typing and I recommend learning this for all serious software developers.  I also have noticed that I have very little problem with switching keyboard layout, the fingers need a second to adjust and are then hitting the right key.

(For problems 1337 reverting to US see here.)

One Response to “US vs French vs Swedish vs 1337 keyboard layout aka 1773 keyboard”

  1. hk says:

    >Actually, the Japanese layout works pretty good too ;). (It's not too far from the US layout…)

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