Requesting advice on converting a Laptop Keyboard from QWERTY to Colemak-dh
from to on 04 Dec 2023 08:07

I can handle the software part. I just want some ideas on how I can change the keys via a cheap and less-effort method. It is not a Peripheral keyboard, just the one integrated with my laptop.

Conclusion: Because numerous people have said it now, I will try to just build a muscle memory of it like I did w/ Qwerty and may not use stickers. Thank you everyone.

#linux on 04 Dec 2023 08:13 next collapse

A sticker is probably cheapest on 04 Dec 2023 08:33 collapse

Yeah probably so. I was thinking about it. on 04 Dec 2023 08:13 next collapse

I’d say there’s no need for that. If you’re switching to Colemak I assume you’re gonna learn how to touch type with it, at which point it really doesnt matter what the labels on the keys say. Most typing websites like monkeytype have a finger position visualization so even while learning you dont need to look at your keyboard. on 04 Dec 2023 08:37 collapse

I can but I also do want to convert my keyboard. on 04 Dec 2023 08:15 next collapse

Can’t you pop off the keys and switch them around? on 04 Dec 2023 08:24 next collapse

I imagine that to be pretty difficult with laptop keyboards like a scissor switch. But after googling a bit there seem to be a few tutorials so maybe it’s easier than I think. on 04 Dec 2023 08:29 collapse

With some models it can be done, but they are delicate things and going over the whole keyboard will most likely result in a couple of broken mechanisms and/or missing hooks on keycaps. on 04 Dec 2023 08:37 collapse

Makes sense on 04 Dec 2023 08:32 collapse

I don’t want to risk breaking any keys. on 04 Dec 2023 08:49 next collapse

Get a cheap mechano-membranous keyboard. You might be able to buy a bunch of cheap keycap set for the same.

Or just use a sticker. on 04 Dec 2023 09:18 next collapse

I don’t know where you are from, and what laptop you are using, but as others have said: use keyboard stickers. Just search for „colemak dh stickers [your laptop model]“ on 04 Dec 2023 11:39 next collapse

You don't. Seriously. The point of an ergonomic keyboard is to touch-type. You won't learn to do that if you look at your keyboard.

Print your keyboard layout on a sheet of paper, and hang it next to your monitor. Now when you want to type a character, look it up on your sheet, and without looking at your fingers, type it. Try to remember the position like "left index finger, two lines above the rest line". on 04 Dec 2023 12:07 next collapse

Depends on the laptop model.

Unless you have some business oriented laptop, the keyboard can not be replaced.

Laptop keyboard also are notorious for breaking when you try to replace a key.

So cheapest is stickers. But become sticky with residue after being used for a while. on 04 Dec 2023 12:48 next collapse

I have also switched to Colemak and my advice is to just not do that. Just learn Colemak without looking at the keyboard, it’ll make you a better typist anyway and you can get comfortable with it within a few weeks. In particular you don’t want to move the little knobs on the index finger keys (F and J). on 04 Dec 2023 13:01 next collapse

Don’t do that, if you get used to looking at the keys you will never truly learn to touch type. It’s annoying for a couple of weeks to have the layout opened in a window until you’ve learned it, but the payback is great, I also use colemak and my current keyboard is all blanks anyways. on 04 Dec 2023 13:30 next collapse

I learned Dvorak. It was a painful four months going from chicken pecking a few words per minute to touch-typing. I would echo this advice. DO NOT pop the keys off and replace them. There are too many things baked into the BIOS or when you reinstall the OS, and you need to find the right key on a QWERTY layout.

I know it’s painful, but learn to type without looking at the keyboard. Print off a paper guide and place it below the monitor, and reference THAT when key hunting. Being able to touch-type is a serious superpower you will thank yourself for learning in the future. on 05 Dec 2023 16:25 next collapse

Yup, don’t. People already covered why. I will add that I tried learning dvorak for quite a while and it didn’t stick until I went cold turkey. It was very frustrating hunting and pecking for a couple days, but I made pretty quick progress. IIRC I was back up to 20-30 wpm after a week which was “usable” at least, and back to 60-70 wpm after a month. I had regular wrist pain before switching, and it was basically gone after. I don’t think it helped my typing speed. Like I can do 90 in bursts for a bit longer, but generally I “cruise” much slower than that. ;) on 05 Dec 2023 18:57 collapse

oh wow another colemak-dh user

but I’d avoid converting until you’re able to touch-type. then you can show off to everyone w/ your weird-looking keyboard layout lol