It is a well known story about the origin of the QWERTY keyboard. For those who don't know what I am talking about: QWERTY is built on purpose to be not easy to type.

I figured that no one stops me from rearranging my keyboard to one of the more efficient layouts.

Before I do that, any advice or warning?

  • If you care this much about typing, you shouldn't be looking down... Switch in software, not hardware. Bonus is 'security' as others cannot type on your laptop anymore.
    – user588
    Mar 14, 2012 at 23:52
  • I've already been using the new keyboard for over an hour. I must admit, ... first steps are not as easy as I thought they are going to be.
    – Gajus
    Mar 14, 2012 at 23:57
  • Put stickers to help at first. Should take a week. 1 day hunt-and-peck, one day 5-fingered looking down, 1 day 5-fingered some glances down, then remove stickers. You're done but slow. After 7-10 days, you should be full speed.
    – user588
    Mar 15, 2012 at 15:59
  • Third day. I have five fingers on but they are playing twist.
    – Gajus
    Mar 16, 2012 at 17:35
  • If anyone is curious, it took me over a month to learn to type at a speed of QVERTY. I do make much more typos up to this day, but generally no discomfort. The fact that I keep glancing to the keyboard although I already know where the keys are is annoying, though.
    – Gajus
    Apr 27, 2012 at 19:35

2 Answers 2


In 10.7 Apple provides keyboard layouts for Colemak and 4 versions of Dvorak for your typing pleasure. You can activate them in system preferences/language & text/input sources.

Best to go to system preferences/users and groups/login options and make sure the box is checked for "Show Input Menu on Login Page" if you activate additional layouts.


I can't tell if your question is referring to the technical aspect of replacing the keys, or to general pros and cons of doing that. But one thing you might want to consider is keyboard shortcuts if you use them. Copy and Paste, Save, Select All, etc are easy to use on a QWERTY keyboard, but might not be on whatever layout you intend to switch to.

Of course, getting used to an uncommon keyboard layout will also mean that you will have trouble writing on other people's QWERTY keyboards – only if you often interact with others and their computers though.

As for the process of replacing the keys: there shouldn't be any problems. People do it all the time and there are plenty of guides and video guides out there to show you how to do it. For example: MacBook Pro/PowerBook Keyboard Replacement (Part 1 of 3) or How To: Replace or Clean your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air Keyboard Keys

Search on YouTube for more if you don't like these.

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