QWERTY keyboard

Updated: 06/02/2020 by Computer Hope

Alternatively referred to as the Sholes keyboard, the QWERTY keyboard was invented by Christopher Sholes, who was issued a patent for a typewriter on July 14, 1868. The QWERTY keyboard is named after the first five alphabetic letter keys on the top row keys and is the official computer keyboard standard (ISO 9995).

Keyboard keys

Today, the QWERTY keyboard is the most commonly found and used computer keyboard in the United States. Below is an image of the keyboard keys layout on the QWERTY keyboard.

Why are the keyboard keys not in alphabetical order?

There are conflicting accounts of the origin of the QWERTY layout. One account, and possibly the most common, is that the QWERTY layout was initially formed to slow typists down. The old-style typewriters would jam if two adjacent keys were pressed in quick succession. However, the QWERTY layout helped make people type faster since the keys would not stick as frequently. Another account, according to the Smithsonian Institute, is that the layout was formed through several trial and error layouts from early telegraph operators. They found the original alphabetical arrangement of the keys to be too confusing for translating morse code. The QWERTY layout eventually made it faster for them to type.

Azerty, Dvorak, Half-QWERTY, Keyboard terms