I am proposing here a variant for the Dvorak keyboard adapted to Spanish keyboards, where some symbols, especially those on the number keys, are not the same as in the English keyboard (www.shiar.org/happy/txts/dvorak.php).
In www.shiar.org/happy/txts/dvoraklv.php#spanish a Spanish variant is proposed, but the one shown here keeps the layout and configuration of the keys which are not letters or common punctuation (period, comma, hyphen) according to the standard Spanish qwerty keyboard. This means that, if the actual keys are physically interchanged in a qwerty keyboard, the existing labels are still valid; in any case, the placement of the less used characters (and, therefore, those harder to remember, such as foreign accents, square brackets, etc.) does not change with respect to the Spanish qwerty keyborard.
The characters obtained by pressing the different keys independently are
displayed in black and grey, without or with caps shift respectively. In dark blue and light
blue are shown the characters obtained if
AltGr is pressed
as well. Note the exchange of the
H keys with
respect to the standard Dvorak layout, and the placement of
punctuation marks. As can be seen, many symbols used in several languages are
available with just a couple of key presses.
Another image that can be useful to make labels and stick them on the keys, in order to have always at one’s fingertips the equivalence Dvorak–qwerty (thanks to José Salavert), it is worth mentioning that these are the only keys whose placement changes:
It must be noted that the layout here proposed is based on the original Dvorak layout for English, trying to keep the differences at a minimum. One has also the possibility to design different layouts optimized for writing Spanish.
Configuration on Linux
Recent X.org versions have already available this keyboard layout as a
es. This means that, with an updated Linux
distribution (at least: Mandriva 2007, Fedora Core 5, Debian Etch), it is
possible to choose the “es(dvorak)” keyboard layout just like any
other one. In kde, for
instance, one can select the “dvorak” variant from the
“es” keyboard in
System Settings >
For distributions that do not yet include this variant, it is enough to add
the contents of the file dvorak-es to
/etc/X11/xkb/symbols/pc/dvorak (the exact location may vary with
the distribution). In this way one adds the “es” variant to the
“dvorak” layout; this is usually more convenient, given that older
versions of kde do not
allow to alternate different variants of the same keyboard layout, which makes
it more cumbersome to switch the Dvorak and qwerty
I have also created a configuration file for composed keys (Compose) for dead keys (accents) and the
MultiKey key (right
Win for me). This file replaces
/usr/share/X11/locale/[locale_name]/Compose, after a back-up
copy of the original. This file is optional, however.
Additionally, it is possible to modify
/etc/X11/xorg.conf) and change the
"es(dvorak)" instead of
"es" (or whatever). This will set the Spanish Dvorak layout as the
default layout for the whole graphic environment.
Diego Fernández has kindly written a configuration file for
loadkeys that allows he activation of this layout in a text console
too. The file is dvorak-es.kmap.gz, and it can
be leaded with
loadkeys /path/to/file/dvorak-es.kmap.gz. The file
can instead be copied to
(Mandrake 10.1) and then it is enough to run
loadkeys dvorak-es. To
activate this layout at boot time, the above command can be included in some of
the boot scripts or, in Debian-based distributions, run
Configuration on Windows
In just a week, I have received two adaptations of the Spanish Dvorak layout
for Windows. Alberto Torres sent me the file dvorak-es-win.zip, while Alberto Fanjul did the
same with kbdDkSp1.rar. Both files are configurations
created with Microsoft
Keyboard Layout Creator and include a self-installing msi file. Once the layout has been
installed, it can be selected in the language bar like any other layout (to
activate the language bar in Windows XP, a visit to
Regional and Language Options is needed).
A newer installer, which should be compatible with Windows 8 and fix a problem with “virtual keys”, has been created by Juan Luis Boya, and can be found at https://github.com/ntrrgc/es-dvorak-windows.
Users of the standard Dvorak keyboard who simply want easy access to Spanish characters, will probably find more convenient to use other variants that minimize the changes. One of such variants has been provided by Evan Scamman and is found here: AmericanDvorak.zip.
Configuration on Mac OS X
José Salavert has also sent me a configuration file for Mac OS X, created
with the Ukelele program.
According to his words, it follows this keyboard layout, except for the key
~ is on the
Ñ key and
E). The file Spanish-ISO-dvorak.zip must be unpacked and
its contents (
Spanish-ISO-dvorak.keylayout) copied to
~/Library/Keyboard Layouts/ for a single
user). After rebooting, the layout can be activated in the
International section of the system configuration.
Learning and practising
To practise with this Dvorak layout, I have also created a configuration
file and a set of “lessons” for
KTouch (ktouch.sourceforge.net), which have
already been included in the official version 1.5. For older versions, the
files can be copied to the
The file dvorak-es.keyboard contains the
keyboard configuration (depending on the system configuration, it might be
needed to use the utf-8
encoded file: dvorak-es-utf8.keyboard).
The file dvorak-es.ktouch contains the lessons,
which include Spanish and English words. For newer
versions, there is also the lessons file in xml format (thanks to
Diego Fernández): dvorak-es.ktouch.xml.
For Windows, it can be interesting to use Microsoft Visual Keyboard to get oneself used to the Dvorak keyboard, since it shows a picture of the keyboard on screen while typing, avoiding the need to look down at the keyboard.
- Keyboard map: dvorak-es.pdf [56.0 KiB]
- Configuration for
loadkeys: dvorak-es.kmap.gz [1.3 KiB]
- Configuration for
xkb: dvorak-es [2.9 KiB]
- Composed keys configuration: Compose [9.5 KiB]
- Configurations for Windows: https://github.com/ntrrgc/es-dvorak-windows, dvorak-es-win.zip [13.4 KiB], kbdDkSp1.rar [129 KiB] (AmericanDvorak.zip [379 KiB])
- Configuración para Mac OS X: Spanish-ISO-dvorak.zip [3.81 KiB]
- Configuration for
KTouch(included in version 1.5): dvorak-es.keyboard [3.8 KiB], dvorak-es-utf8.keyboard [3.8 KiB]
- Lessons for
KTouch(included in version 1.5): dvorak-es.ktouch [24.0 KiB], dvorak-es.ktouch.xml [30.0 KiB]