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Gmail incorporates Dvorak!

This morning when I logged into Gmail I was pleased to see a new feature in the top right of the window.  A keyboard icon, that when selected gave two options: English Keyboard and English Dvorak Keyboard!

There are a lot of other options available under the "Input Tools Settings" menu, but it's great that the Gmail team started this feature off by listing Dvorak.  When I think of the number of people using Gmail, it's exciting to think that some of them might look at this feature, wonder what it is, and eventually make the switch!

It's also great because it works within the browser, which means I will now be able to type all my emails in Dvorak, no matter what computer I am on, without having to mess with the computer settings.  Huzzah!

As with most Gmail features, it will probably roll out slowly, so if you don't see this feature in your account, keep logging in and eventually it should turn up in the next few days/weeks.


JapanYoshi said...

Hey, Alec, Frunch, and Gabe! Hopefully one of you will read this.
When I introduced myself to Dvorak in March of 2012, one of the very first things I typed was this sonnet. It was hard, but worth it!
Here goes:
The Dvorak layout! Why don’t people know?
Reduces strain to fingers swift in style.
Most keystrokes are within the middle row,
And travelled distance shorter by the mile!
The QWERTY layout: random as can be
Designed to aid the jamming of the arms.
The Dvorak layout sets our fingers free–
Designed for typists, not accepting harms.
But even though comfort is guaranteed,
QWERTY is the “standard” that we learned.
And online games are unplayable; we’d
Just stick with our old layout, unconcerned!
Though I like colleagues’ faces so intense
When what they see they typed makes zero sense!

How do you think? By the way, I'm a proud typist at around 60 WPM at composition, 70 - 85 WPM copying, but I can still quickly hunt-and-peck on a QWERTY, like I'm doing now on my family iPad. It feels so uncomfortable though!
Viva la Dvorak!

Alec Longstreth said...

Wow, nice sonnet! Keep up the good work :)

Anonymous said...

I saw this and was very excited! But my GMail account didn't have the option showing. Apparently this option needs to be Enabled for most people.

There is an instruction as to how to enable the keyboard input tools here



Sean Quigley said...

I was hoping this was something I could post somewhere where it could possibly get more exposure and answers. But I am new to this site...

I need to ask experienced Dvorak typists a somewhat serious question...
I was wondering, since the layout puts more emphasis on the use of the right hand, could this emphasis be offset by typing space bar with the LEFT thumb instead of the right?? Has anyone done this? I'm trying to avoid any extra stress on my right hand as I use my mouse for a lot of things like games and a lot of file editing and organizing, and as I've been learning the layout for a little over a month now, my right hand is getting rather sore, especially around the base of my middle and ring fingers. It would be encouraging to know someone has done this. Or the results.


JapanYoshi said...

Hey Sean,
Hitting the space bar with the left hand is logical, thinking the majority of words start and end with a consonant (i.e. the right hand). However, since I'm accustomed to hitting the space bar with the right thumb, I don't think relearning to type spaces with the left thumb is worth it that much.

JapanYoshi said...

Hey, Alec, Frunch, and Gabe!
I made a petition for Apple to include Dvorak on iOS. I also suggested Colemak, Bepo (French), and others to appeal to a wider audience.
If you could possibly share it on your blog and/or sign it, it'll be an honor!
Viva la Dvorak!