Why Are Alphabets On A Keyboard Jumbled?

Mohd Sohail

For Once at least in your life, you must have asked yourself ‘Why are the Alphabets on a keyboard Jumbled?’. You are not alone as there are many of us who feel that we should have gone simply in alphabetical order. But there is a story to it.

A Little History

We have been using Digital Computers for well around 40-50 years along with keyboards. But little do we know that our keyboard design is actually based off the design of a Typewriter. Now, early Typewriters have been around for over 200 years. However, the first official typewriter would be the one made by Christopher Sholes in 1868. This was the first typewriter that had the QWERTY keyboard layout that we use till date.
Now, this wasn’t a random choice. The layout was selected because the layout prior to this one had all the alphabets in order. The layout is shown below.

This led to people typing really fast. Since the typewriters of that time were not so sophisticated, it often leads to printing errors or sometimes the Typewriter totally hanging up. Considering all of these problems, They decided to jumble it up so that people would type a little slower.

Why is it still used Today?

Since computer keyboard was directly based on Typewriter layout, they looked similar. Also, the early computers were not as powerful as they are today, so to prevent a delay in receiving the signal from the keyboard, they went with it, With time it just became a convention and since most people were comfortable with the good old QUERTY layout. No one really bothered to change it. There are some other layouts like DVORAK which have been proved more efficient, but since most of the keyboards are already in QUERTY, it has become a convention and they just don’t find the need to switch to a new layout.

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