Vertical Keyboard placement/layout

So, I decided to share my keyboard position/layout I use in 2 years. And strangely I never see somebody use it like that. I hope it will be interesting/useful for some users.

Main problem for me was a little room on a desk to place a keyboard. I searched for various little keyboards, usually it is “gamer keyboards”, but none was 100% satisfactory. Still I had a second keyboard and some space in left from a tablet so I arrive to the next conclusion: why I need to place a keyboard horizontally?

My keyboard is 90° turning, and placed left from tablet. Still it is really comfortable to me reach any keys except of numpad. In 90% of workflow my hand just stay at one position and may cover about 40 keys, and it is less stretchy to move hand forth and back by 5 - 7cm to reach far keys than in usual horizontal keyboard position you need move a hand from right and left like on piano. And it is wonderful how vertical lines of keys perfectly fit for hand positioning/movement. Start position is “3”, “E”, “F”, “C”, “LAlt” keys for little, ring, middle, index and thumb fingers correspondingly. During work my thumb finger cover Ctrl, Win, Shift, CapsLock, Z, A,Q keys and other fingers cover: little finger is 1-6, ring is W-Y, middle is S-H, index is X-N and Alt, Space.
Of course, for this setup I was forced to remap all keys to fit my needs. Additionally I use AutoHotkey app to remap Windows and CapsLock keys.

Other plus of this layout is compactness. Vertical placement frees valuable space near tablet.

Only single disadvantage I see – you need flat or low angled keyboard to prevent hand to turn in, or it may be used some support to up the right edge. Also for left-handed users it my be different.


Very interesting! :grin: I have a big enough desk for my horizontal layout, but if I work at a narrower one I might give this a shot!

This is a very unique setting. I am sure @Deevad may also find it interesting.

Another disadvantage is that if you want to type from time to time you would have to remove the keyboard and type.

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Indeed @raghukamath , that’s very interesting. Thank you @I9S for sharing your research: it’s elegant because it doesn’t require buying an extra external device.

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I’ve seen a similar proposal once but with the keyboard turned the other way around and using the num-pad. Komma, return, plus and minus were mapped to shift, control, alt and alt gr key I think zero was tab and the other 11 keys were mapped with the most used tools. I think I had undo and redo directly mapped to / and * and used the numbers with the modifier keys. It worked but in the end I did not use it because I was unable to unlearn my muscle memory I built up in over a decade x3.

Until you have a slide in and out second keyboard under the desk :slight_smile:
And a standard keyboard obviously much cheaper than a gamer or designers keypads.