Glossary definition of QWERTY

QWERTY keyboard is the name given to the layout of the traditional typewriter keyboard that is used in countries with a Latin-based language. The key layout arranges the letters of the alphabet into three non-equal rows, and the name QWERTY derives from the first six letters on the left-hand side of the top row. This keyboard system is the most widely used in the world, and it is to be found on many items of equipment requiring alphanumeric input, such as computers, PDAs and some mobile phones. The other keys usually present on a standard keyboard-representing the numbers, punctuation marks, common symbols and control keys-also tend to follow a conventional layout.

Christopher Sholes patented the design of the QWERTY keyboard in 1868. The principle behind this keyboard layout is that it reduces jamming of the typewriter typebars (the long arms carrying the typeface), by separating the frequently used pairs of letters. It is also claimed that this keyboard will speed up the typing of most words by alternating the keys between the two hands.

Although traditional typewriters are rarely used these days, the QWERTY keyboard is firmly established and continues to be the standard keyboard layout. As equipment manufacturers show no sign of abandoning this design of keyboard, and those teaching office skills such as touch-typing perpetuate its popularity, this seems to guarantee that the QWERTY system will be around for a long time to come.

Phones tagged with QWERTY