Final keyboard layout proposals


Staff member
Apr 5, 2012
Brussels, Belgium
In this thread you can post finalized keyboard layout proposals, for reference. So please no discussions here, just finalized proposals, preferably in a self-explanatory image. I'll make this thread sticky to make it easy to find the proposals. If you want to discuss these proposals, there are plenty of other keyboard layout threads for that, in particular this one and this official one.

Also, there is now a big comparison table (here is the thread about it) which gives an overview of the different proposals.

To get things started, here are my own "final" proposals:

Current proposal:

_wb_ WGS v3 "VÄBÈNÉ":

WGS / MES-1 coverage chart:


  • all ASCII symbols behind at most one modifier
  • ergonomics: all the commonly used ASCII symbols that are behind Meta (- + = : ; ' ") are on the opposite side of the Meta key; slash (/) is a Meta-mash combo
  • "visual muscle memory": ASCII symbols are close to their US-QWERTY location or at least at the correct row; shift pairs are split up into two keys but kept next to one another
  • æsthetics: only two symbols per key, so it looks clean and not too cluttered
  • perfectly supports German: Üü Öö Ää ẞß are labeled
  • supports French very well: Éé Àà Èè are labeled (the most important extra letters used in French, frequency above 0.25%, cf. Letter frequency tables), all the other letters needed for French (Êê Çç Ùù Ââ Îî Ôô Ëë Ïï) are available using dead diacritics, except Œœ which is an easy-to-remember Compose sequence (Compose OE)
  • Supports Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch and many other European languages via dead diacritics: Meta+` for grave (ìòù), Meta+~ for tilde (ãĩñõũ), Meta+< for caron/breve/subscript (čšžďěľť ğăŭ ₁₂₃), Meta+> for circumflex/superscript (âêîôû ĉĝĥĵŝŵŷ ¹²³), Meta+, for cedilla/ogonek (çķļņŗşţ ąęįų), Meta+. for dot/ring (ċėġıż åů), Shift+' for acute (áéíóúý ćńśźĺŕź), Shift+" for umlaut/Hungarumlaut (äëïÿ őű), Shift+- for macron (āēīōū), Shift+/ for stroke (đħøłŧ). The keys that have "magic dead diacritic power" are labeled with the symbol . Most of the dead diacritics are Shift+Meta combos with symbols on the right hand side, which should be easy to do even without using the shoulder buttons.
  • Scandinavian languages will probably want to remap ÜÖÄ to the cluster they're used to (ÅÖÄ for Swedish and Finnish, ÅÆØ for Danish, ÅØÆ for Norwegian). All other European languages are fully covered without having to remap anything at all!
  • Currency symbol ¤, which is user-configurable: either it directly produces some symbol (e.g. or ), or it becomes a "dead currency" key which can be used to produce all the currency symbols of the world (฿¢₫€ƒ₲₴﷼₭£₥₦௹₰₢₪৳元₩¥ ₳₱₡₯₠₣៛₤ℳ₦૱₧₨$₮圓円)
  • GREEK: at Meta+G, there's a "dead greek" key which can be used to easily produce all the letters of the Greek alphabet (αβςδεφγηιθκλμνοπχρστυωξψζ ΑΒΔΕΦΓΗΙΘΚΛΜΝΟΠΧΡΣΤΥΩΞΨΖ)
  • MATH: at Meta+M, there's a "dead math" key, which can be used to produce lots of mathematical symbols in just two thumb presses. This allows you to easily type things like this:  x ∈ ℕ  ∃y ∈ ℚ : y > 0 ∧ xy ≤ π  or this  f : ℝ×ℝ → ℂ : (a,b) ↦ a+bi  or this  X ⊆ (Y ∪ Z)  ⇎  (X ⊆ Y) ∨ (X ⊆ Z). Perfect for making some quick slides or scientific notes on the road! (of course you would use LaTeX for the real work, or some kind of formula editor, but for some quick stuff, this would be just perfect — especially compared to the "Insert Special Symbol" method!)

The Multilingual European Subset 1 (MES-1) is a standardized subset of Unicode which aims to cover all Latin-script languages used in Europe (which implies that North and South America are also covered if you don't consider obscure indigenous languages). MES-1 is the most recent version of a standardization process that goes back to ISO/IEC 6937.

In terms of language support: here is a brief summary:

Afrikaans, Albanian, Basque, Breton, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Faroese,

Finnish, French, Frisian, Galician, German, Greenlandic, Hungarian, Icelandic, Irish Gaelic, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian,

Luxemburgish, Maltese, Manx Gaelic, Moldavian, Northern Sami, Norwegian, Occitan, Polish, Portuguese, Rhaeto-Romanic,

Romanian, Scottish Gaelic, Slovak, Slovenian, Lower Sorbian, Upper Sorbian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Welsh

  • Languages that are supported perfectly are indicated in bold green (meaning that all frequent letters (frequent meaning > 0.25%) are available in one thumb press, or in two thumb presses if the letter would also require two thumb presses on a standard keyboard for that language).
  • The languages in black need at most two thumb presses per letter, which is quite reasonable.
  • The languages in blue might be able to input all their letters, but most people who use that language would probably want to remap the German Ü Ö Ä to something else (e.g. Swedish people would remap Ü to Å).
  • The languages in red need more remapping, some kind of AltGr layout like US-International, or Compose sequences (so three thumb presses) for some of their letters like Þþ Ðð Ŋŋ ĸ.
Languages with more than 10 million speakers are in a larger font, and languages with more than 100 million speakers are in an even larger font.

Previous proposals:

_wb_ MES-1 v2:

"_wb_ MES-1" :


Shift+Meta punctuation / more languages: "_wb_ intl 5b":

Meta-only punctuation / less labels per key: "_wb_ intl 2-labels-per-key":

(both support English, German, French, Spanish and Italian)

Main proposal: "_wb_ intl 5":

Alternative proposal: "_wb_ intl 2-labels-per-key":

Meta-only punctuation: "_wb_ intl 2-labels-per-key":

Meta-only punctuation: "_wb_ intl 2-labels-per-key":

_wb_ 1 : Main proposal (labels as printed):

_wb_ 1 : Main proposal (including unlabeled default mappings in blue):

_wb_ 2 : Punctuation symbols at primary or shifted Meta, with standard QWERTY punctuation keys:

_wb_ 2bis: Same but with single-width space:

(without the international stuff: )

_wb_ international:

_wb_ international 2:

_wb_ 3 : German-centric proposal:

_wb_ 3b: German-centric proposal with symbol pairs better aligned:

_wb_ 3c: German-centric, aligned pairs, labeled diacritics, ² § °:

_wb_ 4 : Left-aligned single-width space proposal:

_wb_ 5 : Centered single-width space proposal:

_wb_ diacritics:

Main proposal (labels as printed):

Main proposal (including unlabeled default mappings in blue):

Punctuation symbols only at primary Meta, +/- at action buttons:

Punctuation symbols only at primary Meta, Ins/Del at action buttons:

More Pandora-like layout:

Punctuation symbols at primary or shifted Meta, with standard QWERTY punctuation keys:

Punctuation symbols at primary Meta:

Punctuation symbols at primary or shifted Meta, with standard QWERTY punctuation keys:

Alternative proposal:

'Left-aligned' QWERTY row, double-width Pandora-style space bar:

'Centered' QWERTY row, double-width Pandora-style space bar:

If the physical layout of the keymat/case can be modified (without changing the PCB) :

Single-width space key:

Quadruple-width centered space bar:

- Previous version here:


- I added brackets around ( A ), ( B ), ( X ), ( Y ), ( Ⅰ ), ( Ⅱ )   -- I'm still not convinced of ( Ⅰ ) and ( Ⅱ ) though, I think I would prefer ( + ) and ( - ), which would resonate well with Ins and Del.
- Removed some symbols on Ins, Del, Alt, Ctrl and removed lettering (keeping only the symbols) on Meta and Super
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Real keyboard, real language support, efficiency, modularity, functionality. Some tweaks to get more efficiency out of two thumbs.

History: (newest first)



Edit: updated for new shoulders:

Explanations can be found here:]
Edit: The one that makes sense

(with text explaining symbols)
View attachment 11080
inverted colours

If you want to learn about keyboards, or how layouts work, see this thread.
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Non-technical Pyra fan here again. I don't understand many of the issues that need to be considered concerning the keyboard, but as a writer/texter/html writer I like my keyboard to be efficient and not to make me feel clumsy or slow me down, and as a gamer I don't want to have game disrupting buttons in easy to bump places. I have made one of these layouts with your keyboard editor thingy to show what I would consider a very comfortable and user friendly layout.

The link is here:
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Let's keep this thread clean and up-to-date, so it can be used as a reference to quickly find the most recent iteration of all the proposals without having to dig through many pages and many discussion threads.

One post per person, no discussion. If you want, you can describe the rationale behind your proposal(s) and behind the specific design choices you made. If things get too lengthy, please use spoiler tags.
Here's my latest proposals, all updated june 19, 2015.

Standard Lay-out,

Improvement of the Pandora Keyboard

Phone numberblock lay-out,

Easy to remember console like lay-out for 2x single thumb use. Notice the nifty combo´s this has to offer!

A small fysical bump or ridge on the S, F  and J key would enable the user to type Phone numbers, use the F-keys and type qwerty blind.

Multi Language lay-out,

A cross-over of a German, French and US keyboard with most of the language specific letters where they are expected to be. (Though it's not AZERTY)

Double Modifier Lay-out,

Us, Dutch, Pandora Cross-over keyboard with double modifier keys to make space for personal mapping.
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Slight edit of EDs current design:


  • Caps Lock added
  • Moved the brightness and hardware control keys around
  • Pause/Break is now one key
  • Added ñ
You need to create a 2nd thread where we can discuss your submissions then ask a mod to politely move this commentary to there.

That's a bad place for caps lock. For example, pressing fn-rshift-k to make an Ä will turn on caps lock?

EDIT: Sorry, didn't see that this was the final proposals topic, MOVE *self report*
A basic rule:  never try to put a key map on a 2nd layer of any modifier key.  Ever - not on ANY modifier key.  Modifier keys are LShift, RShift, LFn, RFn, LAlt, RAlt(AltGr), LCtrl, RCtrl, LSuper (center button), RSuper (lid switch).  Each of those MUST live by itself on it's own 'key' - placed in quotes because of the lid switch thing.