Switching to Culemak (not Colemak)

I promised myself I wouldn't do it but I have. I've modified the layout to suit my typing style better. And to make it easier for Gentoo users, I have made some ebuilds for Colemak and my slightly modified version: Culemak.

This was going to be a long winded rant about the silly way you have to turn your left hand out while using a computer keyboard. Instead, I'll leave it to your own good judgement to work out what feels comfortable. Rest your hands on the home row with your fingers on F and J (qwerty), now gently flex and extend your fingers while concentrating on relaxing. Observe which keys your fingers move over as you do this. If your left index finger moves over C, read on.

Introducing Culemak, a slight variation on Colemak, designed to improve not just the efficiency of your typing, but also the ergonomics of your technique. Culemak is almost identical to Colemak except the left bottom row is moved one position to the left, with Z wrapping around to fill B's former position. The change in technique is to also move the fingers that strike those keys one position to the left, so effectively the only difference from Colemak is that Z is now in (arguably) the least comfortable position of all the letter keys, qwerty B. However, as it's equidistant from the home positions, Z can now be struck by either index finger so it doesn't really alter the statistics much.


  • 'X' (qwerty Z) should be struck with the ring finger
  • 'C' (qwerty X) should be struck with the middle finger
  • 'V' (qwerty C) should be struck with the index finger
  • 'B' (qwerty V) should be struck with the index finger
  • 'Z' (qwerty B) may be struck with either or both index fingers



NOTE: If you use the standard typing technique, Colemak will be more efficient for you. However, if you feel comfortable hitting the QWERTY 'C' with your index finger, then Culemak (this layout) will be more efficient.

NOTE: Moving the left bottom row means that the shortcuts have also moved, so Ctrl-Z (Undo) is now in the QWERTY 'B' position and Cut, Copy, Paste and Bold have moved one position to the left. Unix users should also beware.

Learn how to install and use it on the main Culemak page.

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