Q:

Why is the keyboard not in alphabetical order?

A:

Quick Answer

The modern keyboard is not arranged in alphabetical order because millions of users have already learned the QWERTY keyboard layout, which is named after the first six letters in the top row of keys. The reason behind the development of the QWERTY layout as opposed to an alphabetical layout is debated, but two primary theories are accepted explanations.

Know More
Why is the keyboard not in alphabetical order?
Credit: C x 2 Flickr CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

The most popular explanation claims that the key positioning was designed to slow down typists because the early typewriter's mechanical design resulted in jammed keys and components. A recently emerged theory argues that the QWERTY layout was designed to facilitate Morse code receivers because the alphabetical layout was inefficient when translating incoming codes from the telegraph.

The first keyboard patented by Christopher Latham Sholes in 1868 had the keys alphabetically arranged. The first documented appearance of the QWERTY keyboard is found in U.S. Patent No. 207,559 and was issued in 1878 to Sholes.

Sholes and his partners sold their design for a typewriter and its keyboard to Remington & Sons, who manufactured the first commercial typewriter. In 1893, Remington and the other four largest typewriter manufacturers, Caligraph, Yost, Densmore and Smith-Premier, merged to form the Union Typewriter Company and agreed to adopt the QWERTY layout as the standard.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    How do you type in Hangul using a Western keyboard?

    A:

    In order to type in Hangul or Korean using a Western keyboard, it is necessary to activate the keyboard to use Hangul as an input language. Then, when using a software program, such as MS Word and Word Pad, the default language in use must be switched to Korean. Doing these two things enables the typing and display of Korean characters on the computer screen.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the difference between a mainframe and a microcomputer?

    A:

    A mainframe is a large, powerful computer that can process requests from millions of users at the same time, whereas a microcomputer is a small computer designed to be used by one person at a time. Large organizations such as banks and government agencies use mainframe computers. Single users work with microcomputers to perform personal and work-related tasks.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does a keyboard do?

    A:

    A keyboard allows the user of a computer to input alphanumeric information and commands directly. Physical keyboards are most commonly operated by the user's hands while on-screen keyboards may be operated by voice, a mouse or other peripheral devices.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an alphabetical listing of all animals?

    A:

    An alphabetical listing of all animals is a catalogue or record of all the creatures of the animal kingdom with their names arranged in alphabetical order from A to Z. This list is updated frequently as more animal species are discovered.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore