Home > Keyboards > MTGAP’s Keyboard Layout 2.0

MTGAP’s Keyboard Layout 2.0

I am deleting this information from my Keyboard Layout Project page. In order to preserve it, I am putting it up in a blog post. All this was written at some point back in late 2008 or early 2009.

MTGAP’s Layout 2.0

Shortcuts at zero value
Ease to learn at zero value
Designed for standard (non-ergonomic) keyboard
Score: 9.67

, f h d k j c u l .
o a n t g m s e r i
q x b p z y w ' v ;

This is a revised layout, designed to be optimal for any keyboard.


Colemak is, in my opinion, the best publicly available keyboard layout other than my own. Here’s how it compares in the 8 criteria that my program uses.

Best travel distance: MTGAP’s evolved standard layout = 68069
Worst travel distance: Colemak = 71162

Best same finger: Colemak = 0.34%
Worst same finger: MTGAP’s evolved standard layout = 0.34%

Best same hand: Colemak = 21.16%
Worst same hand: MTGAP’s evolved standard layout = 25.45%

Best jump home: MTGAP’s evolved standard layout = 0.02%
Worst jump home: Colemak = 0.2%

Best hand warping: Colemak = 0.79%
Worst hand warping: MTGAP’s evolved standard layout = 0.92%

Best row changing: Colemak = 7.55%
Worst row changing: MTGAP’s evolved standard layout = 11.71%

Best to center: MTGAP’s evolved standard layout = 1.16%
Worst to center: Colemak = 1.79%

Best rolls: MTGAP’s evolved standard layout = 14.48%
Worst rolls: Colemak = 6.82%

So my layout wins 4 times and Colemak wins 4 times.

MTGAP’s Layout for an Ergonomic Keyboard

---------UNSHIFTED--------------------------- SHIFTED
[ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 ] || { ! @ # $ % ^ & * }
TAB , f h d k j c u l . / || TAB ( F H D K J C U L ) =
CAP o a n t g m s e r i - || CAP O A N T G M S E R I _
~ q x b p z y w ' v ; ! || ` Q X B P Z Y W " V : ?
thumb pads

Hmm…I really can’t make a picture of thumb pads using text. Well, the 2 main buttons are shift and space, with backspace and enter on the other big buttons. On the left is ctrl, alt, altGr, and Mac ctrl. On the right is copy, paste, undo and escape.

MTGAP’s Layout for a Standard Keyboard

The designer of Arensito had 2 really great ideas. The first was to have a whole different layout for special characters, accessed with AltGr. I’ll get to that later. The second was to a way of using thumb pads on a standard keyboard. All the keys are moved up 1 row, and the thumbs go on the bottom row.

---------UNSHIFTED--------------------------- SHIFTED
q , f h d k j c u l . - = BKSPC || Q ( F H D K J C U L ) _ +
TAB o a n t g m s e r i / [ ] || TAB O A N T G M S E R I ?
CAP q x b p z y w ' v ; ! || CAP Q X B P Z Y W " V : &
shift 5 3 2 1 4 shift
AltGr(used to be space)

I put Q in the tilde position because of the Mac shortcuts CMD-TAB and CMD-Q.
1: space
2: backspace
3: shift
4: enter
5: a dead key that causes the next key pressed to be its QWERTY position. This is mainly for keyboard shortcuts: hit this key, then hit CTRL-C where C is in its QWERTY position.

About that special characters layout. You press AltGr to access this layout.

9 7 5 3 % $ 2 4 6 8
/ = * 1 \ _ 0 : ; #
^ + | @ [ ] { }

This layout puts the most common special characters on the home keys. It’s also easy to remember: I spent no time trying to memorize it, but I have no problem remembering it. Odd numbers are all on the left, and evens are on the right. All the paired symbols (like brackets) are on the bottom. All the mathematical symbols are on the left. \ and |, which are on the same key in QWERTY, are next to each other. As a little bonus, % is in its QWERTY position.

What if you want to use this keyboard?

I can’t help you there. I designed these keyboards for the fun of it. If you want to use a better keyboard, go to Colemak.com
Maybe my keyboard is better than Colemak. But it’s not much better. If we all use Colemak and endorse it, it will have a better chance of overthrowing QWERTY than a bunch of random layouts.

Categories: Keyboards
  1. June 30, 2021 at 7:40 am

    Interesting layout…

  1. April 4, 2019 at 6:04 am

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