Maltron Keyboards
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The Maltron Letter Layout


You have probably noticed that many of our dual-hand keyboards are available with the Maltron letter layout as an alternative to QWERTY. The Maltron letter layout was developed by us as an alternative to the QWERTY layout, which was designed to slow down the typist to avoid jamming the mechanism on early typewriter keyboards. Consequently, the QWERTY letter layout that we all know (and love?!) is by design incredibly inefficient and forces unnecessary strain and movement of the hands and fingers.

The Dvorak keyboard layout goes some way towards addressing this issue and is certainly an improvement over QWERTY,Old mechanical qwerty typewriter keyboard but the Maltron layout goes a big step further.

The Maltron letter layout is based on extensive frequency of use (fou) analysis, and places the most used letters and functions where the fingers and thumbs may easily and comfortably reach them. For anyone used to QWERTY (or Dvorak), the Maltron layout is a radical change, and will require some retraining. However, this can usually be achieved within just a few weeks.

A free Maltron layout training course  is available under the Training section of this website.

You will wonder how you ever managed to type using QWERTY, but don't take our word for it; have a look at some testimonials under "General Info" on the main menu above.

Combined with the highly ergonomic shape of our 3D keyboards, you will have the ultimate in typing comfort.

You can read an in-depth paper on Maltron keyboard development here.




 Maltron letter layout on a UK L90-series keyboard


Maltron letter layout on an L90-series keyboard

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Dual Dvorak / qwerty Layout on a UK L90 series Keyboard

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How many words can be made with the Maltron home row [ANISFDTHORE] ?

Click on any other letter to see how many additional words can be made using that letter.

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Maltron Home Row+E Word List by Length

Maltron Layout Words Made Using Only Left-Hand Letters

Maltron Layout Words Made Using Only Right-Hand Letters


Note: Secondary symbols may vary and additional letters (e.g. Ü, Ñ etc.) may be present in the two hand groups dependant on Language version of the keyboard.







How many words can be made with the Qwerty home row [ASDFGHJKL] ?

Click on any other letter to see how many additional words can be made using that letter.

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QWERTY Layout Words Made Using Only Left-Hand Letters

QWERTY Layout Words Made Using Only Right-Hand Letters

QWERTY Home Row Word List by Length




Letter Placement Word Analysis

Keys Used Number of Words Ratio Longest Word
Word Lists Maltron Qwerty M/Q Maltron Qwerty
Home Row 7641 195 39.2 19 9
Home Row plus One 39842 1873 21.3 20 10
Home Row plus Two 90072 8768 10.3 21 11
Home Row plus Top Row 109639 30418 3.6 25 19
All Except Home Row 133 4560 0.03 8 17
Left Hand Only 750 3403 0.22 14 14
Right Hand Only 331 451 0.73 10 11

Table 1: Maltron and Qwerty Comparison

The above table shows the great difference in number of words and length that result in the optimisation of the frequency of use for the Maltron keyboard layout over the traditional Qwerty keyboard layout.

The first four rows show substantially greater number of words possible from the Maltron letter layout. The last three rows show how few words can be made with the Maltron layout without the use of the home row or full width of the keyboard compared to the Qwerty layout. With the Qwerty layout the left hand has a greater loading than the right hand.


Longest Words
  Maltron Qwerty
Home Row disinterestednesses
Home Row plus One


flagstaffs, shillalahs
Home Row plus Two antiauthoritarianisms, extraterritorialities, internationalizations, straightforwardnesses flashlights, gallowglass, hallelujahs, lallygagged, massasaugas, sandglasses, sassafrases, shandygaffs, shillelaghs
Home Row & Top Row immunoelectrophoretically
photofluorographies, stereophotographies
All Except Home Row muckluck, plugugly counterconvention
Left Hand Only insignificancy sweaterdresses
Right Hand Only motormouth hypolimnion

Table 2: Maltron and Qwerty Longest Word Lengths

The first four rows show the much longer word lengths which result from the better letter distribution on the home row and across the full width of the keyboard with the Maltron layout. The last three show shorter word lengths - again from the better distribution of the Maltron layout.





"Frequency of Use" Comparison between Maltron and Qwerty Letter Layouts


A sample of modern prose work by various authors has been analysed and shows the following graphical comparison between the Maltron and the Qwerty (J91) layouts:


Maltron Frequency of Use Chart

Chart 1: Modern Prose FoU - Maltron Layout


The above chart shows the even spread of workload on the fingers during writing. The tall columns in the bottom row correspond to the letter "E" (position 6) and "Space" (position 7).

Compare this with the much higher loading on the top row for the Qwerty layout show below:


QWERTY Frequency of Use Chart

Chart 2: Modern Prose FoU - Qwerty Layout


Maltron dual hand 3D L90 Maltron letter layout keyboard in grey



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