US Keyboard Layout - Everything You Need to Know

US Keyboard Layout - Everything You Need to Know

by Sebastian Kończak, updated at 21 May 2024, 0 comments

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Keyboard layout can vary depending on geographical region or where you bought your keyboard abroad. If you bought a refurbished laptop, you can also end up with different keyboard layout than your native one.

One of the most widely used keyboard layouts is the US layout, known for its QWERTY arrangement. In this article, we will explore the US keyboard layout, its differences from the UK layout (another commonly used input method), the significance of QWERTY, and how it differs from European keyboards.

US Keyboard Layout vs. UK Keyboard Layout

Here's a diagram of US keyboard layout used in Windows operating system. Version used in Mac OS system is virtually the same.

US English keyboard layout diagram

The US and British keyboard layouts share many similarities, but also have significant differences. One noticeable distinction is the placement of the "£" (pound) symbol. On the UK layout, it appears above 3 in shifted position.

Here's a diagram of UK keyboard layout used in Windows and another one used in Mac OS system.

UK British United Kingdom keyboard layout for Windows

UK British United Kingdom keyboard layout for Mac

Additionally, the position and shape of the "Enter" key varies, with the US layout having a larger, horizontal "Enter" key (ANSI keyboard type), while the UK layout features a smaller, 7-shaped vertical one (ISO keyboard type).

Identifying the Layouts

Differentiating between US and UK layouts is crucial, especially when purchasing or using keyboards. Look for the aforementioned presence of the "£" symbol and the "Enter" key shape. Additionally, the location of other symbols like "@" and "#" will differ in the two layouts.

Is QWERTY a US layout?

The QWERTY layout is the most prevalent keyboard arrangement worldwide, but is not exclusive to the US. The name "QWERTY" is derived from the first six letters on the keyboard's top row. It was initially developed for typewriters in the late 19th century to prevent mechanical jams while typing. While QWERTY is commonly associated with US keyboards, it is also used in other layouts, including in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands and many other countries.

What Is the Difference Between US and European Keyboard?

European keyboards can vary significantly from the US layout. One notable difference is the inclusion of additional characters specific to European languages, such as accented letters or  diacritic symbols used in French, German, Spanish, and other languages. The location of certain keys, such as the "€" (euro currency) symbol, may also differ on European keyboards. Moreover, some European countries don't use QWERTY, with notable examples of QWERTZ (used in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary) and AZERTY (used in France and Belgium).

Need to switch to UK or US keyboard layout?

Such a change is very common these days. The fastest and easiest way to physically change the keyboard layout is to use QWERTY English keyboard stickers. We offer the best language-changing stickers on the planet, with many layouts, colors, and sizes available. Check them out below:

US English QWERTY keyboard stickers from Keyshorts
UK British English QWERTY keyboard stickers from Keyshorts

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Sebastian Kończak
Sebastian Kończak

Multi-discipline man and co-founder at Keyshorts. I write about working from home, productivity hacks, e-commerce and keyboards.

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Keyshorts keyboard stickers
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