AZERTY vs QWERTY

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Updated January 6, 2023

If you’re shopping for a premium keyboard and are considering different key layouts, you may wonder whether AZERTY is better than QWERTY. PC-type keyboards might seem simple, but there are many typing layouts for different preferences. Some models offer special characters and keyboard settings useful for typists and programming language experts. So, keep reading to understand the AZERTY vs QWERTY debate and find your ideal setup.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The QWERTY keyboard is the default key layout for English-speaking regions like America, Canada, and parts of Europe.
  • The AZERTY keyboard is the standard choice in the French-speaking world.
  • Custom keyset and switch availability is the most significant difference between AZERTY and QWERTY keyboards.

If you’re wondering, “What keyboard layout should I use?” consider what keyboard configuration would work best for your job or hobbies. For example, if you work in a German-speaking country, you may need to consider QWERTZ vs. QWERTY keyboard types.

Insider Tip

You can still type in English on an international keyboard, but you’ll need to adjust your keyboard typing technique to compensate for the shifted layout.

QWERTY Keyboard vs AZERTY Keyboard

The QWERTY keyboard is the standard keyboard layout in North America and some European countries, and AZERTY caters to French-speaking countries. French and American keyboards are offshoots of the original QWERTY typewriter design from 1874.

QWERTY lacks the common lower-case accented letters found on Spanish and French keyboards. France’s 100-year-old AZERTY keyboard offers input methods for accented characters and other French-language keyboard shortcuts.

Typing Speed

Unless you switch from one keyboard language to another, your basic typing level shouldn’t change. QWERTY and AZERTY keyboards are the default option in their respective regions and are the entry points for PC-connected keyboards.

Ergonomics

Both keyboards feature a home row based on the correct position for your middle fingers. Either keyboard layout should provide adequate ergonomic support. Whether you use a QWERTY or AZERTY model, you shouldn’t notice an ergonomic difference between keyboards.

Warning

Ensure your Windows PC is set to the default QWERTY keyboard layout to avoid misspellings or unintended punctuation marks.

Customization

You can customize either keyboard, but custom keycaps and switches are easier to find for QWERTY keyboards than AZERTY models. While custom keysets exist for French keyboards, they are more expensive due to a lack of demand than QWERTY ones.

STAT: A 2021 Pew Research Center survey showed that 72% of rural Americans have access to a desktop or laptop computer. (source)

AZERTY vs QWERTY FAQs

How do I turn off NumLock on a laptop?

The NumLock or NumLk key deactivates the number pad on your keyboard. You can deactivate the NumLock function on your keyboard by pressing the NumLock key. Some models require the user to press the Alt or Fn key with the NumLock key to deactivate the setting.

What's the fastest keyboard layout?

Many experts claim that the Dvorak design offers quicker and more ergonomic typing over common keyboard layouts. The Dvorak design features a key placement that requires less finger movement for Latin alphabet keyboards.

What are keyboard stickers?

Keyboard stickers are small, adhesive key coverings that allow users to relabel their keys. This is useful for laptop users who need a different language-specific keyboard layout. Additionally, users with high-end external keyboards often choose keyboard stickers to label special shortcut keys.
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