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Soul v Colemak DH

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I am curious what your thoughts are about using Soul as opposed to Colemak DH? I'm just now beginning to learn Soul Instead of Colemak DH because the letters S and ZXCV are not changed from Qwerty which I'm pretty familiar with by touch. I don't want to use the "Fat Z" layout in Colemak DH, but I'm finding the reach for the letter K in Soul a little awkward after working with Colemak DH for a few days.

If you have experience with Soul and Colemak DH please advise.

Thank you in advance

After trying Soul for several days I am switching back to Colemak DH. I can get used to the new placements of S and ZXC in Colemak DH easier than the K and J locations in Soul. I know it is subjective but Colemak DH just feels better to me.

The hands want what the hands want I guess.

Feel free to chime in and share your experiences with Soul and/or Colemak.


Creator of Colemak-DH here, so might be biased!  Soul and Colemak-DH are somewhat similar - in that they both recognise that the traditional left-hand finger-assignment scheme on traditional keyboards is broken, and both try to improve Colemak by fixing the issue some people have with overuse of the centre-column.

I think Soul's main advantage is that it keeps Z X C V unchanged (even if the finger assignment is different from traditional), and is probably a bit easier to transition to. But in other respects, I think Colemak-DH is better. Soul seems more tied to ANSI hardware in that it relies on the Qwerty B key, which if you are using the symmetric system, isn't ideal. Consequently, it leads to the issue with J and K you mentioned, but this also means it doesn't translate so well to ergo/matrix keyboards. Soul also scores worse on same-finger stats, but the difference isn't huge. Colemak-DH's handling of Z is not ideal for ANSI users, but Z is the rarest letter in English, so this is likely more a psychological drawback than a real one (most ANSI users assign Z to the Qwerty B key rather than the Fat-Z option).

I don't have any experience using Soul, but it does look fairly decent on the surface. Nonetheless, trying to be objective as I can, I still think Colemak-DH's approach makes more sense overall.

Thank you for your thoughts, stevep! It's an honor... I used Soul for a few days on an ANSI keyboard and quickly changed back to Colemak-DH. I'm not very experienced with keyboard layouts, so I don't think my opinion matters, but Colemak-DH just feels better to me. More recently I bought a 4x12 ortholinear keyboard from the good folks at Boardsource and have really been enjoying learning layered layouts and Colemak-DHM. Your layout is brilliant! Thank you for creating something that brings a bit of happiness to this old fart's daily grind. Blessings to you my friend.

Perhaps another thing to add is that Colemak-DH builds upon the tried-and-tested Colemak, whereas Soul could be a riskier proposition as not many people have used it heavily. Sometimes layouts look good on paper but issues only become apparent after real-world experience.
Thank you for your kind words, I'm glad DH is working well for you. Especially with that ortho board - these days non-traditional keyboards are the way to go!


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