geekhack Community > Ergonomics

ISO or ANSI?

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iso:
I wanna know who this ansi guy is, I need a word with him

Rezkian:
If you want more options in the future, ANSI. But personally I love ISO so much that I'm willing to wait longer and pay more for it. It has extra keys and helps with writing international stuff. ISO easily translates to other languages/keyboard layouts.

iso:
Was a joke :) check my username.

stevep:
ISO is standard in the UK, but I used to look slightly enviously at ANSI keyboards due to their easier left-shift. It's a really minor difference as both are terrible, mainly due to the oversize spacebar instead of decent thumb keys.

If you're interested in ergonomics and willing to experiment with some non-standard mappings, then I'd say ISO is actually better:
- ISO allows an improved Angle Mod. This becomes even more important if you start looking at better layouts and/or improved ortholinear compatibility.
- The worse left shift in ISO can be entirely mitigated by not using the standard shift keys at all. They are in terrible positions anyway. When I was still using ISO keyboards, I mapped AltGr to Shift, which works much better, esp in conjuction with the Wide Mod.

depletedvespene:
To add to what others have already said, consider one further factor: what national layout do you use? How does it cope with being transplanted from its "native" ISO or ANSI layout to the other one?

As an example: if you use the Spanish (Spain) layout, using an ANSI keyboard makes you lose access to the characters < and > , and the and } characters get moved to the 1.5U alpha in row two, which is a pain.



Besides that, remember that you can go ISO, you can go ANSI, and you can go in between: ANSISO (long left Shift, vertical Enter) and ISANSI (short left Shift + extra alpha, horizontal Enter).

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