Author Topic: ISO or ANSI?  (Read 8258 times)

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Offline QWER|key

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ISO or ANSI?
« on: Sat, 28 August 2021, 16:02:37 »
Hello... I'm new here.  In fact, I'm just new...  not even bought anything yet, but am sick of rubbish "Gaming" keyboards.

My question is regarding ANSI va ISO.  It's not really a "which is best" question in the usual sense, as I am prepared to get used to whatever one I decide upon, and then stick with it. The question is more about whether choosing an ISO format keyboard imposed limits on its ability to be customised in future. I searched some similar threads, but they all seemed to be about which is best for typing on. As my typing is terrible, and I'm also planning to learn to type properly, I can get used to anything.

Obviously not all keycaps have ISO extras included, so I suppose I am asking "What would you do?".  Get an ISO for ease of transition from my current board, or go ANSI to give myself far more future options with regard to choosing parts?  Conversely, not all keyboards have ISO options either..  in fact, from what I can tell, almost all custom boards I've seen in GBs are ANSI.

I think I know what the answer will be, but being new to all of this, I'd like to weigh my opinions against those of people who are further into the rabbit hole.  At the moment, I'm merely teetering on the edge.

Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: Sat, 28 August 2021, 16:05:32 by Pookeyhead »

Offline _rubik

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 28 August 2021, 16:23:55 »
I think the answer is and will always be: "whatever works best for you is preferable".

If you're swapping between multiple keyboards often at work or school, sticking with the most common layout is probably best. If you only ever use your and your keyboard alone, I'd pick ANSI.

Other things to consider: How important is customization to you? Do other people use your computer / keyboards? Do you buy ANSI or ISO laptops (again, you'll be swapping between the two)?

Granted this is coming from someone who has only ever used ANSI... so grain of salt... but you're always going to have more flexibility with ANSI boards.
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Offline QWER|key

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 28 August 2021, 16:37:39 »
but you're always going to have more flexibility with ANSI boards.

This was my thinking. I just wanted to be sure. I've literally been researching this for less than a day, but I was already starting to realise that most boards were ANSI. I can only imagine that at some time in the future...  probably sooner rather than later, I will be tempted to go into a GB on something nice...  I'm already liking the Odin board, but that's a bit much for my first foray into this...  so thinking longer term, I think I'll get used to ANSI.

Thanks for confirming my own thoughts.

David.

Offline ideus

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 28 August 2021, 18:03:59 »
You can have both of either and keep one at the office and one at home. The real question is what do you prefer. Down the road, you will always find reasons to keep what you already have and other reasons to get what you do not have.

Offline ergonaut

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 30 August 2021, 03:39:03 »
Since you posted this in the ergonomics subforum: Are you interested in the ergonomic aspects of ISO vs ANSI?

If so, I'd have to say that both layouts are super sh!tty in terms of ergonomics, but ANSI is a tiny bit less sh!tty than ISO, due to little details like the bigger left shift key and the closer-to-home enter key.

So if you have to have one of the two, I'd recommend ANSI.

Offline QWER|key

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 30 August 2021, 15:18:54 »
Since you posted this in the ergonomics subforum: Are you interested in the ergonomic aspects of ISO vs ANSI?

Yes, very much so. I'm currently a horrible typist, and was planning to learn touch typing properly, so if ANSI has advantages, then I'd be happy to switch from ISO (I'm in the UK).

If so, I'd have to say that both layouts are super sh!tty in terms of ergonomics, but ANSI is a tiny bit less sh!tty than ISO, due to little details like the bigger left shift key and the closer-to-home enter key.

So if you have to have one of the two, I'd recommend ANSI.

I'm starting to agree. Thanks.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 30 August 2021, 17:19:35 »
If so, I'd have to say that both layouts are super sh!tty in terms of ergonomics, but ANSI is a tiny bit less sh!tty than ISO, due to little details like the bigger left shift key and the closer-to-home enter key.
On the other hand, the ISO Return/Enter key is a larger target.
I believe the "best" one is actually mostly about which one you have grown used to, the one which you have adapted your typing style and muscle memory to.
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Offline vvp

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 31 August 2021, 08:54:17 »
Or ISO back slash is nearer to the home position. If you type a lot of file paths in windows then you may use backslash more often than enter and ISO turns better.

Or ISO international key is nearer to the home position while left shift is still not that far away. And ANSI does not even have "international key" :-/ You will have it harder if you will ever need to type with some locales other than US.

Both ISO and ANSI are a piece of crap compared to physical key layout of e.g. Kinesis Advantage.

Offline n3my

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 06 September 2021, 04:08:35 »
Being from the UK, before I knew about custom keyboards I refused to use ANSI layout. I preferred the big enter button to smash whenever I needed it and since I grew up on ISO, it just made sense to stay. However few years later and started to play with custom keyboards and the first one I built was ANSI, because I didn't realize at the time the difference in stabilizers and keycaps needed. After the I got through the learning curved I now really enjoy the layout of the ANSI. Feels more accurate and I don't miss the big enter as much I thought I would.

Sometimes it worth trying both and get a feel what is right for you. Bare in mind different layouts need less or extra parts.

Hope this helps!

Offline iaji

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 07 September 2021, 12:27:19 »
use ISO and colemak dh with iso mod. I don't know what the fuss about 'custom' or keycaps, though. I don't really care about those things.

Offline iso

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 07 May 2022, 18:19:51 »
I wanna know who this ansi guy is, I need a word with him

Offline Rezkian

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 07 May 2022, 18:37:08 »
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.

Offline iso

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 07 May 2022, 19:36:19 »
Was a joke :) check my username.

Offline stevep

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 15 May 2022, 05:52:05 »
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.

Offline depletedvespene

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 22 June 2022, 09:01:05 »
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 Ç 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).

Offline ideus

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Re: ISO or ANSI?
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 22 June 2022, 10:45:15 »
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 Ç 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).


I use a slightly modified danish layout to write in English and Spanish—occasionally in Italian. It is far better than the US International layout that I used for years, although it always gets in my way, for example, when typing Tex or R Scripts. The three special letters å, æ, and ø, have alt-gr locations under the a, e and o, just in case I need them, which I seldom do, and their original locations are used for delete, left, and right keys. It is not easy to get key caps for this layout; but, over the years I have been getting Norde kits and found a source for three Danish Olivetti double shots with weird right-side mods that I get for a fairly good price. Now, I have beige, black, and Olivetti's colored alphas that I mix and match with mods that I have. I found this particular layout to be a great fit for my needs. I can use it with both, ANSI and ISO enter keys, but I always require the short left shift because I use the pipe-back-slash at its right (Tex user here).  I know that this is hardly a choice for everyone; but, I found that US-International is a lousy adaptation of the common US layout to some European languages, a compromise many have to live with. The way the dead keys are solved in Danish is way better than US-Int. I gave a try to Finish—another good multilingual layout—and German, but found Danish and Finish to be best and ultimately settle with Danish.