While ABC keyboards are not the standard keyboard in today’s world, it was the very first keyboard layout that was ever used. Did you know that I was over 130 years ago that the first
ABC Keyboard History
A patent for what was supposedly and possibly a typewriter was first awarded to Henry Mill in 1714 but there are no records indicating any actual inventions of the typewriter by Mill. When Christopher Sholes invented a typewriter in 1867, it was the first typewriter that was proven to be of any use at all. He began with the alphabetical format; however, it soon became apparent that the keys would jam when typists would type too fast. Never once did he think about installing return springs to keep the keys from falling. Instead, he fixed the problem, with the help of his brother-in-law, and invented the QWERTY layout, which is the standard keyboard layout that we use today.
The layout of the ABC keyboard is simply all of the keys in alphabetical format making it easier to learn, use, and comprehend for all ages, non-typists, and beginners.
Advantages of the ABC Layout
With the ABC keyboard layout, it actually helped the blind to learn to type. All the keys were in alphabetical order and easy for the blind person to find without any problems. Anyone with any type of disability or the elderly find the ABC layout much easier to use than the standard QWERTY design.
If you are a beginner to typing then people say that the ABC layout is the best to start with. The primary advantage of the ABC keyboard would be for children that are trying to learn how to type. They would know exactly where all the keys are because they would be in alphabetical format. This is especially true and most convenient for pre-school and early school age children. However, that also leads to a disadvantage listed below.
Disadvantages of the ABC Layout
One of the main disadvantages of the ABC layout is that it is not standard. It is not the standard layout that we use in school and business. If you were to learn on an ABC keyboard, you would still need to learn another layout so that you could succeed in life.
Today, the ABC keyboard can also be found on most GPS devices. My wife has one on her Garmin GPS system. To be honest, I get really frustrated when trying to enter in addresses on that thing. I’m still not sure why they decided to stay away from qwerty. The only rational I can think of is that the screen isn’t wide enough to accommodate the width required.
You can still find ABC keyboards available for purchase if you would rather work with that layout than the standard QWERTY keyboard layout. Here is a great site to purchase from abckeyboards.com. Get it for your kids to learn how to start typing (but don’t let them get too stuck on it since they’ll have to switch to the standard QWERTY design), or get it for your retired mom that would like to use the computer but has a lot of trouble finding the right keys when typing.