Blank Keycaps vs Labeled Keys

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Many keyboard nerds prefer keyboard with blank keycaps.

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Das Keyboard

Blank Keycaps = No Good

Blank keycaps forces you learn touch-type, because you can't hunt and peck, you have to put hands in touch-type position and use muscle memory to type.

Problem with blank keycaps is that it's hard to use the keyboard casually, because there's no distinguishing mark on the keys. You must put your hands in touch-type position.

Once you know how to touch-type, keyboard with no mark on keys is annoying.

If you do any design of layout, or change keybinding, key label helps a lot. What exactly is printed on them doesn't matter, but something, that can help distinguish one cell from a array of cells. (for example, design key layout or keybinding layout in emacs, that supports QWERTY, Dvorak, Colemak, etc.)

This one is better than blank keycaps.

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arrows keyboard, better than blanks [image source]

Advantage with Proper Key Labels

Key Stickers

dvorak key label stickers
Dvorak Keyboard Stickers

Buy Keycaps

Where to Buy Keycaps

Keyboard Layouts

  1. qwerty heatmap  to build a fire-s365x171
    Alternative Layouts
  2. Alt Graph, Compose, Dead Key
  3. Most Efficient Layout?
  4. Maltron vs Dvorak
  5. Colemak vs Workman


  1. Dvorak Layout
  2. Hardware vs Software Dvorak
  3. Myth of QWERTY vs Dvorak
  4. Dvorak vs Colemak
  5. Blank Keycaps vs Labeled Keys
  6. List of Dvorak Keyboards
  7. Qwerty to Dvorak, A PhD thesis, 1978


  1. International Layouts
  3. German
  4. German Ergonomic
  5. French
  6. New French Layout
  7. French Ergonomic
  8. French Letter Frequency
  9. Russian
  10. Portuguese Ergonomic
  11. chinese pinyin input 2017-07-19
    Chinese Input Methods
  12. Pinyin Letter Frequency 拼音字母頻率
  13. Japanese input method menu 39864
    Japanese Input Method

Layout Efficiency

  1. English letter frequency To Build a Fire  Jack London 50383
    Char Frequency Counter
  2. Most Efficient Layout for Numbers?
  3. Semicolon vs Apostrophe Frequency
  4. Inverted Number Row Better?


  1. Keyboard Keycaps: ABS, PBT
  2. Keyboard Key Label Tech
  3. Blank Keycaps vs Labeled Keys
  4. Cute Keycaps
  5. Superhero Keycaps
  6. More Keycaps
  7. Where to Buy Keycaps
  8. Retro Keycaps

Key Label Topic

  1. Backspace Key: Key Label's Influence on Key Purpose
  2. Key Label Evolution Atari
  3. Keyboard Enter/Return Key Symbol
  4. Blank Keycaps vs Labeled Keys

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