German Keyboard Layout

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

The German alphabet is the same as English, with the addition of the following:

Ä ä, Ö ö, Ü ü, ß

The ß is called Eszett (sz) or scharfes S, sharp s. Often it is equivalent to ss. The capital version of ß is , but it's basically not used.

Germany layout is a QWERTZ layout.

Germany keyboard layout
Germany layout. The red are dead keys.

[see Alt Graph Key, Compose Key, Dead Key]

Those special letters ä ö ü ß, does not occur often. Their frequency ranks near the bottom.

german letter frequency 34432
German letter frequency

[see Character Frequency Plot]

You can see that, the German layout is not very efficient.

• It is based on the inefficient QWERTY layout.

• The special characters ä ö ü ß, each has a dedicated key. It's a waste of key spots. It would be better, if the key to the right of L is a dead key for umlaut ¨

apple keyboard german layout m4k63
Apple Keyboard German Layout
German Olympia typewriter 23964
Keyboard of a mechanical typewriter, produced 1964 by Olympia Werke, Germany. The key with four dots is the margin release. The arrow key under Tab key is the backspace key, which is pointing in the direction the paper would move rather than the way a cursor would move .

Ergonomic German Layouts

German Keyboard Ergonomic Layout

Keyboard Layouts



Layout Efficiency

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