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Physical Keyboard Layouts Explained In Detail

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I thought it would be exceptionally helpful to have a post discussing keyboard layouts, showing what "standard physical layouts" are, and showing what keys differ for many popular alternative layout keyboards. I am not pointing out correct legend placement with these pictures, with programmable boards that would just be a nightmare. It should also be mentioned that I am basing this guide on sculpted profiles (SA, DCS, Cherry, Alps, etc) and NOT uniform profiles like DSA or XDA.
Here is the standard keyboard layout (ANSI and ISO). I have color coded the graphic in this way:
  1. 60% - Light Blue
  2. TKL/80% - Green
  3. TK/Fullsize/100% - Yellow
  4. ISO - Dark Blue (Keys that differ from standard ANSI)
So, with this system any keyboard that is covered by light blue/green/yellow caps alone SHOULD be covered by a standard 104 keycap set (like Ducky, Tai Hao, etc). Keep in mind a few more boards can be covered by these sets, just not with the correct profile for each key.
At the end of this article will be a Download section where I will link all of the Raw data so you can import any of these layouts into Keyboard-Layout-Editor.com for further inquisition of any layout. You will be able to see the exact keys sizes through doing this as well.
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There are many different ISO layouts in terms of legends that I won't even go down that rabbit hole, but this is simply a representation of the physical layout of the keyboard. Obviously the number row keys can EASILY be replaced with the ANSI keys, as this isn't a physical layout difference, but often requested keys, same for ALT and ALTGR.
Now, for my examples I will be marking keys in RED that are non-standard sizes. I will also take key rows into consideration for this discussion. (See WhiteFox Vanilla example below for more info). Keys that may be included in other standard kits will be colored accordingly.
Let me use the WhiteFox Vanilla layout as an example:
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Because the WhiteFox Vanilla is a 65% keyboard, it utilizes arrow keys and an extra navigation column added to a standard 60% layout. The blue keys are all standard size keys, where the green keys are all found on TKL's. The red keys are all non-standard keys not found on any stock layout/keyboard. Notice the PgUp/PgDn keys are red, even though they are on all TKL/TK keyboards. This is because on a standard keyboard they are Row 1 and Row 2 keys respectively. On the WhiteFox they would need to be Row 3 and Row 4 to be the correct profile.
Keep in mind designers don't generally split up keysets by 60%/TK/TKL anymore, but this example is more to give you an idea of what to look for in other child deals/kits when buying or designing keysets. Designers can use this to easily see what keys cover multiple boards and could be grouped together to be the most cost effective, and as a consumer you can easily determine what child deals/kits will be needed to give you full and proper coverage of your board, if it is even possible.
Due to the fact that keyboard layouts seem to come out almost daily, I will be maintaining this thread and a thread on KeyChatter.com with these layouts, adding them as they come. It will probably take me a few days to get all layouts right now up and correct any errors I may make (starting at layouts for hours can make it very easy to overlook things!) Also keep in mind many keyboards that come as a kit can be build with various layouts, but if you are doing a build I expect you will know what you need cap wise ;)
If you have suggestions/keyboards to add/fixes/etc just leave a comment here for me or PM me under the same name on GeekHack/Deskthority/Reddit or at andy@keychatter.com
40% Keyboards JD40 (below):
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JD45 w/ Blockers (below):
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JD45 w/o Blockers (below):
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MiniVan (below):
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Minorca (below):
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Planck (below):
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Vortex Core (Below):

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60% Keyboards HHKB (below):
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Filco Minila (below):
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Mistel Barocco (below):

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Preonic (below):

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  • There are a few extra 1u keys available in a standard layout that could be used to fill in a few extra side keys with the correct profile, though they may have alpha legends when acting as a modifier, and I decided to mark keys red for this reason. A proper support kit for the preonic would include modifiers for many of the side keys


65% Keyboards WhiteFox Vanilla/TADA68 (below):
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WhiteFox Aria (below):
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WhiteFox TrueFox (below):
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WhiteFox ISO (below):
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Z70 (below):
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Leopold FC660C/FC660M (below):
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Varmilo VA68M/Magicforce68 (below):
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RAMA M65-A (below):
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75% Keyboards Duck Octagon/MK84/Keycool 84/Various (below):
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TKL/80% Keyboards Winkeyless (below):
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Fullsize Keyboards/Numpad Boards RS96 w/o arrows (below):
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  • Note: The PgDn key can easily be filled by a standard Scroll Lock key to fill the space with a correct profile cap
RS96 w/arrow keys (below):
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Leopold FC980M (below):
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Leopold FC980C [TOPRE] (below):
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Cherry G80-1813/Dolch Pac (below):
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Various/Split Keyboards/Misc. **MORE to be added soon**
ErgoDox/ErgoDox Infinity (and ErgoDox Clones)
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Atreus

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Downloads/Raw Data https://gist.github.com/livingspeedbump To further inspect any layout and by loading it into Keyboard-Layout-Editor.com simply download the .zip file with the .json file from my github, and navigate to the "</> Raw data" tab on KLE and click on the green "Upload JSON" file in the lower right hand corner.
You can then select the "Properties" tab and click any key to see the height or width of a particular key.
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Greywolf
0
Jun 11, 2021
So, I am trying to understand what is so unattractive about having a split upper right corner, and the Backspace just above the "Enter" key like so... http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/gists/4892796a325d0c1d149b5cbe59f8d07a
TjPhysicist
28
Aug 26, 2021
that's the layout I use, absolutely love it, it's weird how rare it is (outside of hhkb that kinda does it even with custom there's very few if any tkl or full size that allow that. heck none of the drop keyboards allow that it's crazy). I actually fully emulate the sun7 Unix keyboard, but with 1.25u for all the bottom row stuff...so, Meta is right next to space, then alt. plus the extra key missing to the left of F1 could be used for fun stuff, some crazy custom artisan keycap.
(Edited)
XLERIANZZ
0
May 20, 2021
What keycaps does the gk64 use, I tried the drop skylight horizon keycaps and the shift didn't fit and there was a missing shift
WilliamRiley
0
May 20, 2021
Comment hidden
help
PontingJack
0
May 19, 2021
Comment hidden
help
bjvp182
196
Apr 13, 2021
No Vortex Race 3 weird sizing layout? *Sad Vortex noises*
Ratu
0
Mar 30, 2021
I just needed a wireless keyboard.......
Galane
2
Oct 10, 2020
What about the "Big Three" layout with reverse L shaped Enter, large Backspace and large Right Shift, with Backslash either between right Alt and the spacebar or between right Alt and right Ctrl? I frequently saw it prior to 1995's introduction of the Windows Keys. It's the design of the first PC keyboard I had 30 some years ago but thanks to the right WinKey nobody has made a "Big Three" board since 1995.
Donnie_L
17
Jun 19, 2020
Is DROP ALT using WhiteFox Aria? Looks like it.
frombrosis
7
May 19, 2020
Fantastic guide, well done.
ianmelchior
4
Apr 6, 2020
Just commenting to say this a great piece of work and you did a good job on it
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