Engrammer - Arno's Engram layout for programmers

Suraj N. Kurapati

DEMO: Watch this video of me typing in this layout at 100+ WPM.

Click to watch video

After 1.25 years of using Engram exclusively, I recently needed to type on a standard laptop keyboard featuring the QWERTY layout. I found myself struggling to locate symbols and punctuation marks (especially those on shifted keys) as I reluctantly resorted to hunt-and-peck typing. 😩 However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was significantly easier to type certain punctuation marks used in programming (such as backtick, backslash, semicolon, and equals) because they were unshifted: directly available, without needing to press Shift!

Having tasted the renewed ease of access to those aforementioned symbols (which happen to be used heavily in programming editors, such as Vim, and also more generally in application shortcuts such as Control-Equals for the “zoom in” operation), I could no longer return to Engram verbatim. 🤩 Instead, I was motivated to rectify the situation by harnessing the best of both worlds. Behold, the Engrammer layout: a variation of Arno’s Engram for programmers! :)

`~ 1! 2@ 3# 4$  5%  6^  7& 8* 9( 0) [{ ]}
   bB yY oO uU  '"  ;:  lL dD wW vV zZ =+ \|
   cC iI eE aA  ,<  .>  hH tT sS nN qQ
   gG xX jJ kK  -_  /?  rR mM fF pP

Legend: Gold is Arno’s Engram; Blue is Engram-like; Pink is new. Rendering of this layout on a standard 60% keyboard. Rendering of this layout on an ortholinear keyboard.

This variation helps maintain cross-proficiency with standard keyboards because:

In addition, application shortcuts that assume standard shifted pairs (such as Control-Equals for the “zoom in” operation in Web browsers) now work correctly.