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When I learned to touch type, back in the mid-80’s, I was instructed to use a finger map that basically mirrors the left and right hand side. I’ve added a figure below and refer to it as the EDX finger map. In essence where you go down-right with your right hand (for instance from k to ,) you go down-left with your left hand (for instance from d to x). The middle finger has two letters on the the bottom row (left c and v, right m and n). We were allowed to choose a finger for b, which lies somewhere in the middle.

enter image description here

It feels quite natural, as you fingers follow the general direction that your arms arms are in, and there is no need to bend your wrists inwards.

What I find curious is that this finger map lay-out for the left hand seems to have all but disappeared, and I search for it from time to time out of curiosity, but all touch typing advice seems to reverse the left hand action, so you would go d to c with the same finger. For lack of a better description I refer to this the EDC finger map.

enter image description here

I’m curious again because when reading about dvorak, most people seem to agree that perhaps it is not faster, but at least their hands hurt less. But it seems to me that compared to the EDX finger map, the EDC finger map would indeed put more strain on the left wrist as it forces my left wrist inwards, whereas I can keep it comfortably in one line if I type as EDX.

So my question is: Does anybody know the ergonomic benefits of using EDX versus EDC that seems to have become the standard?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I learned to touch type long enough ago that the device I learned on had a lever you pushed with the left hand to accomplish a carriage return. (i.e. manual typewriter). The finger map layout I learned and still use today (at 110wpm on a good day) is your second image. It isn't a new development.

I don't believe there are any ergonomic benefits to EDX. In fact, I think EDC is a clearly better choice, if your shoulders and elbows are in the correct position. The only way I can "force my left wrist inwards" for EDC and keep it "in one line" for EDX is to have my left elbow raised far too high and away from my side.

I suppose it is possible that the EDX mapping might work better for some people if their arms/hands/fingers are differently proportioned, and if it is working for you I wouldn't recommend changing it. For people just learning to touch-type, I'd say use the classic EDC mapping until or unless you have a good reason to do something different.

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Interestingly, I just realized I use a mix. Of course, I have really long fingers, I use the left index finger for c, but the ring finger for x. – Greg Bair Oct 18 '13 at 18:59

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