It is a question old as time: “What does this button do?” (Usually followed by the smell of smoke.) Other people’s keyboard layouts are confusing. So is the default one, if you’re just starting out. What if there was a way to walk someone through your layout, and show them why you’ve decided to put this key over here?
Layout tours make this easy:
A tour is a way to tell your layout’s story. It lets you go over any notable keys across all layers. You set the sequence, and tell each key’s story and the design decisions there. You can format a tour with Markdown, so you can include links, make text bold, and so on.
You can tour the default ErgoDox EZ layout by going to Oryx and clicking Play layout tour in the bottom left, or by simply clicking this link which will take you directly into the tour’s first key.
Use the left and right arrow keys to navigate the tour, and Esc to exit.
For a while now, you’ve been able to link directly to a specific key when discussing it. Here is a link to W on the default layout. Now, if the key you’re linking has an About text (i.e, is part of your tour), this text will be displayed by default. Here’s what I think about the Alt key in the default layout.
So many tours to browse!
For the Moonlander, we have the default Moonlander layout tour as well as lots of Moonlander tours from the community.
Next, here’s the (previously-linked) default ErgoDox EZ layout tour, along with all of the ErgoDox EZ tours created by users.
Last, but certainly not least, comes the default Planck EZ layout tour, accompanied by a number of Planck EZ tours made by users.
Do you have a layout you’ve put a lot of thought into? Would you like to create a tour for it? Read on.
A tour can contain any text and links you can imagine, and that unfortunately includes spam, so layout tours are not enabled for everyone by default. After revising your layout a bit over the course of a few months, Oryx will automatically invite you to apply for a tour. The application is short, but please only apply if you’re truly interested in creating a tour that might help others. It’s entirely fine to say no; this is all volunteer.
If you haven’t gotten an automatic invite and you think you have a really good idea for a tour, you can also access the application here as well. We don’t accept all tours, but if it’s clear you’ve thought about your layout and are excited about explaining it to others, you’ll probably hear from us.
Can’t wait to read about your layout and design decisions!
Erez Zukerman is the CEO and Co-Founder of ZSA Technology Labs.