Computers: AZERTY and BÉPO, Two New Keyboards Designed to Facilitate Writing in French

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Two new keyboards to aid the writing of French

COMPUTER: The two new keyboards, AZERTY improved and BÉPO, take into account the comfort of writing and the new uses

The French Association for Standardisation (Afnor) presented Tuesday the ”  voluntary standard NF Z71-300  ” on computer keyboards . The organisation offers two models in place of the historic AZERTY, reports the HuffPost .

The first is an improved QWERTY keyboard, which better adapts to the new uses of the Internet and to the French language . The second, named BÉPO, proposes an arrangement of the keys which is based on a statistical study of the French language, with the letters or ponctuations predominantly used in the middle of the keyboard.

An AZERTY close to Apple keyboards

For enhanced QWERTY, the location of the letters is preserved, but special characters are improved. The new keyboard is similar to that of Apple computers, with easy access to the characters “@”, “Ï”, “#” but also “æ”, “œ”, “ç” or different types of quotation marks.

In the same way, accented capital letters appear. Finish the combination of keys to remember (ALT 0201 to write an É for example). To reach these new elements, it will be necessary to press a dedicated key or to make a combination with capital and AltGr.

A touch arrangement more adapted to European languages

The BÉPO keyboard is inspired by the English “Dvorak” keyboard and has been in existence for 16 years. Here, the order of the keys is changed. Afnor relied on the statistical use of keys to write in French, and more broadly Latin. Accents and special characters are arranged in the center or left of the keyboard.

The characters “/” and “\” are side by side, just like “<” and “>” or “(” and “)”. “This keyboard is recognized to see” the most ergonomic and efficient layout possible for the capture of French, other European languages […] but also for programming, “comments Afnor.

The choice to propose two keyboards rather than one comes from a public inquiry in June 2017. Two requests appeared: “do not change anything” and in the same proportion “change everything”.

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