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PC keyboard key sizes: variants and distances

As you know, within the keyboard market we can find different arrangements such as QWERTY which is the most common in Europe and North America, but there are also other provisions such as DVORAK or AZERTY, widely used in France. We also have the provisions ISO Y ANSI, and of course the different languages ​​that vary slightly some keys, such as the inclusion of the Ñ key in Spanish keyboards, but what about the size of the keys on each keyboard? Are they always the same?

There is no standard for keyboard keys

If you are fans of this world of hardware you will know that there are literally hundreds and hundreds of different keyboard models, and although the layout of the keys is standardized, it is not so with the size of these. For example, we can see keyboards with QWERTY layout ISO es_ES, which is standard, but that specific model has very small function keys, much more than what is “normal”.

Yes it is true that when we talk about the function keys, many manufacturers take licenses like the ones we have exposed in the example and make the keys quite different from the others, but it is also true that generally the keyboard keys tend to have all the same size or, rather, the same area (considering this the “flat” area on which we can put our finger).

This is essentially due to the size of the switches and the separation between them, since if keys were made too small, for example, the pressing surface would be too far apart due to the size of the switches (and they would also be uncomfortable to press with a such a small area) and, in the same way, if the keys were too large, the switches would have to be further separated from each other, something that would make the device uncomfortable to use and, in addition, would make the keyboard too large (or have to do without some keys so that it was not)

Large key keyboard

Therefore, although there is no standard regarding the size of the keys, we can consider that it is something almost almost standardized, essentially because of the size of the push-button switches and because otherwise the device could become uncomfortable. to use. However, and how could it be otherwise, there are exceptions, although it is true that they are quite isolated cases.

Now, as for the size of the caps, things can change, and the proof of this is that depending on the type of switch, you can use some caps or others. For example, keyboards with scissors or butterfly switches often use low-profile caps, just as Low Profile mechanical keyboards also use low-profile caps (not as flat as scissor or butterfly caps, but much lower than a conventional mechanical keyboard).

Keyboard keys

In the image above you have a clear example of this: on the left we have a normal mechanical switch with its “standard” size cap (which is not) and on the left a low profile key; it can be clearly seen that the size is different, and yet the pulsation area is the same.