As most of the users here, I spend a considerably amount of my daily time typing in LaTeX. I think that the typing position of the hands, at least for the US layout, should be different from the one suggested for typing plain text. For example, the right hand should lay on the right edge of the keyboard, so that to be able to press backslash and the brackets faster. What do you think about it? Does anybody know of any study regarding the subject? It would be nice to build an optimal finger map for LaTeX writers!

Ps: in view of recent comments, I type mathematics, so I am looking for people from any discipline that are used to type special characters such as backslash, dollar, brackets etc.

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    I suppose I really ought to learn to type and not just use one (or sometimes two) fingers on each hand, the \ is bottom left on this keyboard, next to z.... Oct 18, 2019 at 14:55
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    It has been my experience that the hand adapts to the keyboard. Years ago, I used an old (DEC I think) keyboard in which the CTRL was to the left of A. I had a very difficult time when IBM PCs came along and moved it to the bottom left. But, eventually, the hand remembers. I seem to recall that there are (or were) keyboard remapping tools, so that you can essentially reassign the keys to the whole keyboard, if you wanted to. In the end, I think it's all what you get used to. No disrespect intended. Oct 18, 2019 at 16:03
  • asking "what do you think about it" is I think a sign that this question is not a good match for this site, where it meets the standard "close" reasons of "too broad" and "opinion based" Oct 18, 2019 at 16:37
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    I have a keyboard on my laptop that has a backslash accessible from both the left and right hand. So, I'd think that you could also solve your issue by getting a different keyboard rather than a different hand/finger layout.
    – Werner
    Oct 18, 2019 at 16:57
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    Just to say, this is actually quite important. Bad typing posture and technique can be bad for your fingers. Getting something comfortable is very important. Here's an old question on this: ‪tex.stackexchange.com/a/1985/86 Oct 18, 2019 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


I don't adapt my hands to the keyboard, buy the keyboard to my hands.

I don't use the number keypad to enter numbers, and many code editors allow to redefine the meaning of these keys. So, depending on the project I redefine Numpad+, Numpad-, etc., to the most frequent macros.

I've even reassigned the most common shortcuts in my editor (Notepad++) to either Ctrl or Shift-Ctrl just because for my fingers it's more comfortable. I avoid Alt-Ctrl.

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