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Why I created this site

Short version:

Internationalization and the goal to create the most typographically accurate, international, multilingual, American-British-European “hybrid” keyboard layout ever.

Long version:
Hi! My name is Lenneurt, an enthusiast in languages, keyboards, typography, linguistics, and Unicode. I’ve been tinkering with custom keyboard layouts, learning about writing and typography, and bits of French here and there way back since 2015.

 

Then in 2016 I started my French studies at the Alliance Française which eventually led me to develop a strange interest in linguistics… and keyboard layout designs. I found out that typing non-English words was way harder than it should be, as they tend to force you to learn a completely different keyboard layout you are unfamiliar with.

 

I wanted to type French, but I still wanted to stick to the US QWERTY layout because I type English much more frequently (and I was unwilling to give up my number row). The deeper I delved into this subject the more complicated it becomes. There are simply too much symbols that when you need to type them outside of a word processing program like Microsoft Word, you have to learn weird shortcuts it’s usually better to not type them at all or replace them with something else. And the degree symbol ° is nowhere to be found!

 

It is even worse if you are thinking of typing accented letters on an English keyboard. The commonly given solution is to use unintuitive Alt codes — which do not work well or at all on my 13.3″ laptop without a dedicated number pad! A slightly better way is to open Character Map in Windows and hunt around for the symbol you need.​ Or define shortcuts in Microsoft Word, then copy and paste the symbol. Or resort to Google search. Or, even better, use the new Windows 10 symbols and emoji panel by pressing Win ⊞ + full stop (.) 

  • Alt – 0233 (é)

  • Alt – 0224 (à)

  • Alt – 0232 (è)

  • Alt – 0249 (ù)

  • Alt – 0226 (â)

  • Alt – 0234 (ê)

  • Alt – 0238 (î)

  • Alt – 0244 (ô)

  • Alt – 0251 (û)

  • Alt – 0235 (ë)

  • Alt – 0239 (ï)

  • Alt – 0252 (ü)

  • Alt – 0231 (ç)

How on earth am I supposed to type French or other stuff with codes I can barely remember?

Of all the accented letters I think “é” should be readily available in the American keyboard, not hidden in a Character Map.

Tired of the above methods, and wanting a more complete permanent solution, I tried the US-International keyboard layout driver in Windows and found out that “œ”, “nº”, Swiss guillemets ‹›, and the non-breaking space are all missing; so technically, French is not fully supported. I eventually grew frustrated of making typos such as “cést” instead of “c'est”.

 

I tried the French AZERTY keyboard, thinking that a French keyboard is best for typing French — but no — it too has the same problem of the notoriously missing œ ligature (found in the word “cœur” which means “heart”). Why should I learn that keyboard layout when the layout isn’t even optimised for the language it’s supposed to be optimised for?

Frustrated and not content with simply typing “coeur” and “hors d’oeuvres” which are considered spelling mistakes in French (it should be “cœur” and “hors-d'œuvres”, I started a personal research project all about keyboards and how to make my own, and then coincidentally the French government started some research about better French keyboard designs for their language. I got involved a little, by heading over to Francophone BÉPO forums for a while. I even managed to learn the obscure BÉPO layout (difficult to learn and troublesome to use).

Eventually I created a keyboard layout for myself, and added hundreds of symbols and dozens of languages, while making sure it can also work as a normal US QWERTY keyboard. 

 

I got tired of sharing my keyboard layout with my friends and family via my USB pendrive, and got even more tired explaining how to use it, especially to non-techie people who use Windows. So I asked myself “Why not put everything on a simple website?”.

Fun facts:
The US QWERTY+ (US Multilingual QWERTY Plus) is the very first keyboard layout that has “Intelligent Diacritics and Dead Keys Autocorrection System” built-in (because I invented it). The installation file for my keyboard layout starts with a number like 200 (because in the initial stages I meticulously edited the source code over 200+ times!).

If you like my keyboard layouts or find my research and findings interesting, kindly send me a donation via PayPal, or you can buy me “virtual coffees” on a nice platform called Ko-fi  ↗ where I also post some other content. You can also support me for free by watching some ads on uTip  ↗ (see that colourful U-shape button?) I appreciate your interest in supporting the development of my little project… or projects. °‿<

I’m afraid I’m not able to offer full support, but you can contact me via email at bkeyl.space@gmail.com

Other important info

This site’s content may change at any time without any given notice. The keyboard layout software is fully safe and functional and I use it everyday. Much effort has been made to ensure that the information on this site is accurate. Use this freeware for your own individual use, at your own risk.

© 2019 – today BKeyL