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Keyboard Layout Proposal
Apple Computer, Inc. -- 1985

When the Macintosh was introduced, it had had tiny Option keys (used to type alternate characters, similar to the PC's ALT key). This made it very difficult to type special characters such as those required for various European languages. The keyboard also had only one Command key (used for keyboard shortcuts, similar to the PC's CTRL key). This required two hands to type some common commands (such as Command-P to print) and it took a contortionist to type Command-Shift combinations (such as Command-Shift-B to make text bold). In March of 1985 Bill proposed that Apple place large Command and Option keys on both sides of the Spacebar, and make the Spacebar narrower. This would make it much easier and faster to type special characters, possible to type keyboard shortcuts (such as Command-P) with one hand, and relatively easy to type Command-Shift combinations.

The proposal was not accepted at that time, but when the NeXT computer came on the market in 1988 its keyboard incorporated this concept, and currently all Macintosh and Windows PC keyboards use some variant on this theme.


The Option keys are too small. There's only one Command key (on the left).


There are large Option and Command keys on both left and right of the spacebar.



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