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What computer keyboards are in use in Poland?

vjmehra 16 | 80
21 Mar 2014 #1
Out of curiosity what keyboards (computer not the musical type) do people use in Poland and where can you buy them from?

This isn't for business, its simply to make typing easier for me without having to use multiple keystrokes or continually copy/pasting when doing my homework or using Rosetta Stone :-)

I found some old threads on the subject, but nothing recent, so I was wondering if there have been any new developments!

As its not for an office, it wouldn't have to be a standard layout (if such a thing exists), just something physical (i.e. not a virtual keyboard) that removes the need for multiple keystrokes!
Lenka 5 | 3,476
21 Mar 2014 #2
Standard English one. Nothing new. At least most of the ppl use that keybord.
Wulkan - | 3,203
21 Mar 2014 #3
We use ordinary keyboards
22 Mar 2014 #4
Logitech Wireless K270

US International version. Great keyboard. I am using it with my laptop.
kpc21 1 | 763
23 Mar 2014 #5
At least most of the ppl use that keybord.

All Poland uses it. A different situation was in case of typewriters, where we used a layout based on the German one (QWERTZ). Yet in Windows XP Polish-language edition this "typewriter" layout was installed by default apart from the standard one having Polish letters under key combinations with Alt (and if I remember well, in Windows 98 this QWERTZ layout was a default setting!). I think it may be still used by people who've learnt touch typing on typewriter - but usually it's a reason of funny situations if someone switches the layout incidentally (Ctrl+Shift keyboard shortcut in Windows).

If in your country you are using a standard US keyboard, just change the keboard layout into Polish (not Polish 214! - it's this typewriter's one; in older Windows versions the proper one was called "programmer's") . Then you have Polish letters under combinations with right Alt. For example Alt+A -> Ą. The exception is -, where you use Alt+X, as Alt+Z is for Ż. All the Latin alphabet is available normally from the Polish keyboard layout.
OP vjmehra 16 | 80
23 Mar 2014 #6
That's interesting, I would have assumed there was a 'Polish Keyboard' as it massively slows down typing when using multiple keystrokes!

I guess you can assign macros to some keys with some keyboards, so maybe I'll try getting one of those instead!
Bieganski 17 | 890
23 Mar 2014 #7
I would have assumed there was a 'Polish Keyboard' as it massively slows down typing when using multiple keystrokes!

If you personally are in need of a Polish alphabet keyboard they are available however I note that you don't say which country you currently live in or which OS you use.

Apple offers a wireless keyboard with a physical layout containing characters unique to the Polish alphabet:

If you do own a Mac then do a search online for part number MC184PL/B.
OP vjmehra 16 | 80
23 Mar 2014 #8
Looks very cool, but I have a PC not a mac :-(

I live in the UK so have what I believe is a standard British/US layout.
Bieganski 17 | 890
23 Mar 2014 #9
I live in the UK so have what I believe is a standard British/US layout.

You might find such a keyboard then on eBay or you may have to go the route of finding stickers or a dual alphabet keyboard skin. A language speciality book shop may carry such items or even a local school which teaches Polish may know suppliers of such items they can refer you to.
Jardinero 1 | 405
23 Mar 2014 #10
a standard British/US layout

Note the two are different...
OP vjmehra 16 | 80
23 Mar 2014 #11
Ah probably British then!
Jardinero 1 | 405
23 Mar 2014 #12
The British layout features an oversized return/enter key which I like a lot...
OP vjmehra 16 | 80
23 Mar 2014 #13
Yep that's the one!
Vincent 9 | 892
23 Mar 2014 #14
so maybe I'll try getting one of those instead!

Amazon seems to have a few in stock.
kpc21 1 | 763
23 Mar 2014 #15
Hm... It seems that it's easier to buy one abroad than here in Poland :) I have never seen such one in supermarkets. And I don't know anyone who would use this layout.

The speed of writing is just a matter of experience. For me pressing two keys together doesn't make typing slower, anyway so is also in case of capital letters and it's not a problem.

The version with "oversized" Enter is most popular in Poland, although I meet ones with Enter of "single" height too. There are also differences in Backspace size, sometimes it's of normal "single" width, sometimes it's double (the \| key goes then into different weird places, sometimes it's next to right Shift, which is then smaller) and they are equally common here.

I meant this one:


Because the "oversized" Enter can be also in two versions. This one is most popular in Poland. Which doesn't mean that one cannot meet other British or American ones here.
gumishu 13 | 6,140
24 Mar 2014 #16
I would have assumed there was a 'Polish Keyboard' as it massively slows down typing when using multiple keystrokes!

It doesn't slow down typing that much when you are used to it
OP vjmehra 16 | 80
24 Mar 2014 #17
Amazon seems to have a few in stock.

Yeah I saw this, the pictures aren't that clear, I was wondering if they were genuine (its rare but occasionally even Amazon makes mistakes)!
Polonius3 994 | 12,367
24 Mar 2014 #18
POLISH 214 is your only wise choice if you wish to quickly and efficiently type Polish chatracters on your PC without the drudgery of double or triple typing via the ALT key and see the characters right on your keyboard. Such a keyboard can be ordered from:

Or you can simply order PL 214 keyboard stickers to affix to your English keyboard:
Smart Keyboard Solutions
4450 E McDowell Rd, # D 115 - Phoenix, AZ 85008 - Phone: 877-477-1988
Vincent 9 | 892
24 Mar 2014 #19
I was wondering if they were genuine (its rare but occasionally even Amazon makes mistakes)!

They are a reputable company, I would hardly think they would make a mistake like that. It would be a lot of unnecessary trouble for them, if costumers keep sending them back because they weren't 'as described'.
27 Oct 2015 #20
Where to buy keyboard skin in polish language?

This is the easiest solution if you want to use two languages on one keyboard. You can set two languages on MacBook Pro. I have newest version of software and the potion is there. Just can't find the skin with polish letters. Somebody will make money on that.
Dougpol1 31 | 2,640
27 Oct 2015 #21
ou can set two languagess on MacBook Pro

Only people with more money than sense buy a MacBook. Why would anyone want to pay good money for such a comparatively weak processor?

Beats me.
jon357 74 | 22,054
28 Oct 2015 #22
It would improve my quality of life if you could switch between Polish and English on an iPad with just one click, certainly.

I like my Macbook - they last for years and in fact I got mine second-hand through Amazon Marketplace and have had it for a while now. One reason to use them is that if you have an iPhone and iPad, all three sync beautifully.

About the keyboard in Polish, I find the Macbook one is much better than Windows. Relatively easy to switch from one to another (I have to do this a lot) and the basic Polish keyboard is much less hassle than either of the ones that come with Windows.
kpc21 1 | 763
28 Oct 2015 #23
Is it in Windows difficult? Ctrl+Shift on the keybard, or you can set another shortcut if you want to.
jon357 74 | 22,054
28 Oct 2015 #24
Setting shortcuts is for the techie among us. With OS X you just click and bob's your uncle.

Once you've had Mac, there's no going back...
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 498
28 Oct 2015 #25
The official standard, modified QWERTZ keyboard fell out of use in early '00 (it wasn't really never popular). Nowadays, it's almost always US International or UK with US international prints (so- large Enter, \ sign between z and ctrl)
Polonius3 994 | 12,367
28 Oct 2015 #26
slows down typing

I too intially couldn't figure out why Poles would use the "cowboy" (US) keybaord rather than their own. As it was explaiend to me, it was not a matter of preference but availabiltiy. The first comptuers were składaki, assembled by small fly-by-night firms from usually cheap Made in Asia parts catering to the huge US market where the US keyboard prevailed. Poels got used to it and don't mind double-typing for Polish letters. Most don't even know there's an alternative.

That does not change the fact that Polish 214 is ideal for both Polsih and English plus a few other languages thrown in. Not only is faster typing possible but it is far more convenient and versatile, becuase everything is right up front on the keyboard. You don't double-type to type Polish diacritics: ą, ć, ę, ł, ń, ó, ś, ś, ź and ż. Neither do you have to go into the INSERT mode of the toolbar to type garçon, façade as well as déjà vu, Übermensch, mañana, Višehrad and others with no hassle.

But the clusmy, time-consuming and non-versatile Polish double-type Programmer's Keyboard rules the roost. Poles are a docile lot and readily take what they get. If more Poles had demanded the Polish 214, it would have become widely available. Incidentally, even postage-stamp-sized countries like Denmark use their own national keyboards, but not Poland!
InPolska 9 | 1,816
28 Oct 2015 #27
Absolutely, Pol! Almost all countries with languages using "signs" have their own keyboard and also characters are arranged on keyboard according to the frequency or not of their use. Thus, no need to press half a dozen different keys at same time to get a "sign" and letters used most often in any given language are placed at more convenient places. I personally use a French keyboard and I do type very fast all the more as I don't need to press half a dozen keys to get "accents and various signs". If I need to type some Polish (rarely but "unfortunately" I have a " ł " in my (Polish) name)), I just go to "special characters" and that's it.

I don't understand why there is no Polish keyboard...
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 498
28 Oct 2015 #28
I don't understand why there is no Polish keyboard...

there was.
but better one won the market.

good luck with programming on the Polish QWERTZ keyboard.

but frankly speaking, I'd love it much more if the Colemak/Dvorak keyboards would take over.
Polonius3 994 | 12,367
28 Oct 2015 #29
why there is no Polish keyboard.

I tried to explain that Poles are extremely docile vis-vis-à-vis the West, America in particular. That tends to make the uncritical and extremely receptive to everything coming from there (including some of the really idiotic sticome they show on Polish TV). The French are far more assertive with regards to their indigenous culture, probably in large part due to their inbred dislike of Anglos in any size. shaep or form..

But let Poles pretend to be Yanks or cowboys, as long as I'm able to merrily type away on my trusty and reliable 214! Vive la (le?) deux cent quatorze! (Mon français n'est pas si bon!)
kpc21 1 | 763
28 Oct 2015 #30
it wasn't really never popular

It used to be popular in the times of typewriters. My theory for this (I think I have read it somewhere, but I am not sure about that) is that they were most frequently imported from Germany, and the "214" layout is just adaptation of the German keyboard layout for the Polish alphabet. To convert a German typewriter to the Polish language, it was enough to exchange the fonts (physically, the metal casts, I am not sure if font is the proper English word here) with umlauts into ones with Polish-specific letters.

There was also probably a lot of cases of typewriters used in German offices before the WW2 (or during the WW2 in the most of the area of the current Poland, which was then occupated by Germany), which turned out to be located in Poland and to be used in Polish offices after the war. In this case, it was also the easiest just to exchange some fonts and descriptions on the keys.

When someone gets used to one keyboard layout, he is able to type without looking at the keyboard, without looking for the key needed. And it's not easy for him to switch to another one. I am now in Germany and when I have to use a public computer, I switch to the QWERTY layout if only I am able to. Once I wasn't able to (it's also rather impossible when you need to type in German, because you don't have access to the German signs then) and it was really annoying. All the time I was putting Z instead of Y and vice versa, not to mention the punctuation characters, which are also located in different places.

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