Keyboard layouts: What does Australia use?

Keyboard layouts What does Australia use

As an Australian, you may have noticed the differences in your keyboard when compared to those used overseas. But what exactly is the difference?

When you’re setting up a new PC for Australia, an important part of the configuration is choosing your keyboard layout. You should select ‘Australia’ as your region and opt for the US-International Layout.

According to beconnected.esafety.gov.au, Australians use the United States International Layout.

Why Does Australia Use The Us-International Layout?

To understand why Australia uses the US-international layout, it’s important to look at how computers have evolved. In the early days of computing, nearly all keyboards used a typewriter-style QWERTY keyboard format that was developed in 1868 by Christopher Sholes and has been adapted since then. This form of button placement stayed largely unchanged until later on when computer manufacturers began experimenting with different layouts to reduce typing errors – such as Dvorak or Colemak – but these never quite caught on due to their unfamiliarity and complexity.

The need for a reliable international standard arose from increasing global communication through digital means which led to a new era of cross-cultural collaboration – something we’re still witnessing today.

To facilitate this growing demand for remote collaboration tools, companies ended up adopting the familiar QWERTY design into what we now call “US International”: a standardized version of the QWERTY design with additional symbols and characters added specifically to language needs across borders.

Given its familiarity, ease of use, and ability to support multiple languages simultaneously, US International quickly became the go-to choice for many countries around the world – including Australia – who needed consistent key mapping between devices regardless of geographic location or language requirements.

As such, most Australian keyboards are configured using this layout because it provides users with access to common symbols while retaining compatibility with English text entry conventions and other Latin-based alphabets.

Differences Between The UK And US Keyboard Layout

Despite its similarity to the QWERTY format, there are some noteworthy differences between the US-International keyboard layout and the UK version.

To start with, many of the punctuation keys that appear in a standard English keyboard such as colons (:), semicolons (;), and quotation marks (” “) have been shifted around or removed entirely on certain models of International keyboards.

US-International Keyboard
US Keyboard

 

 

 

 

This can make it difficult for users used to typing with traditional British layouts to find what they’re looking for when using an international model.

Furthermore, while both versions contain special characters specific to their respective language needs – i.e. pound (£) versus dollar ($) signs – Americans often opt for a dedicated number pad layout which includes additional mathematical operations like ‘+’ and ‘=’ symbols whereas British users prefer a more compact design without these extra buttons.

UK keyboard
UK keyboard

 

 

 

Additionally, In addition, American keyboards tend to feature larger enter key sizes compared to other countries such as Britain where smaller return keys are preferred due to preference for space efficiency and aesthetics.

How To Change Your Keyboard Layout In Windows 7

With Windows 7, you can easily customize your computer’s input settings and make it easier for those of us who use different languages or need extra functionality when typing in various applications.

Here’s how you go about doing that:

  1. Open up the Control Panel by clicking on the Start Menu and then selecting ‘Control Panel’ from the list of programs.
  2. Select ‘Region and Language’ which is located under Clock, Language, and Region.
  3. Click on the ‘Keyboards and Languages’ tab and then select ‘Change Keyboards’.
  4. This will bring up a dialog box showing all available keyboards installed on your system – simply checkmark the ones you want to be enabled then hit OK once done!

The changes should take effect immediately so if everything looks good just close out these windows until next time.

How To Change Your Keyboard Layout In Windows 10/11?

  1. Open up the Control Panel by clicking on the Start Menu and then selecting ‘Control Panel’ from the list of programs.
  2. Select ‘Clock, Language and Region’ followed by ‘Language’. Now click on ‘Advanced Settings’ which will bring up another window with various options – select ‘Change Keyboard Layout’ and pick an available layout such as Australia (or whatever else suits your needs).
  3. Once selected hit OK and that should do it!

But wait; there’s one extra feature available only through Windows 10 – language bar settings that enable switching between multiple input methods without having to go into Control Panel each time change is needed – now that convenience took a whole new level right?

Read about: ANSI vs ISO: Which keyboard layout is best?

How Do I Configure The Default Keyboard Layout During Login?

  1. Start the registry editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Go to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Keyboard Layout\Preload
  3. Double-click on 1 and change the number to your default layout (not sure what your default layout is? Check: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Keyboard Layout\Preload1).
  4. Click OK
  5. Exit the registry editor
  6. Restart your computer/laptop

To summarize:

Feature US Keyboard UK Keyboard
Number of Keys 104 105 (102 excluding function and other keys)
Layout QWERTY QWERTY
Language Support English English, Welsh, Gaelic, Irish
Extra Keys None £, €, #, ~, \|
Position of Keys Enter key is single row and large, located above the backslash key Enter key spans two rows, and is narrower to accommodate the #/~ key
Function Keys Row of 12 function keys at the top of the keyboard Row of 13 function keys at the top of the keyboard
Shift Key Right shift key is smaller Left shift key is smaller; ⇧ Shift+` produces ¬
Alt Key Located to the right of the spacebar Replaced by an AltGr key to the right of the spacebar; AltGr+` produces ¦ (broken bar)
Windows Key Located between the Ctrl and Alt keys on the left side Located between the left Alt and left Ctrl keys
Return Key Labeled “Return” or “Enter” Labeled “Return” or “Enter”, with a backslash (“\”) symbol above it; AltGr+vowel produces the acute accent variant of that vowel as needed for Irish
Caps Lock Key Labeled “Caps Lock” Labeled “Caps Lock”, with a pound sterling symbol above it
Symbol Keys $ symbol is above the number 4 key £ symbol is above the number 3 key; € (euro sign) is produced by AltGr+4 and is shown as a secondary symbol
Arrow Keys Located in an inverted T shape Located in a horizontal row
Backslash Key Located above the Enter key, with a vertical bar symbol above it Moved to the left of the Z key, with a hash

See Also: ANSI vs ISO: Which keyboard layout is best? 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Advantages Of Using The Us-International Layout In Australia?

This keyboard layout has many advantages, including increased flexibility when entering special characters, improved efficiency with common tasks like coding, and reduced fatigue due to the ergonomic design of the keys.Using this keyboard allows you to quickly enter various international symbols without having to switch between different layouts or memorize complex key combinations.

Author:
I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...