Keyboard Layouts Simplified | ANSI vs ISO

Jun 07, 20

Keyboard Layouts Simplified | ANSI vs ISO


If you’re looking to build your own custom mechanical keyboard it’s important to understand the different types of layouts you can choose from.

If you haven’t already read our article on Keyboard Form Factors (The keyboard size), you definitely should. 

It’s equally important if not more important than choosing the right layout. If you want to read it you can click here.

Depending on the country you live in you might be used to one of two layouts. The ANSI if you live in the US or ISO if you live in Europe. Even if you live in the US you can still get an ISO layout if you want to, the same applies to ANSI and Europe.

So what exactly is a keyboard layout? the layout is the physical shape and size of the keys within a particular form factor.

Let’s take a look at how the different keyboard layouts look.


These two keyboard layouts are going to cover 95% of layouts you will see in any mechanical keyboards. In the two images below we have highlighted the differences between the two different layouts. If you have only lived in the US or Europe your entire life it’s entirely possible that you would only have seen one of these.

ANSI, keyboard layout

ISO, keyboard layout

We hope you found this short article useful in designing your future keyboard. If you want to know which form factor (keyboard size) you can read our article by clicking here.

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