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AZERTY facts for kids

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Latin keyboard layouts by country in Europe map
Geographic distribution of keyboards in Europe:
     QWERTY      QWERTZ      AZERTY      National layout (Turkey FGĞIOD, Latvia ŪGJRMV, Lithuania ĄŽERTY)      Non-Latin alphabet
KB France
AZERTY layout used in France

AZERTY is a specific layout for the characters of the Latin alphabet on typewriter keys and computer keyboards. The layout takes its name from the first six letters to appear on the first row of alphabetical keys; that is, (A Z E R T Y). Similar to the German QWERTZ layout, it is modelled on the English QWERTY layout.

It is used by most French and Flemish speakers based in Europe, although France and Belgium each have their own national variations on the layout. Luxembourg and Switzerland use the Swiss QWERTZ keyboard. Most of the residents of Quebec, the mainly French-speaking province of Canada, use a QWERTY keyboard that has been adapted to the French language.

This is how the AZERTY layout differs from the QWERTY layout:

  • A and Q are swapped
  • Z and W are swapped
  • M is moved from the right of N to the right of L [where colon/semicolon is on a US keyboard]
  • The digits 0 to 9 are on the same keys, but to be typed the shift key must be pressed. The unshifted positions are used for accented characters.

The French AZERTY keyboard also has special characters used in the French language, such as ç, à é, è, and other characters such as &, " ,' ,§, , all located under the numbers.

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