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Workman keyboard layout for MacOS

Workman and Workman-P Mac OSX keyboard layout packaged as a keylayout bundle includes alternate icons, similar in style to the system icons for other layouts like Dvorak or Colemak.

Workman-IO is the same as Workman, but with the I and O letters swapped. It was proposed by vjustin and has not been endorsed by OJ.


  • Copy to a Keyboard Layouts directory:
    • Copying the bundle to /Library/Keyboard Layouts/ requires administrator rights to the computer, but will allow the layout system-wide, including the OS X login screen. To enable input options on the login window, check the option in System Preferences / Users & Groups / Login Options / Show Input menu in login window.
    • ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts/ needs less access and is specific to just the user’s account it is saved to.
  • Log out of OS X and log back in.
  • Open System Preferences, click on the Language & Text icon, and in the Input Menu tab enable the Workman and/or Workman-P layout.
  • Make sure that the Show input menu in menu bar box is also checked.
  • To switch quickly between layouts you can press Command+Space or Command+Option+Space. Note, this hotkey combination conflicts with the default settings for showing Spotlight. Check your settings in System Preferences, Keyboard, Keyboard Shortcuts tab, Spotlight against Keyboard & Text Input.


There are variations to the Workman layout:


Special symbols (!, @, #, ...) are main characters of the top row so you need to hold the SHIFT key to input the numbers.

  • Workman Programmer Workman Programmer

  • Workman Programmer - SHIFT ⇧ Workman Programmer shift


Location of I and O keys are swapped (This is not officially approved.)

  • Workman IO Workman IO

Workman Extended

Adds accented letters and more internationalization.

  • Workman Extended - OPTION ⌥ Workman Extended

  • Workman Extended - SHIFT+OPTION (⇧+⌥) Workman Extended

Workman Dead (for programmers)

The idea of using 'dead' keys is based on assumption that pressing 2 easy keys is better than pressing 1 hard key. So to make it easier to type (programming) characters/symbols, we're going to press an easily reachable key (which will NOT output any character), release it and then press another easily reachable key to produce, say, @ character.

In this layout the COMMA key is a dead key, pressing it will cause keyboard enter a state in which a single stroke of other keys will output a different character than normal state. After that single stroke, the keyboard returns to its normal state.

For example, you'd press COMMA to enter the special state. Now if you strike the A key the output will be a forward slash "/". To see how to create other characters, refer to following images for more info.

To produce the COMMA character itself, just hit SPACE after entering 'dead' state.

This layout also changes the Numeric Keypad to be more programmer friendly when dealing with hexadecimal values.

  • Main Workman layout

Main layout

  • Dead State layout

This might also help you memorize it faster, the 0 and 1 are on the home keys:

dead state layout

The above layout is based on Arensito layout and Programmer Dvorak.

Dead State layout

In dead state, if you press ⌥ Option ( Alt ), you'll get these handy characters:

Dead State + Option

And if your keyboard has a numeric pad, holding Option will change it to:

Numeric Pad

Also note that a virtual numeric pad appears under your right hand.