AZERTY Keyboard

Definition of AZERTY Keyboard

An AZERTY keyboard is a type of keyboard layout predominantly used in French-speaking countries like France and Belgium. AZERTY keyboards differ from standard QWERTY keyboards by placing the ‘A’ and ‘Z’ keys in the top left corner, among other character placement changes. This layout is designed to accommodate special French characters, accents, and punctuation marks, thus making typing more convenient for French-language users.


The phonetics of the keyword “AZERTY Keyboard” can be represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) as: /ˈæzɚti ˈkiːbɔːrd/. In a more casual phonetic representation, it could be written as: “AZ-er-tee KEY-bord”.

Key Takeaways

  1. AZERTY keyboard layout is primarily used in French-speaking countries such as France and Belgium, providing easy access to special characters used in the French language, like é, è, ê, and ë.
  2. The AZERTY layout gets its name from the first six letters in the top row of the keyboard. Compared to the more common QWERTY layout, some characters are rearranged, which can be confusing for users transitioning between the two types.
  3. While the AZERTY layout is optimized for typing in French, it might be less efficient for other languages, especially English. Accents and special French characters may not be applicable or needed in other languages.

Importance of AZERTY Keyboard

The AZERTY keyboard is important as it represents a variation of the standard QWERTY keyboard layout that has been adapted for use predominantly in French-speaking countries like France and Belgium.

It allows users to easily access French-specific characters, like accented letters (e.g., é, è, ê, and ë), and punctuation marks commonly used in the French language, while also enabling more convenient typing for French words and phrases.

By providing an efficient and user-friendly typing experience for those who speak and write in French, the AZERTY keyboard layout plays a significant role in enabling smoother communication and supporting the widespread use and development of digital technology in French-speaking regions.


The AZERTY keyboard serves as an ergonomic and efficient tool that caters to the specific linguistic needs of several countries, predominantly in French-speaking communities. Its primary purpose is to ensure seamless, convenient, and accurate input of the French language’s distinctive characters and accented letters. The keyboard layout is designed strategically, by placing frequently used letters closer together, to promote natural and swift typing in French.

In addition to facilitating the incorporation of French accents and facilitating the typing of specialized characters, the AZERTY keyboard layout also streamlines the use of unique punctuation marks and symbols that are frequently encountered within the language. While it is named AZERTY based on the first six letters on the upper left row, much like the commonly used QWERTY keyboard for English speakers, there are some crucial differences that set it apart. For instance, the AZERTY keyboard provides direct access to characters such as “é,” “è,” “ê,” and “ë” without the need for additional key combinations.

Besides being the standard keyboard for France and Belgium, it is also utilized in other countries such as Algeria, Morocco, and Switzerland. Although best suited for French speakers, the AZERTY keyboard is adaptable and can be customized to accommodate other languages as well. In today’s global and interconnected society, it aids in promoting ease of communication, enhancing productivity, and offering a tailored experience for various linguistic demographics.

Examples of AZERTY Keyboard

France and Belgium: The AZERTY keyboard originated in France and is predominantly used in French-speaking countries, such as France and Belgium. It was created in the early 20th century to accommodate the French alphabet and typing requirements more effectively. In these countries, you can find AZERTY keyboards in schools, offices, and homes as the standard computer input device.

French Language Learning Programs: Many language learning programs, such as Rosetta Stone and Duolingo, accommodate users who prefer AZERTY keyboards to learn French. Students can configure their software settings to utilize the AZERTY layout, making it easier to practice typing in French and memorize common letter combinations.

AZERTY Keyboard Apps for Smartphones: With the rise of smartphones and touch screen technology, several mobile applications and digital keyboards allow users to switch between different keyboard layouts, including AZERTY. For example, Google’s Gboard and Apple’s iOS keyboard offer AZERTY options for users who are familiar with this layout or are native French speakers.


What is an AZERTY keyboard?

An AZERTY keyboard is a type of keyboard layout predominantly used in French-speaking countries such as France and Belgium, where it was first introduced. The name AZERTY comes from the arrangement of letters in the first row of the keyboard.

What is the difference between an AZERTY keyboard and a QWERTY keyboard?

The main difference between an AZERTY keyboard and a QWERTY keyboard is the positioning of the keys. While QWERTY keyboards have the letters Q, W, E, R, T, and Y in the top left corner, AZERTY keyboards have the letters A, Z, E, R, T, and Y in the same position. Some other keys are also rearranged in the AZERTY layout, adapting it better for French-language typing.

Why are AZERTY keyboards used in certain countries?

AZERTY keyboards are used predominantly in French-speaking countries because they have been designed specifically to facilitate typing in the French language. The layout makes it easier to access special characters and accents that are commonly used in French writing but not found in other languages.

Is it possible to switch between AZERTY and QWERTY keyboard layouts on a computer?

Yes, it’s possible to switch between AZERTY and QWERTY keyboard layouts on a computer. Most operating systems, including Windows and macOS, allow you to change your keyboard layout in their system settings. You may need to add or install an additional language pack or keyboard layout before switching.

Are there any disadvantages to using an AZERTY keyboard?

One disadvantage of using an AZERTY keyboard is that it may not be suitable for typing in languages other than French. Some characters or symbols found in other languages may be difficult or impossible to access on an AZERTY keyboard. Additionally, if you’re accustomed to a QWERTY keyboard, it can take time to adjust to the different key layout on an AZERTY keyboard.

Related Technology Terms

  • QWERTY Keyboard
  • Key Layout
  • Typing Speed
  • French Keyboard
  • Keyboard Configuration

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms