Customizing your keyboard is an excellent way to improve your typing experience. One thing that most people overlook, however, is the custom keycaps. Keycaps primarily serve aesthetic purposes, while switches affect the feel.
As for those who prefer to take it to the next level, purchasing kits of parts and building from scratch allows one to create a keyboard with just about any feature you can think of and not have any limitations.
When it comes to custom keyboards, one of the most exciting mods people like to do is a split spacebar which gives it a unique appearance. But what is a split spacebar, and how does it works on your keyboard? Let us have a brief look at these keyboards.
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What is a Split Spacebar mean?
A split spacebar keyboard is designed so that the spacebar key is separated into two or smaller separate keys, allowing you to bind different functions to the spacebar keys. For example, you can bind the functioning of other keys like Backspace and Enter to these split keys after remapping to get their functioning.,
The idea of a split spacebar may be initially off-putting, but users will find that it can add to their convenience by freeing up a suitable area on the keyboard. Split spacebars allow up to three times more keys than those found on standard keyboards.
It may not look like much, but considering the variety of functionalities that this simple key gives you, we reckon that the ideal term to describe it is “narrow spacebar.” Owing to the additional space taken by the spacebar, this change is more welcoming for the programmers and gamers who like to have their layout well managed.
A split spacebar can increase the productivity of the keyboard without changing the size and weight. The spacebar area is readily convenient for typing so that extra keys can ensure faster access to the keys.
Changing the regular spacebar with the split spacebar from outside may seem easier, but you can’t replace it. The extra keys will require more key switches, so the entire layout needs replacement when opting for the split spacebar on a standard keyboard.
The split spacebar keyboards are not common as the regular keyboards. They are not readily available in the market, and you have only a few options that are not even easier to find. The only remaining solution is investing in the PCB and building a custom keyboard from scratch to allow the split spacebar modification.
With that being said, let us look at why the split spacebar is so essential and the shortcomings you can face in typing when using a split spacebar keyboard.
Why is the Split Spacebar mechanical keyboard Desirable?
Before concluding about the advantages of the split space keyboard, we must first understand how does a spacebar work. When looking closely at the working of the spacebar, the idea of a split spacebar feels odd.
However, it provides more keys by narrowing the spacebar key and including remappable extra keys. You can assign them any function of your choice and take the functionality by utilizing the same space taken by a single spacebar.
Several possibilities let you modify the extra keys and use them accordingly. It all depends on your usage and the functionality that you want from the keyboard for your convenience.
Here are a few scenarios that let you understand that using extra keys can be helpful, especially when utilizing the same space used by the big spacebar.
If you are a writer and you want your typing work to get done in minutes, using the split spacebar helps. You can use the extra keys for the backspace and enter, making them reachable within your range. Initially, it can take some time to get used to but will help you in faster typing in the long run.
If you are a gamer and need extra keys for setting up macros or commands, a split spacebar can help. Having two extra keys within the middle of the keyboard can help you get the additional binds to work on these keys. It will increase your speed and make the gameplay easy.
Why is Split Spacebar not Good?
I have already written about the advantages of having a split spacebar on the keyboard. There are some downsides, too, but they are not worth considering. Some think the split spacebar is more like a tradeoff than an upgrade. They argue that a split spacebar can lead to more typing errors than a standard layout.
However, I don’t think this is the shortcoming of the split spacebar, as with little care and understanding of the layout, you can avoid the wrong key press. You have to keep an eye on the narrow keys and hit the right spot to register them, eliminating the errors you can make when not concentrating.
What is a Split Backspace Keyboard?
A split backspace keyboard has a layout that follows the idea of a split spacebar keyboard. It has a backspace key split into two keys. Each key has a different function, one doing the same work as backspace while the other is remappable.
The extra key helps assign the extra functionality and enables it to help you in different tasks. Narrowing the keys helps to make more space for extra keys. However, the size of the backspace keycap is smaller than the split spacebar keycaps due to the less space available for the backspace button in the layout.
When new to the split spacebar key concept, things can look odd. However, once you understand what is a split spacebar and how it is useful, you will consider the concept more practical.
The main drawback of the split spacebar keyboards is their availability. They are not easy to find, and you will build a custom keyboard. In the end, the choice of choosing the keyboard seems more personal as you have to analyze whether you need a split spacebar keyboard or not.