ANSI vs ISO keyboard guide

Freewrite products come in two different keyboard varieties to accommodate users from all around the world. 

Both layouts are based on modified versions defined by two of the world's standards organizations, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). You will find the two layouts are quite similar however there are some small but important differences. 

Generally speaking, the ANSI layout is used predominantly in the United States and the ISO layout is used in the rest of the world. Look at the layouts below and match one to the keyboard you are currently using.

Ansi vs ISO keyboard comparison

NOTE: This article is discussing mechanical differences, not how each key is defined in software. To see all available keyboard mappings and languages supported, the full list of supported layouts is here: Freewrite Keyboard Layouts. You will see that most of the alternative layouts are for the ISO keyboard because languages other than English typically require an [Alt Gr] key. Once you receive your Freewrite, you will be able to add these alternative mappings to your device through Postbox. If you only write in English, you can use either ANSI or ISO, however, if you usually write on an ANSI keyboard and you choose ISO for your Freewrite, the shorter left [shift] key and upside-down L [return] key will take some getting used to.

Confused? Don't hesitate to reach out to us at and we will make sure you get the right keyboard for your needs.