Guideline E: Input and output interfaces

E7: Graphics positioning

Positioning of graphics

To show all the possible characters that can be entered from a particular key, you must show all these characters on the key in several different positions. The position of a character on a key indicates the level and group from which the character can be accessed. The ISO/IEC 9995 international standard specifies several possible arrangements.

Example: The Russian keyboard allows access to more than one language group. Below is a section of the Russian keyboard that shows a Cyrillic group of three shift levels, as well as a parallel Latin group. Each level is a keyboard state which permits access to one of several characters on a given key. In this particular key, we see that the lowercase letter a is assigned to Level 1 (Unshifted), the uppercase letter A is assigned to Level 2 (Shifted), and the asterisk is assigned to Level 3 (Alt). This same key may have three entirely different characters in another layer or group of the same keyboard.

Single Group Layout


Guideline E7


Do not restrict the positioning of graphics on the keyboard keys.


The particular technology used to create labels on keys should not interfere with multicultural support. Labels may be molded, silk-screened, painted, or otherwise marked onto the keys. The positions of the characters must be in accordance with the supported script.