Autocad keyboards

10 Best AutoCAD Keyboards: All You Need to Know

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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AutoCAD is an easily customizable and very stable computer-aided design (CAD) application suitable for designing 2D and 3D drawings. Since AutoCAD is regarded as one of the best software solutions for architectural designing, a number of professionals including architects, interior designers, engineers most probably use AutoCAD in their line of work. AutoCAD keyboards intended for CAD tasks can complement and improve your AutoCAD work and increase your productivity.

It means that these keyboards enable you to type more effectively and cause less stress on fingers and wrists. Also, most of them have programmable buttons that are good when using the CAD software. Below, we’ve rounded up only the best keyboard for CAD that will greatly assist in your AutoCAD projects.

Our first keyboard, Logitech MX Keys, was selected because of its high ratings, long battery life, and ergonomic design for typing. It also has a good brand image. Our second pick is the Apple Magic Keyboard, which is made of minimalist design and is ideal for discreet typing. Our third pick is the Perrix Periboard Ergonomic Keyboard that has ergonomic split design for precise typing and a cushioned palm rest.

What is an AutoCAD Keyboard?

An AutoCAD keyboard is a special keyboard which has special keys assigned to give commands to AutoCAD. These keyboards typically have several features that are not found on standard keyboards, such as:

  • Dedicated AutoCAD shortcut keys: These keys enable you to perform the basic AutoCAD commands without typing out the full command.
  • Programmable macro keys: These keys can be programmed such that, a single touch can make them execute a given command.
  • Ergonomic design: AutoCAD keyboards can be ergonomically designed to be used for long durations.

Our Top 10 Best AutoCAD Keyboards

Here are some of our best keyboards that we recommend for beginner and experienced AutoCAD users:

1. Logitech MX Keys

Sale
Logitech MX Keys Advanced Wireless Illuminated...
  • Perfect stroke keys: Spherically dished keys match the shape of...
  • Comfort and stability: Type with confidence on a keyboard crafted...
  • Smart illumination hand proximity detection and automatic...
  • Flow cross computer control: Type on multiple computers in 1...
  • Multi device and multi OS: Compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux,...

The Logitech keyboard is our best CAD keyboard for a reason. Overall, this premium wireless gaming keyboard gave me a comfortable typing feel, long lasting battery, and flexibility. It has ergonomic design and all of the keys can be programmed as I wanted.

Image Credits: logitech.com

One of the main attractive features was the compatibility of the Logitech keyboard with up to three connected devices and compatibility with both Windows and macOS. I also found the backlighting to be useful for typing in dimly lit environments.

Pros:

  • A sturdy, well-built metallic frame
  • Tactile, responsive typing
  • White backlight
  • Programmable keys

Cons:

  • Cannot set macro on function keys

2. Apple Magic Keyboard

Apple Magic Keyboard - US English, Includes Lighting to...

Apple Magic Keyboard - US English, Includes Lighting to...
  • Magic Keyboard combines a sleek design with a built-in...
  • With a stable scissor mechanism beneath each key, as well as...
  • It pairs automatically with your Mac, so you can get to work...
  • And the battery is incredibly long-lasting—it will power your...
  • System Requirements: Bluetooth-enabled Mac computer with OS X...

This keyboard distinguished itself by its sleekness, impressive battery endurance, and practicality. I felt the critical travel quite shallow, however, not as shallow as the butterfly-type keyboard present in some MacBook models.

Image Credits: apple.com

It is really pleasant to type on and also does not make much noise, which is perfect when working in an open space. The Bluetooth connection with an Apple device is also as easy as pie.

Pros:

  • Low noise key switches
  • Good ergonomics
  • Small dimensions

Cons:

  • No backlighting

3. Perixx Periboard Ergonomic Keyboard

Perixx Periboard-512 Ergonomic Split Keyboard - Natural...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN - Split-key and 3-D design matches with to your...
  • TACTILE KEYSTROKES - Keystrokes are tactile in order to reduce...
  • PLUG AND PLAY FEATURE - Just plug your keyboard in your computer...
  • NEW WAY OF TYPING - The ergonomic split keyboard is different...
  • SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS - Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11; Wired USB...

This keyboard had an ergonomic design and was perfectly suitable for heavy CAD, which I used at the time. Due to the split design of the keyboard, I had two usable hand placement zones, which facilitated my typing. Furthermore, the wired unit does not require the use of dongles or similar peripherals.

Image Credits: perixx.com

As an engineer, I was particularly impressed with the layout of the keyboard. It featured 104 keys with a well-defined key travel that made my touch more real. I also liked the positioning and the position of the additional seven multimedia keys.

Pros:

  • Convenient split design
  • Full key travel
  • Multimedia keys
  • Palm rest

Cons:

  • Bulky design

4. Macally Wireless Keyboard 

Sale
Macally 2.4G Small Wireless Keyboard - Ergonomic &...
  • PERFECT ADDITION TO YOUR WORKSPACE: Our mini keyboard for PC has...
  • EASY SETUP WITH STRONG 2.4GHZ CORDLESS CONNECTION: Simply connect...
  • ERGONOMIC AND COMFORTABLE QUIET TYPING: The low profile design of...
  • ULTRA THIN, COMPACT, & ERGONOMIC KEYBOARD: Reclaim desk space...
  • DURABLE & LONG BATTERY LIFE: Keycaps on the cordless keyboard...

This wireless keyboard met my expectations of having a thin profile. Due to its simplicity, it is ideal for simple usage, and the basic structure provided me with a good typing feel. It supports up to two devices at a time; however, I was able to use it with Windows and macOS.

Image Credits: macally.com

The keyboard also has scissor key switch buttons, which were convenient to activate and offered good tactile feedback. Wireless connection made it possible for me to take the portable keyboard anywhere and have the luxury of a clean table.

Pros:

  • Low-noise key switches
  • Good ergonomics
  • Small dimensions
  • Wireless

Cons:

  • No backlighting

5. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard

Sale
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop USB Port Keyboard...
  • Split keyset design helps to position wrists and forearms in a...
  • Cushioned palm rest provides support and promotes a neutral wrist...
  • Domed keyboard design positions wrists at a natural, relaxed...
  • Separate number pad provides greater flexibility for workspace...
  • The shape of the mouse is designed to maximize wrist comfort

I considered this one of the best mechanical keyboards with no clicky mechanical switch. The key was quite comfortable to use and I did not feel any discomfort in my wrist area. Split design and curved natural arc key layout maintained my wrists’ natural position, and the palm rest and adjustable tilt legs made the typing easier.

Image Credits: microsoft.com

The fact that this keyboard had 104 keys and mechanical switches made the keyboard to be responsive to type on and I also loved the programmable keys and the number pad.

Pros:

  • Super comfortable design
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Includes an ergonomic mouse
  • Number pad

Cons:

  • No Bluetooth or wireless

6. Logitech G512 Mechanical Keyboard

Logitech G512 SE Lightsync RGB Mechanical Gaming...
  • High Performance RGB Keyboard with customizable full spectrum...
  • Clicky mechanical switch delivering distinctive sound and tactile...
  • Convenient USB pass-through port makes it a snap to plug in your...
  • Media and lighting controls are right at your fingertips. Use FN...
  • Customize lighting, game mode and macro custom programming with...

This device is primarily a gaming peripheral, but I discovered that its plethora of customization options is perfect for CAD work as well. If your working environment is layout-oriented, this concise-looking piece of equipment with 16. This amount of color illumination is perfect for the kind of atmosphere. In addition to the aesthetics, it provides reliability with its mechanical switches and a helpful USB slot.

Image Credits: logitech.com

My favorite feature about it is many controls and shortcut keys they offer. With the help of FN key, I can perform certain operations, control the brightness level, turn between two basic modes, and adjust every aspect according to my preference.

Pros:

  • High-performance illumination
  • Multimedia keys
  • Additional USB port

Cons:

  • Clicky mechanical keys

7. Logitech Craft

Sale
Logitech Craft Advanced Wireless Keyboard with Creative...
  • THE CROWN – A UNIQUE CREATIVE INPUT DIAL. The Crown is a...
  • OPTIMISED WORKFLOW. Install profiles in Logitech Options to...
  • PREMIUM TYPING. Type with confidence on a keyboard crafted for...
  • SMART ILLUMINATION. The backlit keys light up the moment your...
  • INTUITIVE USER EXPERIENCE. Enjoy a balanced and natural creative...

The standout feature of the keyboard was its arrangement. The keys are unique with square caps at the top and a large round indentation in the center of the key. After getting used to this format, and with each successive keystroke, my fingers hit the middle key perfectly.

Image Credits: logitech.com

I also like that it is comfortable but not too lightweight. First, it is compatible with Macs and PCs, second, I can connect up to three different devices. The backlighting of the keys is good and intense, thus remaining helpful without creating strain on the eyes.

Pros:

  • Low noise key switches
  • Good ergonomics
  • Small dimensions
  • Backlight

Cons:

  • Can be expensive

8. Arteck Universal 2.4G Keyboard 

Arteck Universal 2.4G Wireless and Bluetooth Touch TV...
  • 3 Devices Switch with A Single Clicking: This keyboard is able to...
  • Wireless TV Keyboard with Touchpad: Enjoy the easily control of...
  • 10 Meters (33 Feet) Wireless Range: Enjoy trouble-free connection...
  • Wide Compatibility: Works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Mac, Android,...
  • What You Get: Arteck HD197 Wireless Keyboard with Touch Pad, nano...

This wireless and Bluetooth mechanical keyboard came with the standard 104 keys and membrane switches; I liked it because it was easy to type on. I also liked the availability of programmable buttons used to control media while using a TV or a computer.

Image Credits: artech.wireless-keyboard.org

I had the chance to connect the keyboard to up to 3 devices at once and it supports both Windows and MacOS making it perfect for someone like me who uses different devices and needs something which is portable yet versatile for use.

Pros:

  • Wide compatibility
  • Trackpad
  • Easy media control

Cons:

  • Not illuminated

9. Razer Pro Type

Sale
Razer Pro Type: Wireless Mechanical Productivity...
  • Razer Orange Mechanical Switches: Enjoy more responsive, tactile...
  • Ergonomic design: Keycaps lined with a fingerprint-resistant,...
  • Fully programmable keys with macro recording: Customize to best...
  • Bluetooth and wireless connectivity: Pair the keyboard with up to...
  • White LED backlit keys: Adjust the brightness of the keyboard’s...

The Bluetooth and wireless keyboard is beauty, performance, and comfort. Of course, this is not the most affordable keyboard on the market, but you will appreciate all the additional features, not mentioning the absence of wires in front of you.

Image Credits: razer.com

Typing in a shared environment means choosing a keyboard that is comfortable to use and is not invasive to other people nearby. This can be an issue with mechanical keyboards, but the Pro Type addresses this by having Razer mechanical switches that make typing less noisy.

Pros:

  • Fully programmable keys
  • Durable design
  • Ergonomic
  • LED backlighting

Cons:

  • Battery drains quickly

10. DSI Left-Handed Keyboard 

Are you left-handed? If that is the case, then this specialized mechanical keyboard is the perfect choice for you.

Image Credits: dsi-keyboards.com

It has an inverted numeric keypad that means the keys are arranged in a way that will favor the left-handed individuals to input numbers with their right hand with ease. The palm rest and the tilt legs that can be adjusted were convenient, and it had mechanical key switches that were very sensitive.

Pros:

  • High durability
  • Ergonomic build
  • Left-handed design

Cons:

  • No backlight
  • No Bluetooth or wireless

How to Choose the Right AutoCAD Keyboard

When it comes to selecting a keyboard for CAD or Revit, there are certain key factors that should be taken into consideration before making the purchase to get the best for your use.

1. Keyboard Layout

The first of which is the keyboard layout. While using CAD or Revit, you are going to use the mouse all the time. A full-size keyboard with the numpad on the right hand side is normally wide and might make one slouch while working.

A full size 75% wide keyboard with no numpad is usually more preferable. However, if you type with Numpad frequently, it is possible to either buy a separate Numpad and place it to the left or opt for a more compact keyboard.

2. Programmable Keys

Programmable keys can add a lot to productivity as it is possible to assign certain readily used commands to a button. This is particularly helpful if you spend a lot of time using macros. Search for a keyboard that has built-in pad keys that can easily be programmed depending on one’s wants.

3. Key Switches

There are three basic categories of key switches: mechanical, membrane, and optical. Mechanical switches are most clicky and satisfying to use, but they are also the noisiest. Membrane switches are the least noisy but are not as clicky or sensitive. Optical switches are a relatively new category of switch that is steadily gaining popularity. They are passive, like buttons, but they are even sturdier.

It is important to know that some key switches are louder than others and can create a clicking sound. If you are collaborating with your peers in the same office, some can be irritated by that.

4. Ergonomics

Prolonged use of CAD keyboard may put a lot of stress on your wrist and hand muscles. Make sure that the keyboard has some features like the wrist rest, low profile and or adjustable for the tilt to help in avoiding the discomfort.

5. Operating System 

For architectural designs and modeling, you require a powerful computer that can help you in your work. Ensure that the keyboard in use is compatible with the operating system of your computer.

6. Connectivity

Take into consideration the connectivity features of the keyboard. Wired keyboards provide a stronger connectivity as compared to wireless keyboards but the later provides more flexibility and mobility. Select the type of connection that is most suitable for your keyboard.

Conclusion

An AutoCAD keyboard can be a great find for any AutoCAD user who wants to make his work experience comfortable and efficient. It does not matter the kind of requirements you have, there is a special keyboard for AutoCAD that you can use. Selecting an appropriate keyboard can help you enhance your efficiency and at the same time allow you have fun while at it.

Frequently Asked Questions on AutoCAD Keyboards

1. What keyboard is best for AutoCAD?

Choosing the right keyboard for AutoCAD depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the user. For most users, a full-sized keyboard with a numeric keypad is ideal. You will need a keyboard that has several buttons which you can map your most used shortcuts to it. The best keyboards for AutoCAD are Logitech MX Keys, Apple Magic Keyboard, and Perrix Periboard Ergonomic Keyboard.

2. What are the keys in AutoCAD?

Keyboard keys used in AutoCAD are of different types in order to perform different functions. Some of the most common keys include:

  • Enter: This key is used to execute a command.
  • Spacebar: This key is used to select objects or to move the cursor.
  • Arrow keys: When using a computer or drawing tablet for architectural designs, these keys move the cursor around the drawing area.
  • F keys: The function keys are used to perform various operations and get to different options. For example, F1 displays help for the current command.
  • Panning: This key is used to pan the drawing area.
  • Zooming: This key is used to zoom in or out of the drawing area.

3. What is the F9 key of the keyboard for AutoCAD?

The F9 key in AutoCAD helps to turn the grid on or off. The grid is a number of equally spaced horizontal and/or vertical lines used to guide placement of points and shapes.

4. How many commands are in AutoCAD?

AutoCAD has over 3500 commands and only a mere fraction of them have been discussed in this article. Nevertheless, not all of these commands are utilized by everybody. The four frequently used commands are the ones that are used in creation and management of other entities like line, circle or text.

Here are some of the most common AutoCAD commands:

  • Line: Creates a line object.
  • Circle: Creates a circle object.
  • Text: Creates a text object.
  • Erase: Deletes an object.
  • Copy: Copies an object to a new location.
  • Scale: Scales an object up or down.
Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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