AutoCAD is a powerful and adaptable computer-aided design (CAD) software to create 2D and 3D drawings. If you're an architect, interior designer, or engineer, you have probably used AutoCAD in your projects, as it's one of the best software for architectural design work. A great way to simplify your AutoCAD projects and improve your productivity is to use AutoCAD keyboards specifically designed for CAD.
These keyboards often allow you to type faster and give you less strain on your fingers and wrists. Additionally, most of them come with programmable buttons, which are great when working with CAD applications. In this article, we've curated a top 10 list to help you find the best keyboard for CAD that will extensively help you streamline your AutoCAD projects.
We chose our first keyboard, the Logitech MX Keys, for its excellent customer reviews, long battery life, and comfortable typing experience. It also has a strong brand reputation. The Apple Magic Keyboard is our second choice and comes in a sleek minimalist design, and is excellent for your quiet typing needs. Our third pick, the Perrix Periboard Ergonomic Keyboard features an ergonomic split design for typing convenience and a dedicated palm rest.
What is an AutoCAD Keyboard?
An AutoCAD keyboard is a specialized keyboard that has been designed to make it easier and faster to use AutoCAD. These keyboards typically have several features that are not found on standard keyboards, such as:
- Dedicated AutoCAD shortcut keys: These keys allow you to quickly access common AutoCAD commands without memorizing them.
- Programmable macro keys: These keys can be programmed to execute commands with a single press.
- Ergonomic design: AutoCAD keyboards are designed to be comfortable for long periods.
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
- 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. This premium wireless gaming keyboard offered me a comfortable typing experience, long battery life, and versatile connectivity. It has a comfortable design and a full range of programmable keys I could customize.
Image Credits: logitech.com
My favorite feature was that I could pair the Logitech keyboard with up to three devices simultaneously and use it with both Windows and macOS. I also found the backlighting helpful for typing in low-light conditions.
2. Apple Magic Keyboard
- 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 stood out for its minimalist design, long battery life, and extreme functionality. I found the critical travel fairly shallow, but not as shallow as the butterfly-type keyboard found on some MacBooks.
Image Credits: apple.com
It is extremely comfortable to type on and also incredibly quiet, which is good for shared offices and workspaces. The Bluetooth pairing with an Apple device is also straightforward.
3. Perixx Periboard Ergonomic Keyboard
- 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 ideally suited for my heavy CAD usage. Because of its split configuration, I had two convenient hand placement areas making my typing easier. Additionally, the wired unit eliminates the necessity for dongles or similar accessories.
Image Credits: perixx.com
As an engineer, I found its keyboard layout to be very appealing. It comprised 104 keys, each offering excellent key travel that enhanced my tactile experience. I also loved the convenience and placement of the additional seven multimedia keys.
4. Macally Wireless Keyboard
- 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 satisfied my preference for low-profile designs. It is a simple minimalist model perfect for basic tasks, and its standard layout gave me a comfortable typing experience. It can be paired with up to two devices simultaneously, and I could use it with both Windows and Mac OS.
Image Credits: macally.com
The keyboard also has highly responsive scissor key switch buttons, which I found easy to press and provided excellent touch feedback. The wireless connection allowed me to easily carry the portable keyboard anywhere and enjoy the luxury of a clear table.
5. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic 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 found this one of the best mechanical keyboards without a clicky mechanical switch. It was comfortable and supportive, and I did not experience any wrist strain. The split design and curved natural arc key layout helped keep my wrists in a neutral position, and the palm rest and adjustable tilt legs made my typing easier.
Image Credits: microsoft.com
The 104-key layout and mechanical switches made the keyboard responsive to type on, and I appreciate the programmable keys and number pad.
6. Logitech G512 Mechanical Keyboard
- 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 designed primarily for gaming purposes, but I found its extensive array of features incredibly suitable for my CAD usage as well. If your work environment prioritizes aesthetics, this elegant device with 16.8 million color illumination is an ideal match for the ambiance. Beyond its visual appeal, it boasts functionality through dependable mechanical switches and even offers a convenient USB port.
Image Credits: logitech.com
What I love most about it is the multitude of controls and shortcut keys it provides. By utilizing the FN key, I can execute specific actions, regulate the illumination, switch between default modes, and tailor all aspects for my individualized comfort.
7. Logitech Craft
- 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 keyboard stood out to me for its unique layout. The keys feature a distinctive design with square caps and a prominent rounded dimple at the center. Once I acclimated to this layout, my writing became effortless, as my fingertips consistently struck the center with every press.
Image Credits: logitech.com
I also love that it's comfortable without being too light. Additionally, it is compatible with Macs and PCs, and I can connect up to three different devices. The keyboard's backlight is bright, ensuring effectiveness without causing eye discomfort.
8. Arteck Universal 2.4G Keyboard
- 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 in a 104-key standard layout with membrane switches, which provided me with a comfortable typing experience. I also appreciated the programmable keys for easy media control when using a TV or computer.
Image Credits: artech.wireless-keyboard.org
I was able to pair the keyboard with up to three devices simultaneously, and it can also be used with both Windows and macOS making it an excellent option for a CAD user like me who frequently switches devices and needs something portable and widely compatible.
9. Razer Pro Type
- 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 offer beauty, performance, and comfort. So even if it's not the cheapest keyboard out there, you will gladly pay for all the extras, plus the fact that you won't have to deal with messy cables on your table anymore.
Image Credits: razer.com
When you're typing in a shared workspace, you want a keyboard that feels comfortable and isn't overbearing for everyone around you. This can be especially challenging with a mechanical keyboard, but the Pro Type solves this issue by incorporating Razer's mechanical switches resulting in a quieter typing experience.
10. DSI Left-Handed Keyboard
- Left handed keyboard with Cherry Mechanical switch
Image Credits: dsi-keyboards.com
It has a reversed numeric pad layout that arranges the keys in a more natural position for left-handed people so that you can effortlessly type in digits with your dominant hand. The palm rest and adjustable tilt legs were comfortable, and its mechanical key switches were very responsive.
How to Choose the Right AutoCAD Keyboard
When it comes to buying a keyboard for CAD or Revit, several essential features must be considered before purchasing to ensure you get the best product for your needs.
1. Keyboard Layout
One of the most important things to consider is the keyboard layout. When working with CAD or Revit, you will use the mouse consistently. A full-size keyboard, with the numpad on the right side, is often too wide if you want to maintain a good posture while working.
A 75% wide keyboard (without a numpad) is often better. However, if you use the Numpad quite often, then you can either go for one with a separate Numpad (that you can place on the left side) or a more compact keyboard.
2. Programmable Keys
Having programmable keys can significantly increase your productivity by allowing you to assign frequently used keyboard commands to a single key. This can be especially useful if you are a heavy user of macros. Look for a keyboard with programmable pad keys which can be readily customized to fit your specific needs.
3. Key Switches
Three main types of key switches are mechanical, membrane, and optical. Mechanical switches are the most tactile and responsive, but they are also the loudest. Membrane switches are the quietest but not as tactile or responsive. Optical switches are a newer type of switch that is becoming increasingly popular. They are quiet and responsive, like mechanical switches, but also more durable.
When choosing a keyboard, keep in mind that some key switches can make a pretty loud clicking sound. If you are working with your colleagues in the same room, some may find that annoying.
Using a CAD keyboard for extended periods can strain your wrists and hands. Look for a keyboard with ergonomic features such as a wrist rest, low profile keyboard, or adjustable tilt to help reduce discomfort.
5. Operating System
You need a powerful computer to handle your architectural designs and modeling. Make sure to choose a keyboard that is compatible with your operating system.
Consider the connectivity options of the keyboard. Wired keyboards offer a more reliable connection, while wireless keyboards offer higher flexibility and freedom of movement. Choose the keyboard connectivity option that best fits your needs.
An AutoCAD keyboard can be a valuable investment for users who want to improve their productivity and comfort when using AutoCAD. No matter what your needs are, there is an AutoCAD keyboard out there that is perfect for you. By choosing the right keyboard, you can boost your overall performance and make your work more enjoyable.
Frequently Asked Questions on AutoCAD Keyboards
1. What keyboard is best for AutoCAD?
The best keyboard for AutoCAD will vary depending on your needs and preferences. A full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad is a good option for most users. You'll want a keyboard with several programmable keys to assign your favorite shortcuts to them. Some of the most popular keyboards for AutoCAD include Logitech MX Keys, Apple Magic Keyboard, and Perrix Periboard Ergonomic Keyboard.
2. What are the keys in AutoCAD?
AutoCAD uses a variety of keyboard keys to perform different tasks. 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 access different commands and features. 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 is used to toggle the grid on and off. The grid is a set of evenly spaced lines to help you align objects in your drawing.
4. How many commands are in AutoCAD?
There are over 3,500 commands in AutoCAD. However, not all of these commands are used by everyone. The most commonly used commands are the ones that are used to create and manipulate objects, such as lines, circles, and 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.