Combined keyboard layouts and interchangable key caps

This post depends on whether the key caps can be (re)moved like you’d expect on desktop keyboard (and laptop keyboards for that sake).

My question to Framework is whether a combined Scandinavian/Nordic layout is feasable?

About these layouts: Basically the ISO Nordic layouts have 4 keys that are unique. 6 if you count the Ö/Ø and Ä/Æ keys.

My idea is that these keyboards could be manufactured as a combined layout without the 4 unique keys. You’d have an inventory of these country-specific cap sets. The customer would select the applicable “completion set” and on arrival click them on the keyboard manually. A common base-layout that is completed with a 4-cap kit.

This would reduce cost and time to market. It would simplify production and reduce the supplier cost. Why order tooling for 3 layouts when all but 4 keys are identical?

If the supplier is inventive they could ship it in a way that reduce both cost and packaging waste.

Regarding the two extra unique keys (Æ/Ä and Ø/Ö). These keys could be combined like so [ÆÄ] [ØÖ]. These keys switch places in the Danish layout (non-issue), so they would have to either switch places or just click them on according to their layout (if they aren’t pre-installed).

Combined layouts are common here (proposed solution would be way cleaner than we’re used to). My Corsair K70 have the 2 last unique keys like this [ÖØÆ] and [ÄÆØ]. Terrible solution considering a cap remover was included… So it’s not uncommon that combined layouts have contradicting keys. Duplicate characters make no sense (identical letter in Norwegian and Danish).

Second-best proposal: Straight up a combined layout (please avoid the contradicting Ö/Ø and Ä/Æ keys!). The 4 unique keys have six different characters on them. Honestly not an issue (although non-combined is way cleaner).

If viable, the completion kit would solve that.

Could there be cost-savings associated with DIY installation of key caps? I see no problem clicking them on myself. Only concern would be how you’d ship… 75? 85? keys.


The keycaps can be removed, and replaced if you can find just the right size. Likely they’d have to be made to specifications:

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BTW, if you use Linux… this is a pretty awful solution if you have to type those often, but…


Those were all typed on my US keyboard. No hard-to-remember “alt codes”, no copy-paste from character selectors or the earlier content. The down side is each one required four keystrokes (one of which was Shift; lower case versions would only need three).

For example, Compose+A+E → æ. (Add Shift → Æ.)

On a related note, though, there’s another thread about replacing the Microsoft key with something else. I am in general in favor of being able to swap key caps! (And to having a market with replacement caps for this sort of usage!)


I’m Norwegian and writing Norwegian with alt-codes is a non-solution. :stuck_out_tongue: Just would not work. I’d rather just write Å as A or AA. You’d be surprised how much æ, ø and å is actually used when writing the native scandinavian languages.

I’m not sure if my post was interpreted as I intended. It’s not about replacing the keys but an idea of how the keyboards can be rolled out by Framework and simplify manufacturing.


This is a complete pipe-dream, but I remembered that there have been a few keyboards over the years with mini displays in the keys, giving you the best of both worlds. The usability of a physical keyboard with the flexibility of a software keyboard.

They aren’t cheap though. The optimus primal (or whatever it was called) was a thousand bucks or something like that. There’s the nemeio keyboard on indigogo right now, and while I don’t like the general design I love the e-ink keycaps. It’s 200 euros, though.

Something like that, with e-ink displays, would be a great addition to the framework laptop. Even if it bumped the price up a lot.

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