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Layouts: Using a Keymap with Multiple Keyboards

The layouts/ folder contains different physical key layouts that can apply to different keyboards.

+ default/
| + 60_ansi/
| | +
| | + layout.json
| | + a_good_keymap/
| | | + keymap.c
| | | +
| | | + config.h
| | | +
| | + <keymap folder>/
| | + ...
| + <layout folder>/
+ community/
| + <layout folder>/
| + ...

The layouts/default/ and layouts/community/ are two examples of layout "repositories" - currently default will contain all of the information concerning the layout, and one default keymap named default_<layout>, for users to use as a reference. community contains all of the community keymaps, with the eventual goal of being split-off into a separate repo for users to clone into layouts/. QMK searches through all folders in layouts/, so it's possible to have multiple repositories here.

Each layout folder is named ([a-z0-9_]) after the physical aspects of the layout, in the most generic way possible, and contains a with the layout to be defined by the keyboard:

# 60_ansi


New names should try to stick to the standards set by existing layouts, and can be discussed in the PR/Issue.

Supporting a Layout

For a keyboard to support a layout, the variable must be defined in it's <keyboard>.h, and match the number of arguments/keys (and preferably the physical layout):

#define LAYOUT_60_ansi KEYMAP_ANSI

The name of the layout must match this regex: [a-z0-9_]+

The folder name must be added to the keyboard's

LAYOUTS = 60_ansi

LAYOUTS can be set in any keyboard folder level's

LAYOUTS = 60_iso

but the LAYOUT_<layout> variable must be defined in <folder>.h as well.

Building a Keymap

You should be able to build the keyboard keymap with a command in this format:

make <keyboard>:<layout>

Conflicting layouts

When a keyboard supports multiple layout options,

LAYOUTS = ortho_4x4 ortho_4x12

And a layout exists for both options,

+ community/
| + ortho_4x4/
| | + <layout>/
| | | + ...
| + ortho_4x12/
| | + <layout>/
| | | + ...
| + ...

The FORCE_LAYOUT argument can be used to specify which layout to build

make <keyboard>:<layout> FORCE_LAYOUT=ortho_4x4
make <keyboard>:<layout> FORCE_LAYOUT=ortho_4x12

Tips for Making Layouts Keyboard-Agnostic


Instead of using #include "planck.h", you can use this line to include whatever <keyboard>.h (<folder>.h should not be included here) file that is being compiled:


If you want to keep some keyboard-specific code, you can use these variables to escape it with an #ifdef statement:

  • KEYBOARD_<folder1>_<folder2>

For example:

#ifdef KEYBOARD_planck
    #ifdef KEYBOARD_planck_rev4

Note that the names are lowercase and match the folder/file names for the keyboard/revision exactly.


In order to support both split and non-split keyboards with the same layout, you need to use the keyboard agnostic LAYOUT_<layout name> macro in your keymap. For instance, in order for a Let's Split and Planck to share the same layout file, you need to use LAYOUT_ortho_4x12 instead of LAYOUT_planck_grid or just {} for a C array.