How to type faster? Master typing techniques. Improve speed + accuracy.
As technology evolves, our habits evolve with it. If you are anything like me, you are likely spending an increasing amount of time thumbing through life on your smartphone. Drafting emails, texting friends, or jotting down notes at a meeting, the smartphone has become an invaluable tool for written communication.
However, even with increasing thumb-typing speeds, we should not abandon the keyboard just yet. While touchscreen and thumb-typing can reach an average of around 38 words per minute, keyboard typing can still reach much greater and more consistent speeds using a traditional keyboard. Stella Pajunas once reached 216 wpm, which I think is still a record.
Furthermore, the same touch typing techniques we will cover in this tutorial on how to type faster will also improve your thumb typing speeds on your smartphone due to the spatial memorization of the QWERTY keyboard.
In a world that is increasingly reliant on written communication, it only makes sense that we work on improving our touch typing skills. These are skills that cannot only give us relevance to an increasingly computerized world but also an advantage within it.
How to use this tutorial? Learning how to type faster is not a skill you will really master through reading a tutorial. The best way to do so is by using touch typing software. Thus, the aim of this post is to introduce you to essential touch typing techniques and concepts so you can practice more effectively and reach your goals faster. Let’s go.
How To Type Faster – Techniques, Principles, Concepts
What Is Touch Typing?
Touch typing describes a style of typing without having to see the keyboard you type on. It boils down to finger placement and muscle memory. The typist begins by placing their fingers on the middle horizontal row of keys on a keyboard, also known as the home row.
From this position, they can effectively sense where other keys will be in relation to this placement. The key to developing the awareness or sense of where the keys are is building muscle memory through practice and repetition.
Touch Typing Core Concepts
QWERTY – Because touch typing relies on muscle memory, it is important that we work from an advantageous space to build this memory. The QWERTY keyboard has three horizontal rows of keys that represent the Latin alphabet. This being the case, it makes sense that we would use the middle row as our home row.
Home Row – The home row is the reference point from which the rest of the keys can be easily accessed. Our fingers on the left hand on the A, S, D, F keys, and the right hand keys are J, K, L, and the semicolon key (;). These keys are the reference points from which we can easily memorize the positions of the other keys in relation to them.
Top & Bottom Row – We must practice our typing from the home row to slowly improve our muscle memory. To fully master the keyboard, of course, the top and bottom need to be managed as well. The top row includes the QWERT key for the left hand and the Y, U, I, O and P letters for the right one. Similarly, the bottom row one includes the Z, X, C, V, B key on the left and the N, M, Comma and Period keys on the right.
A savvy typist is not only proficient with the alphabet but must also be able to type out numbers with haste. Most modern keyboards don’t exactly have a traditional numpad.
Numpad – Some keyboards such as those found on laptops will overlay a numpad on top of other keys, which can be accessed using the Num Lock key, which will allow the typist to access the overlaid numeric keys. Other ones exclude this option completely; however, external numpads can be purchased and connected via Bluetooth or a USB port.
10-Key Typing -Typing on the numpad is known as ten key typing and speed is measured in keystrokes per hour (KPH). An average ten key KPH is between 8,000-9,000. Most data entry jobs will require a minimum of 9,000 KPH.
Finger position -The ten key home row is considered to be the 4, 5, and 6 keys and a typist should rest their middle finger on the 5 key. Ten key proficiency, like any form of typing, is built on muscle memory. Speed comes from practice and repetition first working on muscle memory and then on finger agility.
Rollover technique – Once you have confidence it is time to practice the rollover technique. This technique was invented by gamers who often use short cuts to perform faster in-game actions. Typists adopted the technique where they will press multiple keys at once. When you lift your finger off of a key it will be typed onto the screen.
This means another key can be typed before releasing the previous one. This is an acquired skill that comes from a lot of deliberate touch typing practice. It is a skill that can improve the speed and accuracy of an already great typist.
Bottom-line – To be considered a good typist one requires to be able to type both proficiently on the keyboard and the numpad. Be sure to practice both.
Touch Typing Factors
While we are typing, we typically don’t think much about the physicality of the practice. Yet, typing is completely physical. There are plenty of physical considerations we must make that can factor into how well we can type. Proper typing form and body and hand positioning will help reduce repetitive stress injury (RSI).
Furthermore, we must be aware of the symptoms of computer and typing fatigue. This way, we know when to take a break. If we are fatigued, our typing speed and accuracy are reduced and we become prone to RSI.
In the next section, we will look at different ergonomic factors, touch typing techniques, and hardware to help reduce the risk of RSI to keep you typing at your very best.
Ergonomics are design considerations made to improve work efficiency and safety. Typing ergonomics refers to the arrangement and setup of the desk and related furniture to find the ideal and most comfortable fit.
Chairs – It really shouldn’t have to be said, but a comfortable chair is a must. Your chair should allow for your feet to rest flat against the floor while your back is straight and fully against the backrest with a slight recline. Current ergonomic research indicates that the optimal sitting position is with a recline of between 120 and 135 degrees. This position puts less stress on your back and can prevent chronic back pain.
Desks – Desk height should allow you to rest your arms parallel to the ground. The monitor should be between 20 and 40 inches away from the eyes to prevent strain. The top of the screen should be at eye level to prevent neck strain. The keyboard should be placed so that the wrists can remain straight while typing. It should be placed slightly below the elbow level and at a negative tilt.
Keyboards – While you can learn to type quickly and accurately on any type of keyboard it is important to remember that it is your main tool. Choosing a keyboard that you are comfortable with is important. Desktop keyboards allow for greater variation.
Typists enjoy the freedom of the modular nature a desktop workstation affords them. However, laptop keyboard design has come a long way and laptops allow for portability and the creation of workstations anywhere. If you are going to be typing often on a laptop, you must consider how its keyboard is designed.
The keyboard design will help or hinder your typing endurance. Choose a keyboard that improves your ergonomics. Make sure that it is comfortable for your standards.
Prevent RSI – An often overlooked factor in ergonomics is taking breaks. We need to design routine into our workflow and such should factor in the necessity of taking a break.
To help reduce the risk of RSI and fatigue, we must take a break from typing or desk-related work every 30-60 minutes. Even micro-breaks consisting of two minutes away from your desk can increase efficiency and productivity.
During your breaks, you must break completely from the screen and move around. You might stretch or do gentle exercises or simply walk around your workspace. This will prevent RSI and improve your productivity.
Typing vs. Dictation
So far, we talked about keyboards, muscle memory or ergonomics. I want to conclude this section about typing principles and concepts by briefly changing perspective. Technology is developing fast, and typing as an input method or form of human-machine interface faces a lot of competition. One is dictation software.
Such technology converts speech into text and can help increase productivity and save time and change the way we input data or information. It is gaining popularity quickly among professionals who prefer dictating their ideas rather than typing. But also people suffering from injuries will increasingly be able to benefit from this technology.
The bottom line here is that learning how to type faster is still a no-brainer if your job has anything to do with typing on a computer. However, there are and will be different ways to input data in the future, and it is worth looking out for them and gaining respective skills.
How To Type Faster – 10 Touch Typing Tips
It is of prime importance to concentrate on finger placement. In the early stages of learning how to type faster focus on the home row. All finger movements are in relation to this positioning. Below are 10 tips to help you improve your speed and accuracy based on the fundamentals of the home row.
1. Set a work environment. Practice in a space that is comfortable and clutter-free. Organize your desk for optimal workflow. Follow the principles of typing ergonomics.
2. Focus on your posture. Remember to keep your wrists off the desk and to keep your feet firmly planted on the floor. Your back should be straight. The optimal sitting position for long workdays is reclined between 120 and 135 degrees. Don’t slouch!
3. Don’t rush yourself. Start slow and concentrate on finger positioning. Work on accuracy before you work on speed. Make sure you are building that muscle memory.
4. Don’t look at your keyboard. Patiently practice using the home row as a reference point for other keys. Look at the screen, not at the keyboard. Cover it up.
5. Limit movements. Try to limit your hand and finger movement to only those keys close to the home row finger placement. Always come back to the default position.
6. Use all fingers. Practice using all of your fingers and all of the keys. Pay special attention to the use of your pinkies. Practice using the shift key for capitalization but don’t forget the punctuation marks, enter, tab, or caps keys. Be sure to practice locating too.
7. Consider a course. Use an online typing course to help you practice. A list of a few favorites will be provided below. Consider your learning style before choosing one.
8. Set a typing goal. For instance, you might currently type at 30wpm but you wish to reach ~60wpm. Keep accuracy goals in mind as you progress.
9. Practice. Practice. Practice. Create a schedule for your typing practice and keep to it. Consistency is key to building accuracy and speed. Build a lasting habit.
10. Typing errors. Don’t stress. Mistakes happen but they can slow you down. Continuous training is the best practice here at the beginning. If you have words you will likely type wrong, slow down and try adding a few exercise sessions to improve accuracy again. You may get into the habit of immediately deleting and re-typing a misspelled word.
Touch Typing Techniques – Where to Practice
There are many free online courses when it comes to touch typing. Let us take some of the stress out of finding a great resource to learn how to type faster. Below are six popular and recognized options.
1. Typesy – A well-known cloud-based tutor offering video tutorials, hundreds of exercises, progress tracking and games to learn how to type faster and improve accuracy.
2. KAZ Typing – Learn the basic keyboard from A to Z in 90 minutes. KAZ is a Bett finalist and offers one of the most innovative concepts to learn touch typing techniques and is popular with individuals, families, and businesses alike.
3. Typing.com – This platform hosts a series of lectures that utilize the aid of a virtual keyboard. Creating an account will allow you to keep track of your progress.
4. Typingclub.com – Another website that focuses on the gamification of lessons. You can focus your lectures on different hands or fingers. There are also ones in other languages so as an added benefit you can practice your Spanish as you learn how to type faster.
5. Keybr.com – A simple website to practice and learn touch typing. Keybr uses a metrics system that provides feedback in successive lessons based on your weaknesses.
6. Speedcoder.net – If you are practicing your coding speed this is the place for you. Focused on real coding this website will help you pick up your speed and accuracy for typing in a variety of programming languages.
How To Type Faster – Summary and Conclusion
Typing is important. We rely on written communication in almost all facets of daily life. While much of our typing is done using just two thumbs, we mustn’t forget the importance of touch typing on a keyboard.
Touch typing helps with speed, accuracy, and consistency; furthermore, it is much more likely you will be using a computer and a keyboard in a professional setting.
Whether you want to learn how to type faster so that you can write a novel, you’re competing for a data entry job, or you’re a programmer wanting to improve your keyboard skills we can all agree that typing accurately and quickly is not a bad thing.
How To Type Faster – Typing Tips
- To keep in mind: 80% is technique, 20% is accuracy and typing speed.
- Master Typing Techniques – Home Row, Bottom and Top Row, Numpad
- Master A, S, D, F, J, K, L, ; keys first.
- Each finger serves a range of keys. Build finger muscle memory.
- Each finger serves a specific row. Keep fingers coordinated.
- A color-coded typing keyboard helps train muscle memory.
- Typing accuracy is important. Identify and reduce weaknesses.
- Use keyboard short cuts such as CTRL + C/S/V etc. Lists are available.
- Take breaks, stretch fingers, hands, wrist and muscles. Avoid RSI injuries.
- Maintain good posture when typing. Create an ergonomic work environment.
- Don’t look at he keyboard. trust. You will build memory over time.
- Practice touch typing techniques regularly. Consider tutors. Set goals.
- Fix typing errors immediately. Retrain wrong finger memories.
- Success will come but practice daily. Read Atomic Habits by James Clear.
We hope this tutorial on how to type faster has given you an idea of where you can start. It is about building self-confidence, and we are confident that with a little practice, you can do just that.
Remember that although learning how to type faster might take plenty of repetition, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be boring. Build routines and practice plenty to reach your personal goals. You’ve got this!
What is the average typing speed? People with some experience will usually reach typing speeds between 40 and 45 words per minute (wpm). There are slight differences between men and women, which could be due to keyboard and workplace design. Those who learn how to type faster can quickly get over 60 wpm and break the 100 wpm barrier if they are very consistent.
What is the average typing accuracy? Typists usually reach an accuracy above 90%. While that may sound great at the first glance, consider this actually means committing 10 mistakes for every 100 words. That’s quite a different story.
How fast do humans talk? Humans reach an average of 300 words per minute when speaking. There are differences across countries and cultures. Spanish and Japanese are among the fastest spoken languages, English is slower, German even slower, and apparently Mandarin. However, typing speeds cannot reach such levels, this is why speech-enabled technology can provide a strong alternative to typing.
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Resources: Touch Typing – Wikipedia | Muscle Memory – Wikipedia | QWERTY – Wikipedia