How to Teach Yourself to Touch Type
Have you ever wanted to whiz through your typing easily and with speed? Do you find it hard to copy things from paper into your keyboard when you have to keep looking down to the page and then back to the keys? Do you want to amaze your peers with fast and impressive typing skills?
Touch typing is the ability to type fast without having to look at the keyboard.
And, it doesn’t matter if you’re 6 or 66, if you know how to type you can learn to touch type. This is a guide for anyone using a ‘QWERTY’ Keyboard.
- Meet the home keys. These are the most important keys used during touch typing — they are how you find your way around the keyboard. There are different home keys for different fingers.
- On your left hand — Place your smallest (pinky) finger on the ‘A’ key, your ring finger (next one along) onto the ‘S’ key, your middle finger (longest finger) onto the ‘D’ key and your pointer finger (next to the thumb) onto the ‘F’ key.
- On your right hand — Place your smallest (pinky) finger onto the ‘;’ (semicolon) key, your ring finger onto the ‘L’ key, your middle finger onto the ‘K’ key and your pointer finger onto the ‘J’ key.
- Your thumbs — Place both of your thumbs onto the space bar — but align each hand’s thumb so it’s roughly underneath the key it’s pointer finger is on.
- Wiggle your two pointer fingers around the bottom of the ‘F’ and ‘J’ keys — you should notice a little bump. These are there so that touch typists can locate where the home keys are. So, if you’re ever lost when you are trying to touch type, don’t worry about looking down — just find the little bumps *Note: looking for the bumps on the keyboard?Not all computer keyboards have bumps especially if you have an older one.* The home keys are very important — as soon as you move a finger, for example you use your left middle finger (on the home key ‘D’) to type a letter (for example ‘E’), you have to place that finger back onto it’s home key straight after its use. It’s just a general rule, but keeps your fingers together instead of all over the place.
- Before starting a new sentence, place your finger back onto the home keys. This will allow yourself to know where you are on the board and make it much easier to navigate around the keys. It may seem a little unnatural at first, but it will become your second nature after practicing.
- How do you know which finger to use when you press each key? The answer is, simple! Look back at your fingers again and place them on their home keys. Each of the home keys have both a key above them and a key underneath them.
- For example the home key ‘A’ has the key ‘Q’ on top of it, and the key ‘Z’ underneath it. So, if you need to type ‘quickly’, you would use your left pinky to type ‘Q’, your right pointer to type ‘U’, your right middle to type “I”, your left middle to type “C”, your middle finger to type “K” (it’s already a home key so no moving needs to be done), your right ring finger to type ‘L’ (again, already a home key so you don’t have to move any fingers to get to this key) and finally , you use your right pointer for the ‘Y’ key.
- So what fingers do you use for the spare keys that aren’t on top or underneath any home keys? These keys are the ‘Y’, ‘H’, ‘G’, ‘T’ and ‘B’ keys. You simply use the pointer finger that is closest to that key! So you would use the right pointer to press the ‘Y’ key and the left pointer to press ‘T’.
- Your pointer fingers will be used quite a bit, but not for everything! All fingers will be used, and again it may seem unnatural, but all it takes is a bit of getting used to.
- Practice makes perfect! Try closing your eyes, putting your fingers on the home keys (remember to find the bumps where your pointer fingers sit on at ‘F’ and ‘J’!) and typing your first and last name onto a blank Word document. Open your eyes, have a look, and see how close you got… or how far away you were! Keep doing this until you get the hang of it. Then, start to type simple sentences, like “The boy ate the apple”.
- If you need to look at the screen, cover your hands with a tea towel so you are not tempted to look. Once you lose that temptation, try touch typing on your own!
- Give it your all. Don’t give up! It can be annoying if you keep getting something wrong, but keep your chin up. So what? If you stick to it, a couple of months later you would be an expert and would laugh at the memory!
- Download programs to help further improve your skills. If there are any free demo or trial copies of professional programs, don’t hesitate to give it a go! It can help a lot, and offer a whole new environment to type in. Try some free online typing tutors that offer different ranges of courses for all skill levels.
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- How much time will it take to master all the keyboard’s keys if I am practicing 30–45 minutes every day?
- wikiHow Contributor
- It depends how you’re practicing, what you type, and how fast you learn. It could take anywhere from a week to a month at 45–60 minutes a day.
- Should I rest my wrists on the desk when I am typing?
- wikiHow Contributor
- It depends on what you’re comfortable with. Try resting your wrists on your desk, and if you feel it’s more comfortable then by all means, go ahead.
- How fast should I be typing after a year of practicing?
- wikiHow Contributor
- There is no set amount that you “should” be typing. Instead, start timing your typing using a typing speed website. After a year, you should see a definite increase in the words per minute that you can type.
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- Keep record of how many words you type per minute. If you are using a program or an online typing website, it should tell you your accuracy and how many words you type per minute on an average. Record these on an excel spreadsheet or an exercise book. Reward yourself if you notice any major improvements.
- Once you get the hang of it, try writing short stories blindfolded using the touch typing method! It’s fun, and is very good practice.
- As you learn to type faster, you may notice that you prefer to use different fingers for different letters. Do not feel forced to use the “assigned” fingers with each letter.
- Don’t rush! Touch typing takes time. Just try your hardest and don’t give up.
- A QWERTY Keyboard is a keyboard which, on the top row of letters, goes “‘Q’ ‘W’, ‘E’, ‘R’, ‘T’, ‘Y’” to spell QWERTY.
- Don’t look down! Use a small towel such as a tea towel to put over your hands to prevent yourself looking at where the keys are. Remember to keep your eyes on the screen, and go ahead!
- When typing keep your back straight and your head facing the screen. No peeking at the keys!
- Don’t press the keys too hard — it’s not good for the keyboard if you bash away at them! Press lightly!
- Be careful when downloading off websites — some can be dangerous and hold viruses! Make sure your computer is well protected by a good antivirus program.
Originally published at www.wikihow.com.