Why learn to keyboard?

The typists Guide

Why learn to type?

If you type with one or two fingers of each hand, the average person can probably manage 40-60 wpm (words per minute). If you learn to touch-type, you can increase that speed to 60-100 wpm.

Most of the things we do on a computer involve typing to some degree. And the quicker you can type, the quicker you get those tasks done. The quicker you get your stuff done, the more productive you are, which lets you:

  • Complete tasks and jobs more quickly
  • Get more achieved in limited time
  • Do more jobs in a month
  • Have more free time to sit back and think up ideas
  • Or just try out alternatives

How to learn

There’s only one way: to commit to learning to type properly, and then to practice diligently for a few weeks.

I strongly recommend getting some software to help you learn. That’s how I learnt, and my reasons for recommending it are:

  • You need to learn the best fingers to use for each key.
  • Software can make something quite boring feel like having fun, with games and tests.
  • It helps you go in bite-size steps, building from the first few “home” keys to the full keyboard in a manageable way.

Proper placement


Learn to type the proper way (no typing with one or two fingers). This means your fingers should be on the home row keys A, S, D, and F with the left hand and J, K, L, and ; with the right hand. Of course if you're on a non-English keyboard or a non-QWERTY keyboard, this may change.

Big image

Proper keyboarding poster

Proper Distance from the Keyboard. Known as hand-span. Hand-span tells you how far you should sit away from your keyboard. If you sit too far away, you will not be able to reach the keys above homerow. If you sit too close, you will not be able to reach the keys below homerow.

Feet Flat on the Floor. They help balance your body for keyboarding. Crossing your ankles or knees puts a strain on your spine.

Sitting Up Straight. By doing this, it helps you keep your spine straight and comfortable as well as
provide balance.

Proper Wrist Position. Don’t raise your palms so much that your wrists arch. Maintaining proper wrist
position helps avoid fatigue in your hands. If you wrists rest on your keyboard, this will cause you to
make typing mistakes.

Elbows In. Keeping your elbows close to your sides prevents your fingers from coming off home row.
When your fingers come off home row, you then have trouble striking the other keys from home position.

Eyes on Copy. If you don’t keep your eyes on what you are typing, you will lose time from speed, you
may also type the wrong line, skip words or even repeat a line.

Fingers Anchored. While typing, you need to keep your fingers anchored on the homerow keys.
When you reach for a key on the top or bottom row, you need to remember to bring your fingers back to
the homerow position.

How to learn

There’s only one way: to commit to learning to type properly, and then to practice diligently for a few weeks.

  • You need to learn the best fingers to use for each key.
  • Software can make something quite boring feel like having fun, with games and tests.
  • It helps you go in bite-size steps, building from the first few “home” keys to the full keyboard in a manageable way.

Typing speed

  • Do not rush when you just started learning. Speed up only when your fingers hit the right keys out of habit.
  • Take your time when typing to avoid mistakes. The speed will pick up as you progress.
  • Always scan the text a word or two in advance.
  • Pass all typing lessons at Ratatype. It will help you to get above the average typing speed.