This article describes the touch typing technique, its pros and cons, as well as tells who can benefit from it (spoiler: anyone).
What is touch typing?
Touch typing, also known as blind typing, is a special method of typing on the keyboard without looking at it. It is a skill that doesn’t come naturally and has to be learned.
The main difference between touch typing and regular typing is the number of fingers involved. Pay attention to how we usually type — with two or four fingers. When touch typing, a person uses all ten. Therefore, the method is sometimes referred to as "ten-finger typing".
Advantages of touch typing
- Increased speed and volume of work. By touch typing, you can significantly increase your speed. With the usual two-finger method, you have to constantly lower and raise your eyes. We are so used to it that we no longer notice. Such small “peeps” decrease the speed. Compare: the maximum typing speed with two fingers is around 50 words per minute, while with ten — up to 200 wpm.
- Saves editing time. When blind typing, you focus on the computer screen. All your attention is given to what you are writing. You make fewer typos and mistakes — the speed of work increases.
- Reduces mental fatigue. Blind typing allows you to concentrate on a single task. The brain is not distracted by other information — it is busy analyzing the text.
- Reduces physical fatigue. The ten-finger method was developed with consideration of human physiology, to make sure the body is always in a comfortable position. When you look directly at a computer screen, your posture improves. Plus, the neck, hands and even eyes hurt less. With touch typing, you do not look down at the keyboard, therefore, you do not strain your eyes so much.
- Adds an attractive line to the resume. You don't have to be a copywriter or secretary to learn touch typing. It will come in handy in any profession. Upon seeing the information about touch typing, the employer will definitely notice your resume.
- Develops memory. As we age, our brains lose neuroplasticity — the ability to change and adapt. Learning a new skill helps maintain it.
Disadvantages of touch typing
- You have to relearn. The hardest part about learning touch typing is giving up your usual two-finger method. At first it seems more convenient and faster. And indeed it is. Initially, the speed of touch typing will be even lower. The main trick is not to give up. Within a week, you will notice progress, and after four, you will be able to type twice as fast as before.
- Self-discipline and motivation. The simple truth is that you have to work to get results. Learning to touch type takes effort. It's good when the motivation is obvious. Let's say you need the ten-finger method for work — otherwise you won't get a salary raise. Otherwise, everything depends only on willpower and self-discipline. To keep your interest in touch typing, find the right typing tutor.
- Free time is needed. Just having motivation for learning touch typing is not enough. It still takes time. Practice regularly — devote at least 30 minutes a day to lessons. That will be enough to master the ten-finger method in a monthon average. Take your time in learning, work out the letters first. You will get to numbers, punctuation marks and auxiliary symbols after.
Why does using all fingers increase typing speed? The secret is that each of them has its own keyboard zone. And the hands do not dance across the keyboard sporadically as usual — they are clearly fixed in one position. Only the fingers themselves move. They stretch in different directions for the desired key. It turns out that you do not need to constantly look for the letter visually: the finger itself knows where to go.
Proper typing hand position
As soon as you sit at the keyboard, immediately place your hands correctly. The initial hand position on the keyboard is "ASDF" for the left and “JKL;” for the right. The F and J keys have small bumps or ridges to find them by touch. The index fingers are placed on them, and the other three fingers — next to them.
In addition to the position of the fingers, it is important to remember about the correct posture:
- Straighten your back. Sit straight in front of the computer. It is good for health, helps to avoid fatigue and scoliosis in the future.
- Relax your arms. Rest the hands on the keyboard. Do not lean on your wrists or lift them too high. This will reduce the workload on them.
- Adjust the position of the screen. You should be within arm's reach of the screen. This is the best option so as not to strain your eyes.
Touch typing layout
In addition to QWERTY — the most common keyboard layout — there are also Dvorak and Colemak layouts. They were created as its counterparts to simplify touch-typing. Keep in mind that the transition from one option to another is difficult. You can try different layouts, but most people work on QWERTY and almost all keyboard simulators are sharpened for it.
Who needs touch typing?
This skill is required for:
- Journalists / copywriters;
- For those who work with databases.
But touch typing is not limited only to a narrow range of professions. It is needed for everyone who works with a computer, which is more than 60% of the global population. This skill will make your life easier. Whether it's writing a paper, creating a text for website promotion, translation or anything else, touch typing increases the speed and efficiency of work. If you don't care about speed, blind typing will still help you. It reduces eye and hand strain and increases worker’s value in the eyes of superiors.
Blind typing is useful to learn from childhood. It develops literacy, fine motor skills, helps to memorize words better and teaches computer skills. Some American schools, for example, have compulsory touch typing lessons. It is never too late to master blind typing. And in old age, it is even healthy.
Typing speed is a universal measure of how fast you type. Accuracy also affects it — how often you hit the right keys. It can be measured in either number of characters (cpm) or words (wpm) per minute. The average typing speed for the standard two-finger method is 30 wpm or 150-200 cpm.
Touch typing speed
The ten-finger method allows you to type almost twice as fast. The record speed of typing in the usual manner is around 50wpm, and in touch typing — more than 200. But only exceptional masters achieve such skill. People who do not work with texts professionally can hit up to 60 wpm. Amazing, right? The average score of the ten-finger method is greater than the record for the two-finger method.
You can check your typing speed on special sites. Many of them immediately offer touch typing lessons.
How to type faster?
If you want to increase your typing speed, learn the ten-finger method. This can be done using special keyboard simulators. We have compiled a selection of typing courses for you so that you can choose one for yourself. The key to learning touch typing is to stay motivated:
- Find the right typing tutor. Each of them has its own characteristics — not only in the external design, but also in the content: they offer different approaches to learning, lessons and texts. Motivation often disappears in the first three lessons, when all you do is press two letters in sequence. To avoid this, choose the training simulator that is just right for you. There are different edutainment options on the Internet. It is important that the interface is user-friendly and the design is pleasing to the eye.
- Look at someone else's example. A great motivator is watching someone show a cool skill. It always gives people the desire to learn how to do the same. Pay attention to how your friends who already know the blind method are typing. If you don’t have live examples, watch a YouTube video to get inspired.
- Activate your competitive spirit. Such an attitude always increases motivation. Your best bet is to find another person with whom you can compete for typing speed and accuracy.
To type even faster, practice, but do it right:
- Don't look. A common mistake novices make is looking at the keyboard. To avoid this, cover the keys. You can tape them, swap themif your keyboard allows it or even buy a Das Keyboard, where there are no symbols.
- Determine your rhythm. Hitting the keys steadily also improves typing technique. You get used to one rhythm and work in it.
- Use difficult and long texts. This way, you increase not only speed, but also accuracy and endurance.
- Set a timer. Imagine that you are an athlete before a competition. Speed-type and see the results. After each new record, treat yourself to stay motivated.
- Learn hotkeys. They will allow you to work with documents without using a mouse: copy, paste, add a link, and so on. This increases the overall working speed and reduces the strain on the hands.