Touch typing is a special method of typing. It is an extremely useful skill. We talked in more detail about what touch typing is in another article. Here we will talk about how to learn it and which mistakes to avoid.

Approaches to learning touch typing

There are three approaches to learning how to touch type:

  • Self-studying. Everything is simple here: look at a diagram with finger positioning, read theory and begin to type in a new way. The downside is that not everyone can do it. Passive studying of theory is of little help in learning the skill. And practicing by making exercises off the top of the head is not always helpful, but always hard to do consistently.
  • Self-studying using an online simulator. Perhaps the best option. The beginning is similar to the previous approach: look at the diagram, read the theory, but then practice using a typing tutor. There are ready-made lessons for beginners. You can choose from different levels: study from scratch or do exercises for intermediate / advanced learners. The main advantage that such tools give is practice. It is key for mastering blind typing. Simulations show accuracy and speed statistics, note your mistakes, and some demonstrate the correct positioning of the fingers.
  • In courses. An extreme option for those who need additional motivation is paid touch typing courses. Most of them take place online, but there are also face-to-face ones. So not only personal interest, but also the money spent will push you to study.

Which approach to choose is up to you. Some find it easier to do it on their own, others require mentorship. Online training with simulators is something in between.

How to learn to touch-type on your own?

If you've chosen the self-study option, here are some tips to do it with ease and efficiency.

  • Accept that mistakes are inevitable. You should come to terms with this reality at the very beginning. It's always hard to relearn. And switching from the usual two-finger method to the ten-finger method is not an easy task. Be prepared that initially your speed will not increase, but drop instead. Progress is noticeable only after a few weeks.
  • Use only one keyboard. Not a prerequisite, but it will assist the learning process. Your fingers need to get used to the new method, so it's best to practice with a single keyboard. Long story short, don't switch your tool.
  • Cover the keys. The two pillars of proper touch typing: use all ten fingers and don’t look at the keyboard. Squinting down to see the desired key is hard to resist. We understand you perfectly: we’ve experienced it all ourselves. That is why we advise you to protect yourself from peeking in advance. Tape the keys, swap them or use a keyboard with a layout in another language, such as German. For convenience, you can cover the keys with stickers of different colors.
  • Don't forget your fingers. Remember that you have not two, not four, but ten of those. And to type as quickly as possible, you need to use all of them. Yes, it is difficult, especially in the beginning. But the touch typing technique was invented for a reason. Working with all fingers increases speed and reduces stress on your hands.
  • Don't look at the screen. Advice for those who like to complicate their life. A kind of ultimate touch typing challenge. For some, this method helps to focus on thoughts and what exactly they want to write. The idea of ​​not looking at the screen is a good way to spice up your learning. However, in real life it is better to see what you are typing so you can make corrections right away.
  • Practice on interesting texts. Some online simulators give incomprehensible examples: incoherent set of letters or downright stupid and incorrectly composed texts. And if the first option is still suitable for training, the second gives nothing but the desire to abandon touch typing for good. Therefore, we advise you to look for a program with good texts for practice. It's also a good idea to do exercises related to your profession. This way, you immediately practice typing words that will be useful to you at work.
  • Be mindful of the position of your arms and body. Your hands should rest directly on the keyboard: not on the table or hovering in the air. The starting position of the fingers are the “ASDF” keys for the left hand and “JKL;” for the right. The general position of the body is the same as during normal work at the computer: the back is straight, the screen is at an arm's length.
  • Practice regularly. The most important element in mastering blind typing is practice. Don't put off all your lessons for the weekend. Try to devote at least half an hour everyday to them. This is enough to learn the ten-finger method in a month.
  • Don't forget about accuracy. Speed ​​is, of course, good. But you also need to hit the right keys. Do not aspire to become Usain Bolt of blind typing from the first days. Catalog your mistakes carefully and correct them.

How to choose a typing tutor?

Typing tutors are programs made for practicing touch typing. What’s so good about them?

  • Learning the basics. There are different types of simulators, but most of them provide basic touch typing knowledge in one way or another. Where there are lessons, they are built on the principle of from zero to master. Everything starts with letters, then their combinations, then words, sentences and only lastly — texts. This approach may seem boring, but it will help you learn confidently. For those who like to get down to real work as soon as possible, there is an option of skipping lessons.
  • Premade texts. With such programs, you don't have to come up with practical tasks. Just sit down and start typing, following the instructions of the program. And remember that the exercises, especially in the first lessons, are not written randomly. These are specific letter combinations that help you practice certain finger movements. There is, for example, the program Keybr, which adapts to each user individually. It analyzes your progress and inserts into the exercises the letters that are most difficult for you to type.
  • Typing according to the rules. The advantage of simulators is that they force you to type correctly. Many of them show the desired position of the hands, and some also show the movements of the fingers.

Typing programs are very different:

  • By price. Paid for or free.
  • By format. Online or offline.
  • By functionality. For training only or with full lessons.
  • By design. Minimalistic or vibrant and with games.
  • By target audience. For adults or children.

How to choose a good trainer from such a variety? There is no universal answer to this question. Look for a program based on your personal preference. We advise you to pay attention to the following points:

  • Design. It should be pleasant for you to work with the program.
  • Number of lessons. There are simulators without training at all — only practice.
  • Exercise format. There are a lot of options: a set of letter combinations or simple texts, literary works, games, competitions, and so on.
  • Layouts. There are programs that teach blind typing in English, French, German and other languages. Plus, there are variants for different layouts: not only the standard QWERTY, but also Dvorak and Colemak.
  • Groups. Some simulators have a multiplayer mode. You can study with friends or colleagues, compete and compare results.

Mistakes in learning touch typing

What exactly shouldn't you do when learning touch typing?

  • Look at the keyboard. The most common mistake. We have already discussed what precautions to take to avoid it. But sometimes these methods do not help. Only awareness and self-control can help to deal with a bad habit.
  • Put your fingers in the wrong place. The name “ten-finger method” implies that they are all used equally. Each has its own keyboard area. The position of the fingers directly affects the typing speed.
  • Maintain wrong posture. Body position also plays a big role. It is important that your back is straight, the keyboard is placed comfortably and your hands are in the starting position.
  • Rush. Give yourself time. On average, a person spends 3-4 weeks learning the blind typing method. Don't skip lessons even if you think they are too simple or unnecessary.
  • Exercise on the phone. If you want to type faster on your smartphone, there are other techniques for that — the ten-finger method will not work here. It exists for typing on the keyboard (in extreme cases — on a typewriter). There is no point in studyingм it on the phone. But on a separate touch keyboard for both hands, you can try.
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