The ability to type quickly and accurately has become an essential skill that is almost as important as reading or writing. It’s a tool we lean on daily, from drafting emails to penning down elaborate reports, coding software, or simply communicating with others via digital platforms. With that in mind, imagine the time and energy you could save if you could double or even triple your typing speed.
This article aims to turn this possibility into a reality by helping you understand and master the art of touch typing. We’ll delve into the concept of touch typing, explore how to prepare effectively for typing, familiarize you with your keyboard, provide guidance on practice, and introduce you to incredible tools like TextExpander that can help you blaze through sentences at breakneck speed.
What is Touch Typing?
Touch typing is the ability to type without looking at the keyboard. It’s a skill that relies on muscle memory to find keys quickly, enabling you to focus on the screen rather than searching for individual letters on the keyboard. Touch typing not only increases your typing speed but also reduces the strain on your eyes, as you don’t need to constantly shift your gaze between the keyboard and the screen.
Preparation for Typing
One of the most overlooked aspects of typing faster is the correct sitting position. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and your back comfortably supported. Your shoulders should be relaxed, and your elbows should be at a right angle. Without a proper sitting position, your body could be strained if you type for longer periods.
Ensure your workspace is clean and clutter-free. Your keyboard and mouse should be within easy reach, and the monitor should be at eye level. The lighting around your desk should be adequate but not too glaring or bright because it can put a strain on your eyes if you are there extensively. A well-organized workspace minimizes distractions, making it easier to focus on your typing.
Get to Know the Keyboard
Familiarize yourself with the Keyboard
The keyboard layout might differ slightly based on the region or manufacturer. However, the most commonly used is the QWERTY layout. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the key placements, and pay special attention to the ‘home row’ keys: A, S, D, F, J, K, L, and the semicolon. When touch typing, your fingers should always return to these keys.
Place your left-hand fingers on A, S, D, F, and your right-hand fingers on J, K, L, and the semicolon. Your thumbs should rest on the space bar. Additionally, your fingers should be arched so that they are not touching other keys when you type. When typing, strive to move your fingers, not your hands, and apply a gentle touch rather than forcefully pressing the keys.
Start Practicing Typing
Know Your Baseline Speed (Words per Minute, WPM)
Before you start practicing, determine your current typing speed. There are numerous online tools available to measure your words per minute (WPM). Knowing your starting point is vital as it allows you to set realistic goals and track your progress. Improving becomes easier if you can see the progress that you are making.
Setting goals can motivate you and give you a clear path to follow. Remember to start small. A good place to start is an increase of 5 WPM every week. Once you start accomplishing this goal, you can gradually raise the bar as you get more comfortable. Improvement takes time, and it is different for everyone. Remember to not be discouraged if your speed is not increasing as much as you would like initially.
Practice – Online Tools
The old saying “practice makes perfect” rings particularly true when it comes to typing. Numerous online typing tools, such as typing.com, TypeRacer, and 10FastFingers, can help improve your speed and accuracy.
Consistently tracking your progress is key to improvement. Regularly check your WPM and strive to beat your previous records. Make sure to not minimize your accomplishments and to celebrate your small victories as they will motivate you to keep pushing.
Type Even Faster with TextExpander
TextExpander is a fantastic tool that can help you type faster by creating custom keyboard shortcuts. For example, you could set up a shortcut that automatically expands “brb” into “be right back”. It’s a handy way to speed up your typing, especially if you often use the same phrases or sentences. To learn more about TextExpander, check out this comprehensive article: “Type Faster with TextExpander.”
In conclusion, typing faster is a valuable skill that can greatly increase your productivity. It might seem daunting at first, but with the right techniques, plenty of practice, and tools like TextExpander, you’ll be hitting those high WPM numbers in no time!