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5 Effective Tips to Improve Your Typing Skills

5 Effective Tips to Improve Your Typing Skills
on September, 09 2015

The average typing speed is around 40 words per minute (WPM) or around 190-200 characters per minute. To give you an idea of how fast that is, consider this: a typical 13-year-old types at around 23 WPM while experienced secretaries average at 74 WPM. These numbers, though, are for typing in the English language only. For other languages, the average speeds vary because of the differences in the number of alphabets or the agglutinative nature of other languages. Also, these numbers only apply to the standard QWERTY keyboard, not the Dvorak or other purportedly more intuitive keyboard layouts that claim to make typing faster.

You certainly wouldn’t want to be stuck at typing at a 13-year-old’s level especially now that computers have become important things in everyday modern life. You don’t necessarily have to aim for the speed of a secretary or professional typist. Typing at an above average speed of 50-60 WPM is a good enough goal and is not difficult to achieve.

The following pointers should help you type faster:

  1. Find the time to master the keyboard and practice your fingers. An intensive typing training is not necessity. What’s important is to get used to the activity. Think of it as if you were playing a console or computer game. You can’t do well if you don’t master the control keys and if you don’t spend time actually playing. You can read books that teach you how to use your fingers but these theories will be useless if you are not able to put them to practice.
  1. Be sure to use all ten fingers: No finger should be idle unless you are typing an article that does not have specific letters assigned to specific fingers. The ideal finger-to-letter assignment are as follows:
    • Left Pinky Finger - 1, Q, A, Z, `, Tab, Caps Lock, Left Shift
    • Left Ring Finger - 2, W, S, X
    • Left Middle Finger - 3, E, D, C
    • Left Index Finger - 4, R, F, V, 5, T, G. B
    • Left and Right Thumbs - Space Bar, Alt
    • Right Pinky Finger - 0, P, ;, ?, -, {, }, “, \, Backspace, Enter, Right Shift
    • Right Ring Finger - 9, O, L, >
    • Right Middle Finger - 8, I, K, <
    • Right Index Finger - 6, Y, H, N, 7, U, J, M

    It is recommended that the fingers are anchored on the home keys so they can easily reach the rest of the keys. The left pinky, ring, middle, and index fingers are anchored to the A, S, D, and F keys respectively. The right set of fingers, on the other hand, are for the letters J, K, L, and ;. Some keyboards provide small but easily felt bumps for the letters F and J so you can quickly locate these keys by simply touching them. Once you position your index fingers on their respective home keys, you can easily position the rest of your fingers to their respective home keys.

    It is important to remember, however, that if you are not comfortable with these finger-to-key assignments, you can always go for what you are more comfortable with as long as it results to faster typing. Be sure to spend time and effort to get accustomed to the recommended finger assignments, though, as they have been proven by many to be the most efficient and easiest to learn.

  1. Master touch typing with a relaxed stance: Touch typing is basically typing without looking at the keyboard. It’s mastering the keyboard by touch, observing the use of the right fingers for the right keys. You will likely need weeks or months to master touch typing but you don’t have to devote a lot of your time for it everyday. Practice it whenever you have the opportunity. Prevent yourself from looking at the keyboard every time you do a typing job. Eventually, you will develop the skills to hit the right keys with the right fingers.Moreover, be sure that you are not doing a strained stance as you do touch typing. Keep your wrist and fingers relaxed.

    Remember that if it hurts, it’s not the right stance for you. Avoid forcing the speed if it leads to straining your hands. Don’t feel too bad about having to use the Backspace or Delete keys too often on your first few weeks or months of training yourself with touch typing. Try to minimize your reliance on them but don’t do the shortcut of correcting your misspelled words using the mouse or arrow keys to correct the wrong letters. Here’s a tip – it would be better to delete the entirety of a misspelled word by holding the Ctrl button and pressing the Backspace or Delete key. Doing this will quickly erase or delete an entire word, not one character at a time.

  1. Use typing tests or training tools: There are many online and offline tools that can help you improve your typing speed. Don’t hesitate to use them. Go for those that provide exercises or tests featuring a variety of texts and give out detailed statistics regarding your typing speed, including the number of keystrokes, misspelled words, and keystroke errors. You may not realize it but the numbers you see every time you complete a test or exercise can be motivating. They make you want to improve your typing or notice how your typing speed is not being consistent or degrading.
  1. Participate in typing clubs and contests: Sometimes you need motivation to improve your typing speed and you just can’t find this motivation on your own. Being involved in typing clubs and contests (usually online) can be a good way to find motivation. Learning together with others who are new to raising their typing speeds is often useful. Through this clubs or groups, you can get learn from the difficulties encountered by others and find tips in addressing these difficulties.

Are you ready to improve your typing speed? Consider doing the aforementioned tips. They wouldn’t cost you anything but time and effort, but you are sure to get something out of the process.

Day Translations Team

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