Oct 23, 2007

Seeking Feedback on Learning How to Type

For all of my life I have been tapping away on typewriters and keyboards using no more than four fingers, mostly relying on my index fingers. My shameful secret has now been revealed: I am a hunter-and-pecker.

I realize that I am inefficient in my time on the computer, chained as I am to this pidgin-typing I have developed. I am particularly concerned about my doctoral exams in the spring, when I will be expected to churn out 60-80 pages of text in 2-eight hour sessions.

Thus, I am looking for suggestions from readers on effective programs to teach an old hound like me how to properly type. I am amazed when I see someone who can crank out 80 or more words per minute, while I am lucky to hit 25 per minute with my odd technique. If you know of a program that has worked for you, feel free to leave this information in the comments section.

That way, millions of others who live these lives of embarassed peckery might also join the world of rapid typists.


fred said...

try the Mavis Beacon? Bacon discs for pc. she is teriffic

The Screaming Nutcase said...

Mavis Beacon worked for my ex-wife.

JQ said...

Try this site, it might not be exactly what you are looking for, but it sure is fun.

JQ said...

Or, just Google Type Shark.

Mad Jack said...

First off, if you can beat 30 words per minute (wpm), you can type faster than you can write. Force yourself to learn the touch typing system using the Dvorak keyboard instead of the QWERTY that you probably have now. Secondly, unless you really want to type at 80 wpm, be satisfied with 50 to 60 wpm. You can do this using a touch type method without the special instruction you'll need to break into the 80 wpm range.

Last, you just have to force yourself to do it. It will take you between 1 to 3 or 4 days to reach 40 wpm, but only if you force yourself to touch type and NOT to look at the keys.

Main Lady, by the way, not to brag or anything, but since we're on the subject of typing, ah-hem! Main Lady can type at 120+. I've actually seen this and it's amazing. She types as fast as a person can talk.

Well, good luck to you HistoryMike. I'm going to pour myself a dry martini and watch the TV.

microdot said...

I relearned to type on a French Keyboard, but my saving grace is that I can't think as fast as can talk..............
But I can't think in French as fast as I can type...or something like that.

Anonymous said...

Here's how I learned some 45-50 years ago: I enrolled in a typing class in summer school. The teacher was hauled in to replace the regular teacher who was ill. He did not know how to type, but he told us what he'd heard would work. On your fingers, write the letters each finger hits. Write them in vertical fashion so you can send the message to your brain which keys are where. Then throughout the day, look at your fingers whenever you can. Then practice typing from printed material, copying it. Practice, practice, practice. Don't look at your keys for prompting. Look at your fingers where you've written the keys that are hit by each finger until you no longer have to look. It worked for me and I'm an extremely fast typist. I could not tell you which keys a given finger hits, but it's in my subconscious and I do it automatically. It amounts to teaching yourself, and it's the very best thing I ever taught myself.

Anonymous said...

This is jshriver sorry forgot login and not at home.

Here is how I learned and helped a lot. While a "typing class" seemed to be anal, I feel whatever works for you is best. So I'll take the one thing I used from the typing class that worked.

put your left pinky on a, and roll your fingers till your index is on f.

Put your right index finger on j and roll till your pinky is on ; or '.

Find a bunch of your friends who are online a lot and start chatting via IRC, Aol IM, etc.

For formal typing each finger is supposed to go to certain keys. But having them in the above layout you can get pretty quick no matter what keys you actually hit with what finger.

Now I can type about 80+ wpm. Good Luck!

The Screaming Nutcase said...

Force yourself to learn the touch typing system using the Dvorak keyboard instead of the QWERTY that you probably have now.
Actually, don't. Unless you plan on never typing anywhere but your own computer.

And the extra speed is pretty much a myth.

Mad Jack said...

And the extra speed is pretty much a myth.

It isn't and I've got the proof, so go peddle your papers.

Hooda Thunkit said...


I took the summer school route a few years back (a night course) and it didn't help me either.

To boot, I had a cut/bandaged left index finger, and to this day, I "type" with that finger pointed at the "X" in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

So, welcome to the club Bro, welcome to the...

Hooda stands up in the crowded meeting room and says:

Hi, My name is Hooda and I am a four-finger typer.

Hi Hooda!

There is probably a 12-step program for us out there somewhere ;-)