Outlines the best methods for how to type faster and reviews the 8 best free tools to learn to type faster and more accurately.
For many people, still the first choice on the keyboard is the two-finger search system. You can benefit enormously if you learn to type correctly and faster.
If you do not master the high art of 10-finger typing, it takes longer for everything. In the past, you would have had to attend a typewriter course to learn typing. Thanks to the Internet, you can simply sit in front of the monitor these days. How the 10-finger system works, we explain here. We’ll also introduce you to 10 free tools to help you learn how to type and make you faster…
How to type faster: Learn to type with all 10 fingers
Whether privately or at work, the computer is indispensable. And yet many people cannot write with all 10 fingers. Here’s how to type faster by using 10 fingers.
How to type faster: The Basics
You can learn the ten-finger system very easily, but there are some basic rules to follow. These will feel a little odd at first, but if you persist, they will become second nature.
Position: Sit upright, angle elbows and place wrists slightly on the desk. The fingers should be slightly curved on the buttons.
Finger positions: The fingers of the left hand are on the letters A, S, D, F. The fingers of the right are on the letters J, K, L, :, starting with the index finger. This is the so-called basic position, from which the fingers travel diagonally over the keyboard.
Thumbs and little fingers: The thumbs always stay on the space bar, press the Shift keys with your little finger.
Guidance: The keys F and J have a elevation or ‘bump’ on them and serve as orientation for the rest of your finger positions. This allows ‘blind’ typing — which is typing without looking at the keyboard all the time. For capital letters, press the Shift button with the little finger of the other hand than the one you are using to press the particular letter.
Training: Exercise makes the master – and the quick types. Start with individual words and phrases, such as names or lyrics. Or train in the 10-finger technique as part of everyday tasks: emails, Facebook posts or messenger chats.
Progress: Over time, you can try to increase the speed.
Important: Don’t look at the keyboard when typing and just tap the keys smoothly. This saves time and energy.
How to type faster: 3 tips for practice
If you want to learn to type, you simply have to practice it. Our tips for this:
- Read texts
Get a text on paper that you want to type. Ideally, you have a bracket that you can place next to the monitor. So you don’t always have to turn your head. In this way, you train yourself in ‘blind’ typing.
- Set a timer for a ‘how to type faster test’
You can type a specific text over and over again, just to learn to type. Control how long it takes for the same text after a certain number of retries. Another option: You type a text for ten minutes and stop exactly with the ringtone. You then count the typed characters. Each character with shift key counts twice. Spaces, paragraph characters, commas also count – everything you hit the keys for. You can rate a typo error with a ten-character deduction. Errors in the last five words before the bell do not count. Then divide the quantity by ten to determine your words-per-minute typing ability. This is requested for some jobs at the job application or interview.
- Fingers off the touchscreen!
If you want to type faster, you shouldn’t practice it on the touchscreen of your smartphone or tablet. Touch screens cause errors and slow down the typing. “In many cases, it is more difficult to tap on a smooth, immobile surface than on mechanical buttons,” says Ludger Schmidt, who investigated the phenomenon in 2014 as head of the human-machine systems technology department at the University of Kassel. People are used to ‘haptic’ feedback, they have to feel their keystrokes in their fingertips. That’s why: Don’t practice on the touchscreen, but rather on your desktop or laptop. Or get an external keyboard you can use with your tablet or smartphone.
Advantages of the 10-finger system
Learning to type means using all 10 fingers to write instead of searching with two or four fingers. This may not immediately be obvious: before they learn to type correctly, many seem to have found their way around their own system. The disadvantage of your own practice: you have to look at the keyboard again and again, and cannot not find your way around blindly. The advantages of typing with 10 fingers are literally obvious:
You type almost blindly and slide over the keyboard with all your fingers. If you type fast, you have a time advantage: you get faster, so you do more. Fast typists can type 50 to 70 words per minute. With the 2-finger search system, it is often only half that. Learning to type therefore pays off when writing business correspondence as well as in housework.
When you learn to type correctly, you change your posture for the better. Instead of constantly hanging your head above the keyboard, look straight at the screen. This prevents back pain (PDF).
Anyone who types with all ten fingers works really systematically. You intuitively know which finger to move without looking. This means that you also have a text next to you and can write off from there. Even with interruptions, you can easily pick up the thread, because you know where your fingers and buttons are.
The 10-finger system improves your error rate. On the one hand, you can see directly what is created on the monitor. On the other hand, you will be less likely to type next to the system. And if you do, you can quickly correct it with the correct handles.
Typing with all ten fingers is considered a requirement in the office. This was also the case in times of typewriter. For professions in which you are expected to write a lot and correctly, for example as a secretary,mastering ten-finger technology is a recruitment criterion.
Those who master the 10-finger typing have their brains free for the really important things. Instead of searching for the next letter, you can let your thoughts run and work on the next formulation. They therefore release additional intellectual capacity.
Disadvantages of the 10-finger system
Quick typing is not always the solution. For example, if you write an essay and type with only one hand, you can look forward to a more sophisticated vocabulary afterwards. This was found by scientists at the University of Waterloo in Belgium in an experiment a few years ago. Explanation: The time delay allowed the subjects to think longer. Quick writers, on the other hand, typed in the first word that came to their minds. For demanding tasks that require leisure, creativity and consideration, it may be useful to switch back a gear. Other drawbacks:
You have to learn to type first. Especially if you’ve been “wrong” before, it requires you to get used to it. To do this, you often have to practice typing.
There are now various alternatives such as voice assistants and transcription software. The obvious thought: Why learn to type? That, in turn, is too short a thought. In open-plan offices, the workflow would be severely impeded, everyone would put their texts in one device.
Quick typing without a ten-finger system!
According to researchers at the University of Aalto, you don’t necessarily have to take a 10-finger typing course to type faster. You can also acquire this ability yourself – and completely dispense with the ten-finger system. Thus, it is not the number of fingers used that is decisive, but other factors. In order to type quickly, one must above all heed this:
Hands: Just move your fingers to the buttons and try to leave the palms relatively static in one place.
Look: Do not look at the fingers, but, if possible, only at the monitor.
Preparation: Prepare for upcoming keystrokes, for example by using your unused fingers to start early on Shift, Space, or Enter.
How to type faster: 8 free tools to make you faster
Below are some online tools to help you type faster. We have reviewed tools that are both in English and other languages. They include free tools with how to type faster games,
BBC Dance Mat Typing
The BBC wants to playfully teach children how to type – and has created the Dance Mat Typing for it. In four levels, the up-and-coming tippers learn which letters to type with which finger, that you always put your wrists on the table while you write and should never look at your fingers. The BBC production looks good, is accompanied by animations and music – and can also be fun for adult learners.
In 20 lessons, users learn the ten-finger system at tipp10.com. It starts with the basic position, after which the lessons become more and more demanding. Statistics provide information on progress and frequency of errors. The chip speaks of “probably the best free program to refine its ten-finger writing system.” Ten years ago, the freeware was named the test winner among ten typing programs. But: Even in the online version at least a registration is required.
In the tippenakademie.de, users can learn to type with ten fingers in several learning exercises. Which finger is the right one for which letters, numbers and characters – you internalize this in various learning, finger and word exercises. If you want to save your progress, you have to register. The paid TippLift-Pro version provides even more tools as well as longer training times.
The augundohr.at typewriter comes from Austria and comes in a great look. For this, it offers no less than 100 (!) Lessons to improve speed and reduce susceptibility to errors. It is actually aimed at teachers and students, whole classes should be able to register online and thus be able to practice their dexterity on the keyboard from any PC.
sense-lang.org looks odd, but offers real added value. In addition to the animated tutorials and games, the “Typing Test” section is particularly attractive. Current BBC news from the fields of technology, sports, health, entertainment, business and science can be tapped faithfully. A double learning effect, if you will – consuming news while typing.
typing.com is probably the most comprehensive and professional side of all — but only in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Lessons for beginners and advanced learners as well as speed tests are part of the basic equipment. The highlight, however, is the Games section. In a total of nine games, as a keyboard ninja, zombie fighter or ninja cat, you can playfully improve your skills, fly in a balloon or ride in a race car. Here, too, if you want to save and view your track record, you have to register.
It’s even more twisted on typingkaraoke.com. Don’t worry, you don’t have to sing. But tap instead. So Jason Mraz, Radiohead or Kanye West sing in the background and you type the lyrics as quickly and accurately as possible. The perfect pastime for the office break – but only with headphones!
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