You Got to Learn Touch Typing

By Daniel Scocco

If you are not familiar with it, touch typing is the ability to type with all your fingers and without the need to look at the keyboard as you go. Many people learn it during their school days, but many don’t. Those who don’t tend to use only two fingers to type, and some even need to look for the right key before pressing it.

Until last week I used to type with only two fingers as well. I was not bad with it (averaging 65 words per minute or so), but still I felt that it was necessary to switch to touch typing. Why? Because typing is where we spend most of our time these days, and even small improvements on your typing speed will translate into huge productivity gains.

Suppose that you spend three hours per day typing. That is around 15 hours per work week, 60 hours per month and 720 hours per year. If you increase your typing speed by 30%, you would gain 216 extra hours of work every year. That is a lot.

If you are convinced, here are some resources that I found while trying to learn touch typing. The first one is a test to see how fast you can currently type: speedtest.10-fast-fingers.com. This one is useful to track your progress.

For the learning part I used this site: typeonline.co.uk. It comes with five basic lessons that will teach you the basics of touch typing, including all the finger positions. Each lesson also comes with ten exercises that you can use for practice.

Now the trick is: once you know the positions and can type with all your fingers without looking at the keyboard, albeit slowly, you need to make the switch and never return to typing with two fingers again.

In the beginning you will feel miserable, but this is the only way to go. For example, with two fingers I was able to type 65 words per minute, and as of today with touch typing I am down to 30 words or so. It is a pain, but I am sure that within 2-4 weeks I will be back to 65 words per minute, and hopefully within some months I will be able to increase it to 100 words per minute, which is considered to be pretty fast.

If you are still typing with two fingers, make an effort to learn touch typing. I am sure it will be worth it. For the rest of you guys who already touch type, what is your wpm (words per minute) speed?




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54 Responses to “You Got to Learn Touch Typing”

  • Chris Foley

    90-105 wpm depending on the day. Minus the time it takes to cut and paste links when blogging ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Steve

    Quite impressive that you could write all these articles with only two finger typing. I work in IT and have several coworkers that cannot type worth a dime. I don’t see how they get their jobs done.

  • Eric C

    I type 45-50 words a minute two finger style. it’s my thing, and I’m sticking with it.

  • Rob O.

    Oh man, this is one of my regrets, to be sure. I’m no two-finger tapper – I involve nearly all of my fingers in my funky hybrid hunt-n-peck technique – but even at my best, my speed is only fair.

    This is such a vital skill. I sure hope the schools emphasize touch typing. To heck with my kiddo learning Word, PowerPoint, or such. Software changes. They keyboard is a permanent fixture.

  • Mr. I

    I look at keyboard when I am typing most of the time. Looks like I will need to learn touch typing!

    Now, heading over to typeonline!

  • Joshua Elliot

    I have not tried before.

    I was using like total of 5 fingers, and I have to look.

    That means that I have to learn how to do it.

  • Matej

    53 words correct, 4 wrong, 2 fingers.

    When I try to type with all my fingers, I always type some letters before they should come. For example: ‘fingres’ instead of ‘fingers’. Well, maybe some day I learn :))

  • Rete

    I had an awesome typing teacher in school and use that skill every day — 75 wpm according to that speed test site.

  • Alison

    That was fun.

    You have 88 correct words and
    you have 1 wrong words

    I learned touch typing in high school.

    If you can type 65 wpm with two fingers, you’ll fly with touch typing once you get the hang of it.

  • Nicholas Z. Cardot

    I’ve been able to touch type since I was in school and I often wonder how others deal with typing so slow. I’m glad you decided to learn how to do it!

  • infmom

    I learned to type before people landed on the Moon. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can type 110wpm easily. Yes, it’s miserable while you’re learning, because for the first few weeks the hunt-and-peck method you’ve used is faster, but once you get all your fingers flying over the keys you’ll never go back.

  • Colby

    My mother forced me to learn touch typing when I was 10 years old by putting me in summer school. I hated it every step of the way. While my friends played all day I was sitting in summer school. Today and throughout school I’m very glad I learned to touch type at such an early age.

    By the way, 65 wpm with only two fingers is pretty darn fast.

  • Ellie

    I learned touch typing around age 9. I can type about 70 words per minute. It’s second nature to me, so I never look at the keyboard. I do admit that switching to a Mac threw me off, so I have had to learn this keyboard style and learn how to switch back and forth. Some buttons aren’t where I expected them to be!

  • Boerne Search

    I use all my fingers, but I still need to look at the board every now and again. I type aound 70 words a minute. But like mentioned above plue copy and pasting url’s.

    Kane

  • Christina Crowe

    I agree! touch typing saves loads of time.

    I taught myself how to touch type when I was a little girl. Now I type 80-90 wpm. I’m still struggling with typing numbers without looking though.

  • Starla Insigna

    98 wpm. ๐Ÿ™‚ Touch typing is so worth learning.

  • Paul

    59 wpm on that speed test site just now, but thats with my laptop which I always type a bit slower on because of the smaller keyboard.

    I’ve touch typed (not strict, my own adapted style) for over 10 years now just because so much of my day job involves typing shell commands and typing job logs, emails etc.

    Its certainly worth learning and sticking to.

  • Harrison

    You hunt and peck this entire thing that is too much! I learned touch typing a long time ago. It wasn’t that hard just took a few months. Just have to learn where the keys are. We had to take classes in school!

  • Chester

    I’m bad at typing! I should practice more.

  • Carey

    Learning to type is the first thing I learned when I started in the transcription industry, I really helps in blogging too.

    Every blogger should not only be able to type with all fingers but also without even looking at the keyboard for every letter!

    So, here we have another challenge for blogger wanting to improve their productivity and efficiency, huh?

  • Liane YoungBlogger

    Oh, so that’s what they call it? Touch typing??? Hahaha. Cool. I’m actually good at it! Especially in usernames and passwords… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Joe Walters

    I could reach just up to 50 wpm ๐Ÿ™ However, will try to improve myself..

  • ffoucaud

    Thank you for this article.
    I’ll try to increase my typing speed with these lessons.
    (For the moment, it’s around 31 wpm… I have some efforts to do ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  • Tom Bradshaw

    Man I wish I could touch type – it’s taken me 6 minutes to write this!

  • John Collins

    Hi Daniel –

    You had it right when you said “never return to typing with two fingers again”. I even took a class to do it right and by the end I was typing 85wpm. But old habits die hard and every once in a while I would go back to my old ways. Which was 4 fingers and a thumb ๐Ÿ™‚ but really no better than two fingers. Next thing you know I wasted taking that class and I’m still using 4 fingers again all the time. I even tried doing it the proper way recently but I’m going to have to reinvest more time again because I am almost as bad as I was before I took the class. “never return to typing with two fingers again”.

  • Roy

    I totally agree. One the best decisions I made at college, was to take a typing course in the first term. It’s been a great benefit through my career.

    So if you can’t type, you have to learn.

  • –Deb

    I totally agree. I’ve been grateful for years that my parents forced me to take a typing class in high school (circa 1985), and even though my Dad was a programmer, not even they expected keyboards to be such an important part of my life. I can’t imagine how much longer it would take me to do EVERYTHING if I couldn’t touchtype. And, well, okay, I may cheat a little for the extra characters like ^, *, #. The ones that I don’t use often. And I’d rather type numbers on a number pad any day, than use the ones above the letters. But, still. Typing is soooo much easier this way!

    Oh, and thank you for the speed test site. My first time through, while I was figuring out how it worked, I got 65 wpm. The second time, through, while concentrating, I got 89. Fun!

  • Marketing Now

    I look the test 3 times and actually got worse:-) Started at 31 words and ended up at 27 (twice). Boy, 65 using 2 fingers – that is fast… why would you bother learning touch typing.

    I’ve used speech to text software to assist in writing books. That’s fun!

    Also, with all this typing every day… does anyone else feel like they’re in grade 2 when they pick up a pen to write?

  • Stephanie

    I took the test. 56wpm. Typing one-handed with a baby in my arms.

    I probably should learn touch typing. Thanks for the link. I’m going to check it out.

    I hope you’ll give us an “update” on your progress in a few weeks.

    P.S. I just found your blog and I’m enjoying it immensely.

  • Tomas

    I don’t want to brag, but I can type 189 characters per minute according to speed test. In my native language my score is over 200… I am using my hybrid style of typing, but I am looking forward to master touch typing. Thanks, for tips.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Tomas, we were talking about words per minute, not characters.

    65 words per minute is around 450 characters per minute if I am not wrong. Some people can even type 1,000 characters per minute.

  • estherrosieuk

    Wow. I think 65 words per minute is astonishing with 2 fingers. That is about my touch typing speed and that’s on a good day.

    I have just started a new partner in our online business and he is a two finger wizard although he is starting to practise with voice recognition software.

    Problem with any typing is matching the speed of your brain with your chosen method!

  • Doug

    Touch typing was the most useful class I ever took in high school….a long, long time ago. On a good day I can hit 130-140 wpm. It has made a world of difference in my work as a journalist.

  • Lucy Atkinson

    I’m just like you, typing around 62 words per minute with two and sometimes three fingers if I concentrate.

    The thing I’m most concerned about is the strain on my two first fingers from typing so quickly but only using them … and not noticing errors because you’re looking at the keyboard is a pain as well. Backspacing really cuts a lot of words out of your overall time.

    I found speech to text software a real waste of time, though … I had to speak so slowly that it was faster to type. The fact that I was speaking also distracted me fro my train of thought … not recommended by me ๐Ÿ™‚

  • AlkaShakya

    that was fun.. i can type:
    331 characters per minute
    65 correct words
    0 wrong words with my 10 fingers.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • navapuddin

    Well,my dad put me into a typing class and i didnt even have the power to hit the keys(Yes,i’m talking of good ol’ typewriting machines) but yes i definitely dont regret it.

  • Arun Kumar

    Hi,
    This is World’s No.1 PC typing Expert and Limca Book Record holder – H.M.Arun Kumar. Please guys learn the art of touch typing and enjoy working on PC.

    I’m record holder for typing at a speed of 600 characters per minute in free-hand mode, record holder for typing at a speed of 400 characters per minute in cross-hand mode, and record holder for training the art of touch typing just in 4 hours of time.

    Happy typing !!!

    regards,
    Arun Kumar
    Limca Book Record holder, India

  • Andrew

    I can type 84 words per minute (according to this speed test) with just two fingers. Yes, just two fingers.

    I used to touch type and I averaged around 130, but I don’t see the need to type that much. (Not to mention using just two finger is much easier and I can type one handed if need be this way.)

  • presley8792

    I swear to god:

    152 characters per minute

    29 right, 0 wrong!

  • presley8792

    touch typing, with looking at the keyboard!

  • Arun Kumar

    Hi Presley 8792,
    touch typing is typing with all fingers and by looking into the monitor, your’s is search typing i.e. typing by looking into the keyboard.
    Learn the art of touch typing and enjoy working on PC.

    Happy typing !

    regards,
    Arun Kumar
    World’s No.1 PC typing Expert and Record holder to
    touch type at 600 Characters per minute in free-hand mode,
    record holder for typing in cross-hand style too.

  • Anonymous

    Personally I get around 80-90 WPM and I generally tend to use the two fingers approach but modified for three fingers in my own unique way withouy looking at my keyboard or thinking about it.

    pfft, and all those teachers said playing PC games was a waste of time. The amount of times I’ve done homeworking in the class as the teacher is coming round to collect it is quite astounding.

  • Arun Kumar

    Hi Computer users,

    Just in one day of four hours one can learn the art of touch typing with all fingers and type at a speed of 100 characters per minute in supersonic technique.

    I am looking forward in promoting this technique worldwide and make people learn the art of touch typing to get their work faster and easier.

    For more information on technique kindly mail : typing_guru@yahoo.com

    or

    httpwww.youtube.comwatchv=IWn-l6tIi-o

    regards,
    Arun Kumar
    World’s No.1 pc typing expert and Limca book record holder

  • chirag

    Isn’t it easier to press ‘x’ with middle finger than with ring finger when stretching fingers from home row?

    Typing tutor programs and website recommends using left hand:
    Little finger for z
    Ring finger for x
    Middle finger for c
    Index finger for v

    But I find the following more comfortable:
    Little finger for shift
    Ring finger for z
    Middle finger for x
    Index finger for c

    -When stretching the fingers from home row.
    When this is so then why the common recommendation?

  • Will Peach

    Using AIM client voraciously as a teenager also helps no end – although I’m still a little patchy now!

  • Arun Basil Lal

    I would recommend anyone to learn the Dvorak keyboard layout. I am shifting from Qwerty to Dvorak, my friends use Dvorak and find it much faster and is RSI safe.

    Dvorak is designed for faster typing.

  • zida

    I am 21 years and i just started learning touch typing online 4 weeks ago.I do it 1 hour per day and now i can do 15wpm with 94% accuracy.
    There are questions i usually ask myself which when unanswered can make me give up in touch typing.

    1. how long will it take me to reach the speed of 40-50wpm?
    2. 1 hour a day!! will it help or do i need more time?
    3. When typing should i concentrate in speed or avoid mistakes?

  • H.M.Arun Kumar

    Hi Zida,

    Good, that u started to Learn the art of touch typing.
    Don’t worry if your speed is 15wpm, concentrate on accuracy and not speed.
    One hour a day of practicing typing is enough and see your progress in a weeks time it will be morethan 25wpm.

    Remember Accuracy first, Speed next.

    Happy typing !!!

    regards,
    Arun Kumar
    World’s No.1 PC typing Expert and
    Limca Book Record holder

  • Typing Touch

    Online typing test tutorials will help you learn the basic keystrokes. Tips for success. Do not look at the keyboard รขโ‚ฌโ€œ not even a quick peek!

  • Sean

    I type using two fingers. Even now I am doing it.

    And the thing is, I am really good at it. I ignored all of my classes in
    middle school telling me how to type. I am now 18 and I do not need to look at the keys as I type with two fingers.

    I probably make like 2 mistakes every paragraph. Even now this one is flawless. But I can quickly hit the backspace and resume typing.

    The speed usually amazes people.

  • Anna

    I tried it, but typing with my thumb is just impossible. I use two fingers and I’ll stick with that. I write fiction for pleasure. I find my typing fast enough for that considering that it also involves a lot of thinking.If I made myself “never go back” while my touch typing is still slow, I would probably just avoid writing altogether because not accomplishing anything sucks. Since writing is my escape from real world that would make me beyond miserable. My touch typing friends who do creative writing get about 1000-2000 words an hour and so do I. Creative writing isn’t about speed.

    If it isn’t a laptop one (they are kinda soft and my fingers slip to the wrong keys constantly) I don’t “peak” at the keyboard either.

  • Prashanth

    Touch Typing is absolutely worth learning given the fact that I would be using the computer for the rest of my life (for work or otherwise). I also noticed how touch typing improves the posture of the hand and results in lesser pain in the joint. I know by now where the keys are, but I type faster with two fingers, so i keep going back to the old habit. I need some motivation to carry this one on.

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