It turns out that typing form can be one of the most important determinants of ultimate typing speed and efficiency. The most effective method of typing is referred to as “touch” typing. With touch typing, the hands are placed over the keyboard with the fingers in a specific formation. The position of each key on the keyboard is memorized and typing occurs fluidly and without the requirement to continuously look at the keyboard. Typing keyboards have become standardized so that the keys are always organized in a specific way – arguably allowing for maximum efficiency. I say arguably because there are schools of thought that insist that there are actually more efficient ways of organizing a keyboard. Nevertheless, these schools of thought have not prevailed and the current keyboard arrangement that you see on almost all keyboards today in one variation or another has taken hold and become a ubiquitous standard.
Standardization has occurred for a very important reason. Consider the vast amount of information available in books, libraries and on the internet. All of that information has been hand typed by an army of skilled typists. Standardized computer keyboards have allowed a mechanization of the typing process resulting in incredible advances in typing speed and efficiency.
Touch Typing Technique
The old method of typing (and sadly, a method still in widespread use) is the “hunt and peck” methodology of keyboarding. This is an extremely tedious and inefficient method of typing. People who use this style of typing are either incapable, or more likely, unwilling to spend the time to memorize the position of the keys on a keyboard and to adopt standard finger positioning techniques. Unless you are a person who truly only interacts with a keyboard once or twice a year you will profit from the efficiency that can be generated through keyboard memorization and touch typing techniques.
Speed Typing Checklist
In addition to learning to “touch” type, many people find that they can incrementally increase their typing speed through a combination of:
1. Maintaining a correct typing posture: this means sitting erect with elbows to your sides and fingers neither hovering above nor pressing down, but rather resting gently on the keys in a standard finger position – more about this below.
2. Ensuring that the keyboard is at the proper height. Most desks and keyboard trays are set at a standard height. Be aware that if you are shorter or taller than average you will need to adjust your chair to establish comfortable positioning.
3. Typing with finesse – type fluidly with fingers resting gently on the keyboard.
4. Refraining from overworking yourself. Take periodic respites from your typing routine. Gluing yourself to a keyboard for hours of uninterrupted typing will lead to problems and fatigue and render you less productive in the long run.
5. Monitoring your typing speed and accuracy by returning frequently to one of the free speed typing tests available on the internet can motivate you toward higher levels of speed and accuracy as you see the results of your efforts.
Learn typing for beginners