How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

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bardenay
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by bardenay » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:52 am

In my 8th grade BASIC programming class the teacher suggested that, "if you think you will do anything with computers, you really should take a typing class." That small comment is one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received. (That and "Hey, check out the bogleheads.org forum!" :happy )

In high school my friends and I all took typing class and were the only guys in the room. To this day we all work with computers and type well.

The key thing is to learn a formal method. There is a 'home row" where your fingers rest, each finger has assigned keys, etc. The learning process and practice are to go step step through each finger key combination. "j, J, j, J, 7, u, U......."

Since you have been using computers for a long time, you will need to unlearn bad habits. Meaning that your typing will slow down until you get practice and speed up.

(One quick story since we are talking about typing. My mother had a mechanical typewriter that we used at home. Not electric; manual. It was a 'teaching typewriter' that had NO letters on any of the keys! With every key stroke you had to ask yourself, "Do I feel lucky?")

3feetpete
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by 3feetpete » Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:46 am

You don't have to practice! You are practicing every time you work on the computer. You are just practicing wrong.

The key to touch typing is to always start with your fingers in the home position. Left four fingers on ASDF right four fingers on JKL; So you start with your fingers on the home position and start typing while watching the keyboard. Always use the closest finger to pick a letter and always be consistent in which finger you use to type which letter. example: right index always goes to Y or U and left index always goes to R or T and so on.

Do that consistently for long enough a period and muscle memory will take over. Your fingers will learn where to go. You will need to look at the keyboard less and less.

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Pajamas
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by Pajamas » Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:23 am

No matter how you go about it, work first to achieve accuracy, then speed. It doesn't matter how fast you can type, if you are hitting the wrong keys.

3feetpete
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by 3feetpete » Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:29 pm

The whole purpose of the qwerty keyboard is that it makes it very fast to type certain combinations of letters that appear frequently in the English language.
With your fingers in the home position. See how fast it is to type th or the.

In the home position your left index should be on the f and your right index on the j. left index types the t and right index types the h. Left middle finger is on the d and types the e.

sharpjm
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by sharpjm » Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:14 pm

3feetpete wrote:The whole purpose of the qwerty keyboard is that it makes it very fast to type certain combinations of letters that appear frequently in the English language.
With your fingers in the home position. See how fast it is to type th or the.
That isn't true at all. The purpose of qwerty was to minimize mechanical of failure of early typewriters.

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6miths
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by 6miths » Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:41 pm

sharpjm wrote:
3feetpete wrote:The whole purpose of the qwerty keyboard is that it makes it very fast to type certain combinations of letters that appear frequently in the English language.
With your fingers in the home position. See how fast it is to type th or the.
That isn't true at all. The purpose of qwerty was to minimize mechanical of failure of early typewriters.
+1

Pretty sure this is much closer to the truth.

The Dvorak keyboard is much more efficient in terms of finger travel and common word speed. It was designed with these in mind.
'It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so!' Mark Twain

3feetpete
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by 3feetpete » Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:05 pm

Well I guess my typing teacher from 45 years ago stands corrected and all those secretaries that could type 100+ words per minute on an old mechanical typewriter didn't realize how handicapped they were by the qwerty keyboard. It probably doesn't matter which keyboard you use as long as you find a home base for your fingers and consistently use the correct finger to find it's assigned keys. eventually muscle memory will kick in and the typing becomes second natured.

FedGuy
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by FedGuy » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:03 pm

Right, QWERTY was invented to slow typists down. When people would type too quickly on early typewriters, the thin rods that would fly out to strike the paper would sometimes hit or tangle each other, which would stop if not damage the machine.

sharpjm
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by sharpjm » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:15 am

FedGuy wrote:Right, QWERTY was invented to slow typists down. When people would type too quickly on early typewriters, the thin rods that would fly out to strike the paper would sometimes hit or tangle each other, which would stop if not damage the machine.
This is a common myth but has never been proved to be true.

The design was to separate common keys to prevent the keys from hitting eachother. The speed at which the keys were typed had nothing to do with it. This is why you see common letter combinations like "the" or "th" as another poster mentioned not adjacent to one another on the keyboard. His arguement was that these can be typed quickly, when in fact, every one of those keys are not in the home position meaning you have to make 3 finger movements to type "the" (and hence not an optimal design). In Dvorak, "the" can be typed without moving your fingers from the home positions.

The only exception to this is "e" and "r" being adjacent to one another on qwerty. This was a last minute change to the design and there are various theorys as to why it was done.

Ya'll need to brush up on your wikipedia articles before posting here :P :)

mhalley
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by mhalley » Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:45 pm

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Steam account required for game activation and installation

LeisureLee
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by LeisureLee » Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:58 pm

Chatting online with people at night is what really got me faster, though I still have a "hybrid" typing style like the one you describe. My texting really got faster once I started actually using it for back and forth conversations, too.

davebo
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by davebo » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:21 pm

I used Mavis Beacon's program back in the 80's I think...maybe early 90's? She's the typing guru!

SimonJester
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by SimonJester » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:33 pm

Typing class in 7th grade, we had electric IBMs! I think the typing paper was thinner then the single ply used in the restrooms. Nothing was more fun then about 1/2 way through class to snap a rubber band on your buddies paper ripping a big hole in the middle causing him to have to start all over with the days sentences. Lol haven't thought of those fun days in a long while...

Try typing "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" over and over again one hour each day for like 6 months. I still look at the keys.

As I get older it seems more of a problem to get the thoughts out of the brain then being able to type them fast enough.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

drawpoker
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by drawpoker » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:24 pm

SimonJester wrote:Typing class in 7th grade, we had electric IBMs! I think the typing paper was thinner then the single ply used in the restrooms. .....Try typing "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" over and over again one hour each day for like 6 months.
Well then, SimonJester, you are a real youngster, aren't you, having learned on Electric IBMs ! :(

In my day (doesn't everybody just hate to Hear That Phrase used :annoyed ) we had to learn 7th grade typing class on

Eke ! Manual typewriters ! Really!

So there, Gotcha.

Do agree, however, with observations re: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog -- Yikes ! :P

reneeh63
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by reneeh63 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:30 pm

Ahhhh....the nostalgia! Back in the day when my mom said I'd better take typing so I'd have "a skill to fall back on"! In the end it was great advice indeed for typing up my masters' thesis...hah! But yes, there are lots of online sites to practice on or you used to be able to buy software "tutors". Touch typing isn't that hard, just takes practice. If you do a lot of numbers it's much easier to use a number pad than the upper row of numbers, btw.

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thirdman
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by thirdman » Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:48 pm

Now this is a story, sad but true. In the 1990's in my mid forties I went to work for the VA. I had to type all of my notes, and enter orders on the computer. I would talk to patients, and type as we spoke. At first I typed in all capitals, at it was gibberish. Then I had the brainstorm of looking up proper fingering. I didn't look at my fingers, but at the screen, and pretty soon i didn't have to think about where the correct keys were, and I just typed. Then I learned the fingering for the numbers keypad, and I can enter data in a spreadsheet. Once you get the hang of it, it is like swimming, suddenly it clicks. ( not a pun.) note, I am typing this on a iPad, with one finger. Ah, progress.

Thirdman

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M_to_the_G
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by M_to_the_G » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:02 am

The only useful thing I learned at a rural public high school in the Deep South was typing. The instruction for every other subject was ridiculously bad. For example, during my senior year I had an AP English teacher who couldn't spell or understand basic grammar. One story that went around for a while was about a valedictorian at the county high school (even worse than our town high school), who was forced to take remedial English and Math when she entered community college that year.

But for some reason, these horrible schools forced everyone to take a semester of typing, and boy-oh-boy am I ever grateful they did. It was the one positive thing that school system did for me, in my opinion. Basically, learning to type is a perishable skill that never perishes -- once you've got the fundamentals down, you keep practicing for the rest of your life... because we all use computers to type on a daily basis, right?

Computer programs of the time (this was a while ago, so...) were extremely useful: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing was great, as well as Typing of the Dead, which was a game based on the old arcade shoot-em-up classic House of the Dead. The idea was that, instead of shooting zombies with a gun, you had to type quickly and accurately to kill them. My typing got very fast and accurate playing that game. That was nearly 20 years ago, though. Not sure what's out there now; I imagine vast improvements?
"It’s basically the plot of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.' If you stick around, doing nothing, while everyone around you ****s up, you’re going to win big." - John Oliver

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StormShadow
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by StormShadow » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:56 pm

I clock about 90 wpm. Good days 95+.

My secret was AOL instant messenger. Typing games helped too.

First you gotta start with the basics and have the correct fingers reaching for the appropriate keys. "T" with your left index, "Y" with your right index, "X" with left ring finger... Etc etc.

There are plenty of free online tutorials/games for this.

If you want to be really unique, you could try learning the Dvorak keyboard. Think if it as learning to write left handed. :mrgreen:

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corner559
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by corner559 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:13 pm

The way I did (and continue to do) it is LOTS of IMing with friends and family on AOL back in the day and now FB. Practice makes perfect.

Dave C.
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Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Post by Dave C. » Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:31 pm

Practice.....then practice some more. Writing a thesis or comparable type document is not practice. Keep your mind on the typing, not on the content of your writing. Then basically, just practice some more. 8-)
Easy does it/Live & Let Live/One day at a time. Thanks Bill.


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