How to Learn the Basics of Typing

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An increasing number of people use computers daily, and typing is a big part of computer use. Whether you have to type a lot for your job, for school assignments or for sending emails or instant messages, knowing how to type can save you time. Not only will you not have to look at your hands but you will be able to increase your speed and accuracy as well. Don’t worry if you skipped typing class in high school. You can still learn how to touch type and leave your hunt-and-peck days behind.

Instructions

  1. Turn on your computer and make sure it’s connected to the Internet. You are going to learn the “QWERTY” method of typing. This means the third row of keys above the space bar contains the keys “Q,” “W,” “E,” “R,” “T” and “Y” starting from the left side of the keyboard.
  2. Open Word or another word-processing program. Place your hands in the “home” position. Your home row is the second row up from the space bar. Your left pinky finger should be on the “A” key, your left ring finger on the “S” key, your left middle finger on the “D” key and your left index finger on the “F” key. Your right index finger should be on the “J” key, your right middle finger on the “K” key, your right ring finger on the “L” key and your right pinky finger on the “;” key. The thumbs of both hands will fall naturally on the space bar.
  3. Type the alphabet. You can look at your hands at first but after a few times, you should try to look only at the monitor. Your hands should stay in the home position, but of course, your fingers will have to move up or down to type the other letters that are not in the home row. For example, you’ll use your left pinky finger to type the “Q” and “Z” keys. Your right index finger will reach to type the “H,” “Y,” “N” and “M” keys. Repeat the alphabet until you can type it without looking at your hands.
  4. Practice the punctuation keys using the same method. Alternate between typing the “:” and “”” keys as well as the “?” and “,” keys. Choose two punctuation keys and type different combinations. Throw in a third punctuation key once you get good at doing repetitions of two keys.
  5. Find the number keys and practice the numbers “0” to “9.” Mix it up with different key combinations, such as “464,” “446,” “646,” and “466.” Do that with all the number keys. After you become familiar with the numbers, add in the decimal key and the “/*-+” keys.
  6. Open a free online typing program and find your “home” row before you begin. You can test your accuracy and speed with many of these programs. If you find your accuracy is low, reduce your speed. It’s better to type more slowly and have no errors than to be able to type 80 words per minute and have several errors. Many of these sites also have typing games which provide a fun way to practice.