How Can I Type Faster? You know the feeling. You never learned any keyboard skills at school (assuming they were even being taught when you were there) so your typing is closer to hunt and peck than it is to Mavis Beacon. Which is OK if you're tapping out a short email but is a pain in the neck if you've got a multi page report to produce. Here are some tips to help you type faster without having to take two steps backwards in your typing speed while you learn. 1. Use more than one finger! If one hand is laying dormant or is gripping your mouse with a vengeance rather than move anywhere near the keyboard, it's time to use at least one finger from each hand. If you use each hand to cover around half the keyboard then you'll reduce what a hard disk manufacturer would call "seek time". Your fingers have less distance to travel, which will speed up your typing. Plus two of them tapping away will help as well. 2. Thump the space bar with your thumb This is again quite an easy trick to learn. Gradually train your thumb to be the thing that hits the space bar rather than moving one of your fingers down to the bottom of the keyboard. 3. Consider touch typing This is a brige too far for a lot of people. I'm fast enough with a few fingers and my left thumb to have found that learning to touch type was too much hassle. Maybe eventually I'd have sped up but short term touch typing was grinding my typing and my creativity to a halt. Your choice - if you're pounding a keyboard day in, day out, it could be worth the short term hit on typing speed for the longer term benefit. 4. Watch the screen, not the keyboard This one is an "ouch" at first. But learning to watch the screen more than the keyboard was probably the single most important thing I personally did to speed up my tapping. Touch typists do it by definition, so I figured that if it was good enough for them, it was good enough for me. There are times when I'll slip and my eyes will glance at the keyboard. But they're less and less often and are used to "get my bearings" on where the keys have moved from (psychologically - I don't balance my keyboard on my lap) since I last checked. A purist touch typist would glare at me for doing this - they'd use those little raised bits on the F and J keys to keep themself guided. But if you're not a touch typist, glancing at the keyboard is fine. 5. Cheat! Again, Mavis Beacon would throw her arms up in horror at this suggestion. But there's nothing to say you have to use a keyboard. There are programs available that will transcribe your words onto the screen. So you can literally talk your words rather than hammer away at that QWERTY keyboard. Windows keeps it a bit of a secret but ever since Vista, it's had that capability built in but - for reasons I've never understood - switched off. Do a quick search and see whether you get on with this method - I find it slows me down, especially as I like to listen to music as I type but you may decide it's the best way to not type. Whatever happens, I'm sure that when you follow these tips you'll begin to type faster.
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