In today’s world, typing is an essential skill you need to develop to be proficient at your job. However, because using a computer is a skill we pick up as we’re growing up and not necessarily taught, our typing speeds and techniques can vary drastically. You might also find you can’t type without looking at your keyboard, which can slow you down or be weird in a professional setting.
Therefore, learning to type efficiently is essential as a skilled worker and can help you save time and increase productivity. It can also improve your posture, reduce strain on your fingers, and overall improve your working experience. This piece will look at learning how to type without looking at the keyboard and provide some helpful tips. Keep reading to learn more.
Different Types of Typing Techniques
You might already be using different typing techniques, but it’s always good to identify them. Here are the most prevalent.
1. Touch Typing
Touch typing involves using your muscle memory to type without looking at the keyboard. This technique requires memorizing the position of keys and using all your fingers to type, increasing typing speed and accuracy. Some of the benefits of using this technique include:
- Faster typing speed: touch typing allows for faster typing speed since the fingers are always in the correct position and ready to type.
- Improved accuracy: touch typing leads to improved accuracy since the fingers are less likely to make mistakes when they are in the correct position and are used to typing without looking at the keyboard.
- Reduced strain: touch typing minimizes the strain on the hands and wrists since the fingers move more efficiently and with less effort.
- Better posture: this encourages better posture since you’re not hunching over the keyboard to see the keys.
2. Hunt and Peck Typing
Hunt and peck typing is a technique where you type with one or two fingers looking at the keyboard for each keystroke. This method is slower than touch typing but also has some benefits, including:
- Ease of learning: hunt and peck typing is easy to pick up since you only need to focus on a few keys at a time.
- Minimal equipment: hunt and peck typing can be done with any keyboard, making it accessible.
- Useful for occasional typing: it’s helpful if you only need to type occasionally or for short periods.
3. Hybrid Typing
Hybrid typing is a combination of touch typing and hunt and peck typing. This technique involves using touch typing for familiar words and hunt and peck for unfamiliar words. The benefits of hybrid typing include:
- Flexibility: hybrid typing allows you to switch between touch typing and hunt and peck typing, depending on the situation.
- Useful for unfamiliar words: it’s useful for unfamiliar words you have not yet memorized their position on the keyboard.
- Increased speed: switching between the two techniques allows you to always type at your most efficient speed.
4. Thumb Typing
Thumb typing is a technique commonly used on smartphones and tablets. It involves using the thumbs to type on a touchscreen keyboard. Some benefits of thumb typing include:
- Portability: thumb typing is ideal for mobile devices, making it possible to type on the go.
- Speed: with practice, thumb typing can be quick, making it easy to send messages and complete tasks on a mobile device.
Stenography is a technique used by court reporters and transcriptionists to rapidly type using a specialized keyboard with fewer keys than a standard keyboard. Some benefits include:
- Increased speed: stenography can significantly increase typing speed, making it possible to quickly transcribe large volumes of text.
- Accuracy: a stenography keyboard is designed to reduce the likelihood of errors, improving transcription accuracy.
- Portability: stenography equipment is portable, making it possible to transcribe text from anywhere.
The Basics of Developing a Typing Technique
Here are some basic practices to help you develop your typing technique.
1. Home Row Keys
The home row keys are the set of keys that form the center row of the keyboard. When not typing, these keys are where your fingers should rest and are also called the home row key position. They are the ASDF and JKL keys, and this is where your fingers should start and return to rest when typing.
2. Proper Finger Placement
Each finger is assigned a specific set of keys. For example, the left index finger should rest on the F key, the right index finger on the J key, the left middle finger on the D key, and so on. You should also minimize your hands crossing from one side of the keyboard to the other to improve speed.
3. Basic Typing Drills
Basic typing drills are simple exercises that help build muscle memory and accuracy. These drills include typing exercises focusing on specific sets of keys, such as the home row keys or the top row keys, as well as simple sentences and paragraphs to practice typing speed and accuracy.
Learning to Type Without Looking at the Keyboard
As we’ve already seen, touch typing is the technique you need to learn to type without looking at the keyboard. Learning to touch type can be challenging, but with practice and persistence, it is possible to master this technique. Here are some steps to follow to learn to touch type.
1. Familiarize yourself with the keyboard
Before you can start touch typing, you need to be familiar with the keyboard layout. Take some time to study the keyboard and the position of each key. Develop a mental map of the keys to allow you to locate each without looking at the keyboard.
If you’re constantly looking at the keyboard while typing, it can slow your typing speed, reduce accuracy, and cause fatigue and strain in your fingers and wrists.
2. Memorize the Home Row Keys
The home row keys are where your fingers should rest when not typing. These keys are the A, S, D, and F keys on the left and the J, K, and L keys on the right hand.
3. Learn Proper Finger Placement
You should assign each of your fingers to a specific set of keys. For example, the left index finger should rest on the F key, the right index finger on the J key, the left middle finger on the D key, and so on. Each finger should also only type the letters closest to it without overlap.
4. Start With Basic Typing Drills
Basic typing drills are simple exercises that help you build muscle memory and accuracy. These drills include familiarizing yourself with the primary key layout and typing exercises to improve typing speed and accuracy.
5. Practice Regularly
Consistent practice is crucial to building muscle memory and increasing speed and accuracy. Aim to practice typing for at least 10-15 minutes each day.
6. Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress can help you identify areas that need improvement and keep your motivation high. Use a typing tutor or an online typing test to monitor your typing speed and accuracy.
7. Focus on Accuracy
While speed is critical, accuracy is equally essential when touch typing. Ensure you focus on typing accurately, even if it means typing more slowly.
8. Finger Motion
Train yourself not to look at the keys while typing. Instead, glide your fingers over the keys until you find the one you’re looking for and move it back to the home row key position. You should also limit your fingers and hands from moving more than they need to press a key. Keeping them close to the home row key position improves your speed and reduces your hands’ strain.
9. Building Speed
Do not rush when learning how to type without looking at your keyboard. Concentrate on consistently hitting the right keys with the correct fingers to build muscle memory. Only then, try and type faster to improve your speed.
Strategies to Help you Learn Touch Typing Faster
Here are some strategies to help you learn touch typing more effectively.
1. Use an Online Typing Tutor
There are many online typing tutors available that can help you learn touch typing. These tutors provide interactive lessons and typing exercises to help you build muscle memory and increase your typing speed and accuracy. Some popular online typing tutors include TypingClub, Typing.com, and Keybr.
2. Take a Typing Course
Consider taking a typing course if you prefer a more structured approach to learn touch typing. Many community colleges and vocational schools offer typing lessons to help you learn touch typing in a classroom setting. These courses typically cover the basics of touch typing and provide ample practice exercises to help you master the technique.
3. Use Typing Games
Another excellent and fun way to learn touch typing is through typing games. There are many online typing games you can use to improve your typing speed and accuracy while keeping you engaged and motivated. Some popular typing games include TypeRacer, NitroType, and Typing Attack.
4. Focus on Muscle Memory
Touch typing relies on muscle memory, the ability to perform a task without consciously thinking about it. To build muscle memory, focus on typing each letter correctly and accurately and use repetition to reinforce the correct finger placement. The more you develop your muscle memory, the more proficient you will become.
5. Practice With Real-world Texts
Practicing with real-world texts is essential to become proficient in touch typing. Try typing emails, memos, and other business documents to improve your typing speed and accuracy in real-world situations.
6. Take Breaks
Touch typing can be mentally and physically taxing. Take regular breaks to rest your eyes, stretch your fingers and wrists, and avoid fatigue and strain.
7. Be Patient and Persistent
Learning to type without looking at the keyboard takes time and practice. Be patient, and don’t get discouraged if you make mistakes or don’t see progress immediately. With consistent practice, you’ll gradually improve your typing speed and accuracy.
Typists used to work in offices with typewriters exclusively to type office documents not so long ago. However, technology has improved, and more and more of our work has evolved to require computer skills, chief among them proficiency in typing. But this might not be your strong suit if you’re like most people.
Learning to type without looking at your screen or touch typing can significantly improve your productivity and efficiency when working on a computer. Start by learning your keyboard’s outline, build a mental map of each key’s location, and then improve your speed and accuracy. You can also use some of the other tips in this post to help you build proficiency quickly.
With consistent practice and patience, you will soon learn to touch type and enjoy the benefits of the techniques by becoming more productive and efficient in your work. So, start practicing today and take your typing skills to the next level.
What is touch typing?
Touch typing is a technique where you type without looking at the keyboard. Instead of looking at the keys, you rely on muscle memory and a mental keyboard map to locate each key.
Why is touch typing important?
Touch typing is important because it can significantly improve your typing speed and accuracy. It also helps reduce strain and fatigue in your fingers and wrists, which can be a common problem if you spend a lot of time typing.
How can I learn touch typing?
There are several ways to learn touch typing, including online typing tutors, practicing with real-world texts, and using typing games and exercises.
How long does it take to learn touch typing?
The time it takes to learn touch typing varies depending on the individual. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to develop the muscle memory and mental map needed to type without looking at the keyboard, depending on your personality and learning ability.
Do I need a special keyboard to learn touch typing?
You don’t need a special keyboard to learn touch typing. Any keyboard will work as long as it has a standard layout. However, a keyboard cover or an overlay can help you practice typing without looking at the keys.
Can touch typing improve my posture?
Touch typing can improve your posture by encouraging you to keep your hands in the correct position on the keyboard. This can help reduce strain and tension in your neck, shoulders, and back.
Can touch typing help me avoid typos?
Touch typing can help you avoid typos because it encourages you to type with accuracy and precision. By relying on muscle memory and a mental keyboard map, you’re less likely to make typing mistakes.