Teach yourself Touch Typing with Free Tools
Touch typing, or the art of typing with your 10 fingers, can do wonders to your productivity. Most technologically literate people know a bit of typing but if you can type without looking at the computer keyboard, you can get work done faster and gain an edge. Touch typing is also a useful skill to have for mobile and tablet users because when you perfectly know where the keys are, you can “Swype” faster.
Master the Art of Touch Typing
I learned the basics of typing on an old typewriter. Two decades later, I am busy hunting a good typing software for my kid and the number of choices that are available on the web now is mind-boggling. I’ve shared my research here and, whether you are a beginner looking to learn typing or typing to improve your typing speed, this list should help you.
If you are just getting started, the BBC’s Dance Mat Typing should be your go-to resource. It is a browser-based game for kids where each lesson touches a different set of keys and there’s a game at the end of each level to test what you have learned. The lessons would require the Adobe Flash player enabled in your browser.
The next recommended resource is Typing.com, a free website where you’ll find interactive tutorials and drills to help you learn typing step-by-step. Typing Study is a similar resource but unlike other typing lesson that focus on the English keyboard, Typing Study has lessons for keyboards of most popular languages including Hindi and it requires no Flash Player either.
Tipp10 (Mac, Windows) and Typist (Mac only) are desktop software that teach typing offline and you also have the option to upload your own text - like pages of your favorite novel - for practice.
Practice Typing with Online Games
The best way to learn typing is through practice and there are a plethora of online typing games that will help.
The very-addictive Z-type and QWERTY Warriors are shooter games where the ships are assigned a word and you’ve to type as fast as you can to shoot these advancing ships. Type Racer and TyprX let you test your typing speed while playing a basic game of car racing with other users. 10fastfingers lets you practice typing the most common English words while Typing Club allow you to practice individual keys that you you need think need more trainging. Advanced users can try the Typing Karaoke to test their typing skills.
Also see: Typing Shortcuts for iOS
Touch-typing is not difficult and you can become a pro if you set aside 30 minutes everyday for a week or two. Also, it is OK to make mistakes during training but always avoid looking down at the keyboard while typing.
Finally, invest in a good comfortable keyboard - I use Microsoft’s Sculpt keyboard and recommend it highly for ergonomics.
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.
Amit has developed several popular Google add-ons including Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory