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How to turbocharge your typing technique

6 November 2017

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How fast do you type?

There’s an awesome little test you can take here to find out the number of words per minute (WPM) that are likely to flow from your fingertips. Try it!

The average person types at rate of around 40WPM, therefore if you’re anywhere north of that, you’re quite the typist.

Being a great typist doesn’t make you a better novelist, but it obviously makes you far more productive if you’re able to lash words onto a digital page quicker than most.

If, having taken the above test, you find that you’re lagging behind the average somewhat, and have long suspected that you could speed up your typing, we’ve got some brilliant tips to turbocharge those fingers:

Practice touch typing if you’re a keyboard gazer

Great touch typists still need to occasionally glance at the keyboard, but if you spend most of your time doing that as opposed to looking at the screen, there’s two problems:

  1. You’ll be a lot slower at typing than someone who can ‘type blind’.
  2. You’ll probably make more mistakes.

Being able to watch the words arrive on the screen while you type is the best way to spot and correct errors as you go. This is why touch typing is an invaluable skill for anyone who uses a keyboard on a regular basis, and mastering it comes from one thing: practice.

Practice the art of typing without looking as often as possible. Go slowly at first and don’t rue every error you make; the speed will soon build.

Expand beyond those index fingers

A great typist will use every single finger (and both thumbs) as they glide across the keyboard.

Despite this, some of the most well-known writers in the world still type solely with their index fingers.

It’s a painful process to watch, but equally painful to undertake. And the reason is obvious; with just two fingers, you have to cover an awful lot of ground. It’s an incredibly inefficient way to write.

Those index fingers will have to travel much further than when accompanied by the rest of your digits, so give them a break and exercise the use of all your fingers while typing.

Memorise as many keyboard shortcuts as possible

Copy, paste, undo, italicise, save, bold and select are all examples of regular typing tools that are best served by keyboard shortcuts.

Brush up on the keyboard shortcuts for your operating system and keep a printout of them by your side at all times - they make a huge difference to how quickly you can work that keyboard and get words down.

Pay attention to your posture

Lastly, super-fast typing isn’t all about your fingers, typing technique and use of shortcuts - you’ll need to develop proper posture to make sure you can do all of this and look after your body at the same time.

The following tips will help immeasurably:

  • rest your feet flat on the ground;
  • keep your shoulders and neck relaxed;
  • keep your head straight - don’t position your monitor or laptop where you need to peer down (or up);
  • try not to rest your wrists on the desk; and
  • keep your elbows tight to your body as much as possible.

Wrapping up

Don’t get us wrong - none of the above will come easy - far from it. But, as with any skill, the art of typing will only come after consistent, focused practice.

You’ll never perfect it, either, which is why this is one writing skill you’ll have to continually work to improve on.

But, boy is it worth it!

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