A Comprehensive Guide to Typing at Home

If you want to learn how to increase your typing speed, refer to our comprehensive guide to typing at home for tips and tricks. The easiest way to increase your typing speed is to practice touch typing, a technique that trains your muscle memory to strike the keys without looking at them. Scroll down for more typing tips listed below in our comprehensive guide to typing.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Nov 14, 2020

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There are many benefits to learning proper typing techniques. Not only will learning make your everyday computing tasks easier and faster, but typing is also a valuable skill that you can use to broaden your skill set and make your resume more attractive to potential employers if you are in the job market.

While you can pay to learn the skill at a local community college, you can just as easily teach yourself proper typing at home. To help you with the endeavor, we have assembled this informative guide on learning how to type effectively and safely.

Take your skills from a beginning typist level all the way to having a high WPM (words per minute) rate with good accuracy. Do not hesitate to test and practice your skills with the fun yet challenging typing games we have included links to in this article.

Learning to Type

Technically, every person knows how to type already. It is fairly instinctual. Faced with a keyboard, all you need to do is to simply hit the keys to input whatever information you want. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to type effectively or efficiently. Many people still employ the two-finger typing technique, which can slow down what they need to get done.

Most typing lessons you will find online will teach you touch typing or touch keyboarding, a technique in which a typist uses muscle memory in order to strike keys without looking. This technique is effective because it allows the typist to turn their attention solely to what they are writing on the screen instead of looking down at the keyboard to find certain keys.

If your primary goal in learning is to increase your typing speed, learning this typing technique is the way to go.

A great variety of people in various jobs will benefit from learning to type more efficiently. From executive assistants to college students and computer programmers, using proper typing technique can help you get your tasks done faster and prevent incurring injuries from the repetitive activity.

Typing quickly is also great if you want to keep in touch with friends of family on social media or through blogging. Typing skills open a whole new world.

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Beginner Typing Practice

The first thing new typists learn is proper hand, finger, and wrist placement as well as sitting posture. You can choose to follow your preferred keyboard technique which determines the key placement for each of your fingers. You can find out more about these techniques in the resources below.

The important thing is to make typing properly almost second nature to your fingers by practicing regularly. Eventually, your hands will develop muscle memory. Doing timed typing tests on the internet is a simple (and free) way to train yourself.

In the beginning, do not focus too much of your attention on typing fast. You can improve your speed later. The important thing is to build a proper foundation in typing properly with all your fingers, not just two. Train yourself to hit the right keys with the right fingers every time and you will increase your WPM steadily.

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Intermediate Typing Practice

Most of the beginner typing practice tests you will find online will give you a string of random characters or words to type. When you move forward with your lessons, it is important to find and do practice tests that will require you to type actual sentences. After all, you will not be typing ‘jjkkllkls’ in your everyday life very often.

You will find plenty of practice options for free on the Internet. We have linked to some below, so you can give them a try yourself. Just note that some sites may require you to make an account to track your progress over time.

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Games and Tests to Improving Typing Skills

Once you reach an intermediate level of skill, you will more or less have a WPM of 40. Since that is considered the average typing speed, you may want to aim for a higher WPM as your goal.

Practice is very important in improving your typing skills. Constant application of the lessons you learned will help with reaching your goals. However, doing the same repetitive tests over and over may get boring quickly. To keep you both on track and entertained, practice your typing through playing typing games. We have linked to some fantastic games you can try below.

Resources:

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Ergonomics and Preventing Injuries

Maintaining a proper sitting position is one of the first things you learn when starting your typing lessons and for good reason. This can prevent you from developing pain in your neck, back, and wrists; as well as help you avoid common repetitive motion injuries.

To avoid neck and back pain when typing for hours, maintain proper posture by making sure that your spine is aligned with the back rest of your seat. Make sure that your feet are also flat on the floor. Shorter people may find using a footstool more comfortable when sitting on chairs that are high for them.

Another thing both beginner and advance typists need to look out for is RSI, or repetitive strain injury. This condition arises when the toll of performing tasks like typing leads to pain in the palm, fingers, wrists, and even shoulders of the typist.

The good thing is that injury is preventable. Aside from practicing proper posture when typing, remember to maintain proper techniques when typing as well. This means keeping your wrists straight as you work, avoiding resting them on the keyboard, and refraining from straining your fingers by trying to reach hard-to-reach keys.

To learn more, check out the resources below.

Resources:

Centers for Disease Control: Alternative keyboards

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