By Linda Correli
Hunt – and – peck typing vs. touch – typing
Typing is an immanent part of work for predominant number of people. It is a daily task, the ability we can’t go without. It is no wonder that the necessity to master this skill has increased essentially in the recent years. It led to the emergence of the considerable amount of computer courses, which were flooded with those who eagerly wished to master typing as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, the popularity of courses was brought down by various computer self-tutors, which offered amazingly fast programs to master typing.
It was natural that the typing skills were tried to be improved. People aimed at equalizing quality and quantity. Hence, the method which combined all the requirements to typing with personal approach to each user was invented and called touch-typing. Touch typing means to engage in typing without having a look at the keyboard. The fingers are trained to locate the keys by position.
It is an intrinsic to the human beings to bring the development of the skills to perfection, to introduce automation to the daily routine, to simplify life by all means, making it more enjoyable. Same was in the case of touch – typing.
Touch-typing has become an essential, even mandatory skill these days no matter what line of work anyone does. Touch-typing is a method of typing, where the typist uses the sense of touch finding the proper keys rather than the sight. This method of typing is considered to be highly effective, as it redoubles the productivity of work and allows the typist to concentrate not on the search of proper keys while typing but on the sense of the information he types. In such a way the typist avoids the process of continuous and time consuming proof reading and makes only some minor editing after typing. The quantity of the misprints reduces twice.
It was counted that using the touch – typing method allows touching 60+ words per minute. People using the touch – typing method have much more advantages in comparison with the ‘hunt – and – peck’ typists. Hunt – and – peck typing or so called two – fingered typing is slower than touch – typing, using this method the typist required to find each key by sight, instead of relying on the memorized position of the keys.
It takes from 30 to 40 minutes to type one page of the text by the ‘hunt – and – peck’ method and only 5 or even 4 minutes by the touch typing method. So it helps to blueprint the time more rationally. At the same time general culture of labor increases. There is an important rule of touch typing which makes the technique of this method easier and distinguishes it form the ‘hunt-and-peck’ method. The less quantity of keys falls at one finger, the quicker the typing is.
Mastering the touch – typing and utilizing it in practice also helps to preserve health. As touch typists don’t have to shift the gaze from the keyboard to the screen, so the eyes don’t get tired and the eyesight doesn’t damage. Consequently, touch – typists are able to cope with the larger scopes of work and get tired less after the working day. At last, touch – typing leaves more time for the personal life and lets you enjoy your work.
Touch – typing software
How is it possible to master and become familiar with touch typing? There are a great variety of programs, which were specially elaborated to teach touch – typing. Preparing this article I’ve got acquainted with a stunning number of the freeware and read a lot of polar comments about different programs which teach touch typing. I want to share with you the information about some programs which are considered to be the most effective in teaching touch typing. They received a lot positive feedback both from the users and from the specialists.
Stamina Typing Tutor 2.5
is a multifunctional typing tutor with support for several layouts: QWERTY (US, UK), AZERTY, Dvorak etc. The intimate details: work with lessons and text (5 modes), a lesson editor, statistics, progress graphs, virtual keyboard (can be hidden), super MP3 sounds and music, a play list, support for several users.
Kiran’s typing tutor
is an effective typing program, which was worked out especially for beginners. It contains 500 typing lessons and 500 testing lessons. It measures typing speed, errors for each letter and shows Accuracy, Word per minute and key per minute after every lesson.
TypingMaster Typing Test
is a full-featured typing tester for Windows. After warming up with enjoyable typing games, you can evaluate your typing skills with any of the several test texts, or add your own one. This program includes custom texts, multi-user support, warm-up games, result history, and a printed test diploma.
Max Type LITE
is a multifunctional typing tester for Windows, which has two different modes of learning. Extreme Typing mode allows you to compete with an opponent, who can be set according to your typing level, for a typing speed in a chosen text. Another unique feature of this mode is that the record of your own typing at a wanted replay speed can be your opponent. Typing Test mode gives a possibility of statistical evaluation of your typing according to 20 parameters of any txt-file.
KP Typing Tutor
is an easy-to-use program, which lets you practice basic typing course, sentences and longer texts. KP Typing Tutor supports Dvorak keyboard layouts (Dvorak, Left Single-handed Dvorak and Right Single-handed Dvorak) with special typing courses.
And one more program, unique to my mind. Only imagine it can teach you to touch type in 90 minutes!
KAZ – Learn To Touch Type in 90mins v17
costs 13.97 $ on the Amazon.com. It is based on just 11 words in 5 phrases. It offers KAZ Speed builder short practice sessions for daily use.
KAZ – Learn To Touch Type in 90mins v17
is designed for all ages from 5 to 95 and can be utilized in all versions of Windows to XP and Mac OS 8, 9 and X on same CD ROM”.
Touch – typing technique
How does touch typing method work? Everything is simpler than can seem. The keyboard is divided in the areas; moreover each area corresponds to the appropriate quantity of fingers, for instance keys QAZWSX should be typed with a little finger. The position of the hands also depends on the areas; your left hand’s fingers should be placed on the home row keys ASDF and your right hands’ fingers should be on the keys JKL;. The letters on the keyboard are positioned so that the most frequently used letters are placed in the central row and are pressed with the forefingers.
By the way, there are a lot of different variants of layouts. The type of the layout is also important in the development of the technique of typing. The most habitual and accustomed is QWERTY, moreover it is the most frequently used layout, but according to the results of testing Dvorak proved to be more effective as it increased the speed of typing for 20 – 40 percents.
In touch typing not only the correct position of the hands and the type of the layout are significant, but the position of the body also plays an essential role. Your posture should be straight, legs shouldn’t be crossed, palms and fingers should be loose as though they rest over the keyboard. Imagine that you are having an apple in your hand and it is going to slip. You should hit the keys lightly and abruptly. The quieter the sound from the keyboard is, the better it is. Touch the keys with the finger cushions and after the hit withdraw the finger from the key.
As an evidence of all above said, I want to tell you the story of my friend Alex who mastered touch typing method by means of exhausting and systematical training. He began with the typing of various documents in his first job. As he told me later from the very first day of his work he understood that his method of typing was too far from the perfect and proved to be inefficient. In a word it was in the red. So he made up his mind to change this situation somehow. He bought a touch typing tutor and set to work. He trained systematically every day. With the time past he told me that he felt that his fingers had memorized the position of each key. He was consistent with his studying, he moved gradually from the simple tasks to the more complicated ones and in three months he mastered touch typing method. Now he is able to touch type 300 symbols in a minute. One practical and proved advice he gave: It is better to start learning to type with the touch typing method, as it is more troublesome to learn again from the ‘hunt-and-peck’ method.
Hence, I recommend you not to procrastinate and to set to touch typing right now. Remember “Knowing how to study is like knowing how to fish. It is a set of learning skills that lasts a lifetime and brings many rewards. Just as there are ways to know that you are a competent fisherman, there are ways to develop skills competency.” And one of them is touch typing.
About the Author: Linda Correli is a staff writer of
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