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So, I know this is a question that has been "over-asked" but, I have a problem with most of the solutions.

Personally, I grew up with computers, but never learned to "type" partly due to the fact that Mavis beacon was more of a video game to me than a typing tutor. As a programmer and professional writer, I do a massive amount of typing per day and due to how slow I am and the fact that I constantly have to look at the keyboard, press backspace almost every 10 seconds, I often lose my train of thought.

Can someone tell me how to go from scratch to learn touch typing, factoring in my already entrenched habit of looking at the keyboard?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The proper way, which Pitman and all the other major methods use, is to learn your home keys:

  • For your left hand, pinkie finger to index finger should sit on A, S, D and F

  • For your right hand, similarly for ;, L, K, J

  • Thumbs should both sit on the space bar

You should be able to feel the little ridge on the F and J keys - these tell you when you are back in the home position. This is the position your fingers should return to after every word, or every sentence.

For letters off the home position just move the closest finger, eg:

  • left index finger will type 4, 5, R, T, F, G, V and B
  • left middle finger will type 3, E, D, C
  • right ring finger takes 9, O, L, .

and so on.

Once you get used to this, you will not need to look. It may take some time, but you can learn it very quickly, especially if you follow one of the online tutorials or youtube videos.

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Thanks Rory, I'm assuming that your'e pretty skilled at touch typing, if so, could you give me any tips to help with my migration. What I mean is, everytime I use a training program for about 30 mins +, I can touch type some letters but I realise that i'm not getting much practice because each time I need to type out a chapter or submit an article before the day runs out, I return to my "look & type style". How can I maintain proper consistency without significant productivity loss>? – Josh Jun 22 '13 at 23:56
@JoshuaAreogun When migrating from one method to another, you will have a reduced typing speed initially. Thats a necessary evil. And, if you keep going back to look and type, then you wont be able to develop your touch typing speed. – AsheeshR Jun 23 '13 at 2:45
Asheesh, that might be really tough but I'll give it a go. My current touch type speed is 11wpm. i'm rather ashamed of myself. – Josh Jun 23 '13 at 17:24
Before trying it I was about 20 wpm, now I'm about 90wpm - still not very fast, but fast enough for a programmer/coder. Just keep focusing on the home position. Perhaps try practicing more often, but for less time. Quick sessions before work, breaks, lunchtime, and after you have delivered your article? – Rory Alsop Jun 23 '13 at 17:29
Awesome, I'll keep at it then :) – Josh Jun 28 '13 at 8:28

In my experience, it is unneccesary to use typing trainers. You just need to understand how the 10 finger system works (see also Rory Alsops answer), and again and again remind you of the correct way to type during your normal work. It'll take some months, but will be worth it and takes not much additional time or effort.

It also helps to switch to an ergonomical splitted keybord like the Kinesis Advantage Keyboard. This forces you automatically to do it the correct way - if you try to type your old way you'll get mad. And typing on this keyboard is faster and easier on the hands than your plain old plank with keys. I'm very happy with it.

Kinesis Advantage Keyboard

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nice keyboard I'll be sure to try it out :) I love Markdown :D – Josh Jun 28 '13 at 8:27

I don't know about "proper, but 20+ years ago on DOS I used a program names TTT - touch type tutor that made me type things like 'duke fired rude jerk' -- and it helped a lot. I'm sure there must be such programs sitting around.

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Back when I was about 15, I spent a full Summer week practicing with TypingMaster program. I started almost from scratch and lesson one was about the finger positions on the keyboard.

The performance indicators that it had encouraged me to keep scoring more than the previous exercise. After few days I learned all the letters (no numbers nor symbols), but had slow typing but without looking at the keyboard. Over the next week I got faster and faster in typing.

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