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I can maintain a speed of 140 wpm in freeform typing, I wonder if I can push it a little further. Is it worth learning the Dvorak at this point?

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6 Answers 6

My answer, although a guess, is NO.

You are already typing at remarkable speed (and you should be teaching us how to do it*). I don't know how much faster is possible but I would wonder how much time learning a new keyboard would ever be repaid in increased productivity. I personally get concerned with getting too familiar with non-standard settings, key-bindings and so forth because I want my habits (for lack of a better word) to be portable to other machines and environments.

Lastly, I ended my quest for increasing my reading speed when I encountered the following advice: No matter how fast you can read you will never be able to read everything you want/need to. Therefore, it is more important to learn how to be selective in reading what is most important to you. I suspect that the same applies to typing.

*Seriously, did 140 wpm come naturally to you? Did you practice or push yourself for speed? Do you have advice for us? I think I will post a question on this if a search doesn't turn up much.

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Mostly naturally, I'm using a computer daily since I'm 5. The only effort I've done is placing my hands at base when I was around 10, but I don't follow the rules. My fingers rest mostly on the AWEF JIO;, for example. I noticed I don't type char by char, but instead move my hands so I can input the most with a single pass. For example the word fun, I type it at once by using 3 fingers (index-index-middle). I just notice I do that, though, I don't know where that came from. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I like your comments on selecting what you read, I think I know how this translates to my work. Thanks! –  Viclib Sep 29 '13 at 14:58
    
@Viclib are you sure you type 'n' in fun using your middle finger? Or is that a typo? –  Krishnabhadra Oct 2 '13 at 8:29
    
@Krishnabhadra left-index -> f, right-middle -> u, right-index -> n –  Viclib Oct 2 '13 at 10:08
    
Oh ok. Got it. I use right index for u too. Rest same. –  Krishnabhadra Oct 2 '13 at 10:14
    
Uh huh. Many words can be typed in a single pass without breaking the rules, though. E.G, moist. Some are really tricky, though, like "radar". I guess it is natural. –  Viclib Oct 2 '13 at 10:16

With such a typing speed, what is now your bottleneck? Do you find yourself waiting on your fingers to progress in your work?

If yes, keep improving.

If no, start researching on how to improve your other points.

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Yea, my typing speed is pretty bottlenecky for what I do. I don't use the mouse so typing is the interface I have to control everything on the computer, and being able to type faster means I have a wider range of shortcuts and functions I can input in less time. It is a linear relationship, I guess. On Dvorak, I'm afraid I will not be able to be fast enough on it, and even worse, it could affect my current typing speed. –  Viclib Sep 28 '13 at 8:57
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I understand. I have no experience with typing speed improvement so I won't be able to make any recommendation. Do you use tools and applications to automate what you type many time? I mean some tool like "Text Expander" on Mac. I use it all the time and it helps me in speeding up my work. –  Pierre-Yves Genot Sep 28 '13 at 14:13
    
I don't, that would be interesting to look at. I never went well with them, though, they always break everything when I try. –  Viclib Sep 30 '13 at 20:36

This question is similar to another I answered about DVORAK so I'll link to my response there and add some more information.

From my experience DVORAK is not about speed as much as it is about comfort especially if you already type with QWERTY and if you need to switch between the two layouts often. My speed on DVORAK is only slightly faster than it was on QWERTY but my QWERTY performance dropped drastically when I didn't switch between the two layouts often.

You probably would benefit more from getting a keyboard that requires less finger movement or has less key travel.

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Kinesis Advantage is the way to go if you're looking for a more comfortable keyboard. –  Max Sep 30 '13 at 21:28
    
After using the Kinesis for a couple days I could not get used to its key placement and highly suggest anyone who is thinking of spending $200+ on this keyboard try it before they buy it. Plus it didn't solve the problem I have with not having full movement in my wrist. –  rothgar Oct 1 '13 at 6:25
    
Yes, I would recommend trying it first. FYI, it took me more than 2 days to get used to it, more like a few weeks of daily use to get my speed back, but it's definitely worth it imho. –  Max Oct 9 '13 at 1:10

No, it is not.

I've been typing Dvorak since 2000, and before switching I typed 70-90 wpm. Now I type 70-90 wpm. Switching was extraordinarily frustrating at first, and didn't bring any tangible benefits other than geek cred. My QWERTY typing suffered immediately, and while I can switch back and forth now and get up to reasonable speeds after 10 minutes, I still make more typos than is fun if I switch it up.

If you want to type faster or better, or with less risk of injury, don't change your keyboard layout. Change your keyboard. I've been using a Kinesis Advantage for about 6 years and it's helped immensely with wrist pain. It's also much more comfortable to type on, and with less movement typing is faster.

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It depends, do you have signs of RSIs? If so, you may want to consider learning Dvorak. When I started learning Dvorak, slowing down during the process really helped. If you don't have the signs of an RSI, don't worry, there is no reason.

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Do you spend a significant part of your day typing? Does your current/future job require typing? Are you in the earlier stages of your working lifetime?

If the answer to the above is 'yes', it may be a good idea - or if you have any signs of RSI at present.

Dvorak will probably not grant you any typing speed improvements. But if you ever start having trouble with RSI - you'll lose a lot more productivity when you're unable to type at all! It's a much better idea to switch before this happens.

That said, if you don't spend a lot of time typing and don't think you'll need to, and your job isn't dependent on being able to type? Enjoy your 140 WPM.

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