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Improve your Typing Speed with these Apps and Online Courses

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While it’s often under-appreciated, being fast and efficient with a keyboard is one of the best skills that office workers can develop in this day and age. Fast typing increases efficiency in a number of ways – you can respond to emails faster, type forms quickly, compile lists more easily and generally get through your workload at an increased pace.

According to a Digital Australia report, Australians spend an average of 10 hours each day engaging with their internet-connected devices. So it’s likely that anybody who uses a computer for work will spend a couple of dozen hours a week tapping the keys.

Learning to type faster will speed up your work, save you time and help you type less tensely; the optimal typing style (also known as touch typing) is known to lowers risks of repetitive stress injuries.

Luckily, there’s plethora of tools to help you improve your overall typing speed that’ll slowly wean you off of any bad habits and start building up your form and speed over time. These come in a variety of teaching styles that suit just about anybody. Whether you’re competitive, relaxed, or this is your first time picking up a keyboard, there’s something here that’ll surely help your typing abilities.

Key Hero

If you just want a no-nonsense practice room for your typing skills, Key Hero can provide it. It’s simplistic in design, will track your Words Per Minute (WPM), overall typing accuracy, as well as keep track of your overall average speed and accuracy over time.

Probably the biggest benefit of Key Hero is the detail to which it tells you your inaccuracies, and the depth to which it challenges a few keys that don’t see much use.

The test randomly selects from important literary quotations or strangely punctuated pieces in order to throw a few curveballs into otherwise simple sentences (you might know where the full stop is, but unless you’re ready for it, you might not be able to find ‘~’ in a heartbeat). Whenever you make a mistake, the type of error is highlighted in a separate font colour so that you know the areas in which you’re most often slipping-up.

Creating a user profile isn’t necessary, but it will allow you to track changes over a long period of time rather than just that internet session.

TypeRacer

If you’re on the other side of the spectrum and have a drive to learn when there are actual stakes on the line, then TypeRacer might be for you.

TypeRacer is a site that styles itself as a competitive learning tool. Users are pitted against each other in a form of real-time typing battle. Each typist represents a car in the race, and the goal is to finish before the other human players by typing the fastest and most accurately.

While it features a non-competitive form of practice, where users can challenge themselves to a solo race, the main draw of this site will be for people who find practice to be a bit tedious. It’s amazing how much more fun a simple, repetitive task can become with a little competition and a few gamified gimmicks thrown in.

KeyBR

If you’d like somewhat of a middle-ground between the prior two; something that has some competition and isn’t a flat program, but isn’t as over-the-top as racing cars, KeyBR has similar mechanics to Key Hero while also keeping multiplayer competitions to see how your own typing compares to others.

KeyBR measures your keystroke patterns and collates comprehensive typing statistics. For example, it measures your typing speed for each individual key and assesses which ones are weakest. It will then generate words that all feature the weakest key to ensure you improve.

As an added feature, KeyBR can generate words that aren’t actually English words, but sound like them. This way, your muscle memory won’t be able to take over for easy words, which means you’ll learn more natively how different combinations work.

As a final plus for KeyBR, those who don’t use a standardised QWERTY keyboard layout will be happy to know that it also suits Dvorak, Workman, and Colemak keyboards. It also supports a couple of national standard keyboards, but only in a limited capacity (Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Russian are the only fully supported non-English types).

Remember these tips

There’s a few other small tips that we can share to help you become more proficient in typing. Some of these don’t even take any practice at all and can improve your general workflow immediately.

  • General posture: One of the most important parts of touch typing is that it stops you hunching over the keys, which improves your blood circulation and overall tenseness. Keep good posture and your typing will see improvement as well.
  • Don’t look: Try and learn as fast as possible not to look down at the keys unless you really need to. You’ll type faster and will be surprised at how little you need to after a while.
  • Remember the default position: The little nubs on your F and J keys are there for a reason. Place your fingers back there at the end of every word cluster to be able to quickly adjust to any letter of the alphabet.

Practice makes perfect

Remember, fast typing takes practice, and learning to touch type will take time and persistence. Taking the time to learn this skill will see you significantly improve your typing speed, eliminate errors and increase your overall productivity.