In this digital age we spend an incredible amount of time in front of our computers. How many hours per week do you spend typing emails, status updates, reports, blog posts, and whatnot? Imagine you could improve your typing skills and jot down those routine messages in just seconds rather than minutes. It would save you a lot of time that could be spent with more important or even nice things.
Slow typing is a major time killer and it is wasted time because typing properly and thus fast is surprisingly easy. Learning or practicing a skill does require a time investment at first, but in this case you will get it all back.
In this article I will be reviewing Sense-Lang, a website that helps you learn how to touch type and improve your overall typing speed and skill.
Before you start pecking away again, you need to learn the technique – properly! If you’ve been “sort of” touch typing up until now, it’s time to start over. Go back to beginner’s level and get your fingers in order.
Sense-Lang provides interactive typing tutorials, which are suited both for beginners and advanced typers. You can use the site and access all lessons without registering. Sense-Lang supports over a dozen different languages and matching keyboards. In addition, you can pick between different types of keyboards, for example the Dvorak or (regular) QWERTY keyboard. You can also go from one lesson to the next easily.
But before we go there, you should have a look at the Instruction page. It demonstrates the positions of your fingers on the keyboard, shows which keys each finger covers, and explains the general procedure.
Your next stop is the Typing Tutorials page. Be sure to select your language from the top menu, then select the matching keyboard, and finally start the first lesson.
When you launch a lesson (flash required), a desk will load. Click Start when you’re ready and simply try to type what is displayed in the white row on top. If you tend to work with a minimized browser window, maximize it for this exercise, as you might otherwise not get a centered view of the scrolling text you’re supposed to copy.
Your results are displayed on the right. When you make a mistake a sound is played, the respective key is highlighted on the keyboard, and a visual hint indicating the correct hand and finger for this key appears at the bottom.
When you start with the first lesson, you won’t type more than two letters at once. You will start practicing the letters of the home row and slowly expand to other keys on your keyboard. It can be tiring to type the same keys over and over again, but it’s necessary practice. You will slowly stop looking at your fingers and type it blindly. That’s a challenge and the goal!
The key to success for beginners is frequent practice. A minimum of 10 minutes per day gives you routine in moving the fingers within the right patterns. Better even would be several 5 to 10 minutes practice intervals spread throughout the day. Try to always touch type as soon as you have learned all the letters. From there it is tedious practicing at every opportunity until you become more accurate and faster.
It took me less than two weeks of medium effort to stop looking at the keyboard for good, yet hit all the right keys and type much faster than ever before. 10 years later I don’t even want to imagine how much time “slow typing” would have cost me.
Advanced typers, who find themselves misspelling certain words or key combinations over and over again, should focus on training these very weaknesses. You could create a custom text and use it with Sense-Lang. Start typing the difficult combinations very slowly and gradually increase the speed. This procedure will retrain your finger’s muscle memory and help you hit the key sequences with more accuracy.
Another good site that provides typing courses for the US QWERTY keyboard is Peter’s Online Typing Course.
We have previously covered typing on MakeUseOf:
- 3 Simple and Fun Learn to Type Websites for Kids by Dean
- The Best Free Apps to Help you start Touch Typing by Aibek
Finally, now that you use both hands to touch type and rest your hands on your computer, you may want to turn off the touchpad, in case you’re using a laptop. Varun wrote a tutorial on How To Disable The Touchpad While You Are Typing.
How well do you type?