Increasing your typing speed (WPM) can be a challenge for people who have already learned the basics of keyboarding.
- Learn where to put your fingers
- Use the correct finger for each key
- Don’t look at the keyboard
If you are still struggling with these skills, there are literally thousands of articles and websites which will help you become adept at this. But where do we go from here? Here are some tips and tricks for people who want to increase their typing speed.
Read Ahead to the Next Word
Practice typing the entire word instead of going letter by letter. Once you can do this, read ahead so that you can be prepared. While you’re hitting the space bar you can be moving your finger to the first letter of the next word. Remember that pushing the ‘shift’ key while you are hitting the space bar won’t hurt anything, so if the next word is capitalized, go ahead and hit that shift key whenever you’re ready. I wouldn’t recommend reading ahead more than one word, because of the risk that you will skip typing an entire word, and there is no spell-check for that.
Keep Practicing the Most Common Letter Combinations
If you took a keyboarding class or online course, you most likely typed the same combinations over and over – (fgf fgf frf fvf, etc.) Well, that is the best way for your fingers to learn the keys, but now that you have this down, it is time to learn the combinations that will increase your WPM. There are a lot of strings that are very common in the english language, like ‘tion’, ‘ere’, ‘ght’, ‘ous’, and more. And of course you should practice the most used words (‘the’, ‘is’, ‘as’, ‘it’, ‘he’, ‘she’, etc.) Training your fingers to type these almost instantaneously will help you make up for lost time somewhere else.
Release the ‘Shift’ Key Faster
In an earlier tip, I said that you can push the ‘shift’ key early, but holding it down too long is obviously not a good idea. When the first word of a sentence is one of those common words, (which you can type incredibly fast now, right?), you have to be careful not to capitalize the second letter of the word. This will only come with practice.
Stop Using ‘Typing Tests’ That Create Bad Habits
Full disclosure, I own a typing test website. But the reason I created it is because of all the horrible habits most of the sites are promoting. If you are using a ‘test’ that, when you make a mistake, it disables the all of the keys except the one that they want you to push next, or if they disable the backspace key altogether, Stop Using That Test!. How is this supposed to teach you real typing? It is your personal preference if you want your test to alert you of every error that you make, but I think that it is also a bad habit. In real-life the spell check may put a little red line under an error, but it might not.
Back to the Basics
Don’t forget about the fundamentals of typing – use good posture, take regular breaks, and practice. Remember these tips, and try to put them into use. While you are learning these tips, your errors may go up in the short term, but don’t give up. Slow down if you need to, but keep on typing.