Ways to Increase Typing Speed

Increase Typing Speed with the Proper Desk Setup

Proper seating and positioning are important for anyone using a computer. Specialized computer technology is of little value if a person cannot physically activate these devices because of inappropriate positioning.

Flexibility in the positioning of keyboards, computer screens, and table height is important. It is important that keyboards be positioned at a comfortable height and monitors be positioned for easy viewing. An adjustable table can be cranked higher or lower, either manually or with a power unit, to put the monitor at the proper height. Adjustable trays can move keyboards up and down and tilt them to increase typing speed and for maximum typing efficiency. Be sure to consider simple solutions to furniture access. For example, wood blocks can raise the height of a table, and a cardboard box can be used to raise the height of a keyboard on a table.

Use an Ergonomic Keyboard to Increase Typing Speed

Ergonomic keyboards are primarily intended to provide a more comfortable typing position. It is believed that a more relaxed hand posture will increase typing speed and the subjective satisfaction with a keyboard.

Proper Hand Use Increase Typing Speed

  • Equalize loads on right and left hands.
  • Maximize loads on home row (middle row).
  • Maximize alternating hands frequency.
  • Minimize same finger typing.

Consider Using the Dvorak Keyboard to Increase Typing Speed

The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard is a keyboard layout patented in 1936 by Dr. August Dvorak, an educational psychologist and professor of education at the University of Washington in Seattle, and William Dealey as an alternative to the more common QWERTY layout. It has also been called the Simplified Keyboard or American Simplified Keyboard, but is commonly known as the Dvorak keyboard or Dvorak layout.

Although the Dvorak layout has so far failed to displace the QWERTY standard, it has seen an increase in popularity in recent years especially among computer programmers and others whose jobs require them to do extensive amounts of typing. It has become easier to access in the computer age, being included with all major operating systems (such as Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux and BSD) in addition to the standard QWERTY layout. It is also supported at the hardware level by some high-end keyboards such as the Kinesis Advantage ergonomic keyboard.

The Dvorak layout was designed to address the problems of inefficiency and fatigue which characterized the QWERTY keyboard layout. The QWERTY layout was introduced in the 1860s, being used on the first commercially-successful typewriter, the machine invented by Christopher Sholes. The QWERTY layout was designed so that successive keystrokes would alternate between sides of the keyboard so as to avoid jams.

What are average typing speeds?

An average typist reaches 50 to 70 wpm, while some positions can require 80 to 95 (usually the minimum required for dispatch positions and other typing jobs), and some advanced typists work at speeds above 120. As of 2005, Barbara Blackburn is the fastest typist in the world, according to The Guinness Book of World Records.

Using the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard, she has maintained 150 wpm for 50 minutes, 170 wpm for shorter periods of time, and has been clocked at a peak speed of 212 wpm. Blackburn failed her typing class in high school, first encountered the Dvorak keyboard in 1938, quickly learned to achieve very high speeds, and occasionally toured giving speed-typing demonstrations during her secretarial career.

Use games to increase typing speed

There are many fun and educational games that students can use to increase typing speed. One of the most popular games used to increase typing speed is called Typer Shark. Many free versions of this game are available. Increase typing speed by playing Typer Shark for free! (Note: it's free because you have to watch a 15 second ad before playing). Works best with Internet Explorer.



"Last year, I purchased Plastic Perfection Keyboard Companions for my classroom. I am very pleased with the quality of the product. They are made of durable plastic that won't break, and they have a color and texture that make them virtually impossible to deface. The Keyboard Companions hold papers and books in the proper position for keyboarding. My students enjoy using them. I highly recommend this product."
–Jeff Hinton, Keyboarding Teacher

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