5 Tips for Improving your Typing Speed
Updated on 30 Sep 2021 • 5 min read
How great would it be if you could type as fast as you think?
Whether you’re a student or have a job that requires extensive typing, writing faster could mean improved productivity, increased revenue, and more free time, doing the things you love.
Besides, learning how to increase your typing speed will allow your ideas to flow more easily onto the page, helping you improve the quality of your writing too.
Now, the average person types approximately 40 words per minute (WPM).
However, with the right tools and appropriate techniques, it’s completely possible to double that speed while improving your accuracy and productivity.
Curious to learn how?
In this article, we’ll provide you with five top tips on how to type faster and recommend some of the best tools to improve your typing speed.
Tips on How to Type Faster
Adopt a Good Posture
To optimize your typing, your back needs to be aligned with the back of your chair. Your elbows should be bent, and both of your feet should be flat on the floor.
And when it comes to hand placement, position your hands so that your left index is on the "f" key and your right index on the "j" key. The rest of your fingers should form naturally along the middle row of the keyboard (also referred to as the home-row keys). Your left little finger should be used to press the shift key, and your thumbs can be used to tap the spacebar.
Familiarize yourself with Your Keyboard
Your keyboard is your working tool. And needless to say, as someone who types a lot, you and your keyboards must be at one.
As a result, you need to memorize each key so that you don’t even need to look down at the keyboard anymore. This will allow you to significantly reduce the time you need to type words and limit typos.
One great exercise you can do to become more familiar with your keyboard consists of typing while saying letters out loud.
- Open up a blank document.
- While looking away from your screen, slowly type random keys.
- As you do so, say each key out loud and check whether you were right.
We couldn’t write an article about how to improve typing speed without mentioning keyboard shortcuts ;) Indeed, mastering basic keyboard shortcuts can really help you cut down on your writing and editing time and increase your productivity.
While there are countless shortcuts to help you speed up your typing process, we’ve listed below the twenty more common ones:
- CTRL + A: Select all
- CTRL + C: Copy
- CTRL + X: Cut
- CTRL + V: Paste
- CTRL + F: Find
- CTRL + P: Print
- CTRL + F2: Print preview
- CTRL + S: Save
- F12: Save As
- CTRL + Z: Undo
- CTRL + Y: Redo
- CTRL + B: Bold
- CTRL + I: Italics
- CTRL + U: Underline
- CTRL + L: Left-justify
- CTRL + E: Center-justify
- CTRL + R: Right-justify
- CTRL + J: Justify
- CTRL + N: New tab
- CTRL + SHIFT + MINUS: Zooming out
You can find the full list of existing keyboard shortcuts for Windows and Mac online. And guess what? Microsoft Word even allows you to customize your own keyboard! Just hop onto support.microsoft to learn more about this feature.
Build your Muscle Memory
To be able to improve your typing speed and accuracy, you’ll also need to build your muscle memory.
Muscle memory is stored in the cerebellum. This part of the brain is designed to send signals to your body, including your fingers, so you move them automatically without having to think about the action itself. For instance, this is what happens when you ride a bike, drive on a familiar road, or comb your hair every day.
Now, the best way to build your muscle memory is to train yourself to touch type. Touch typing is a technique that involves typing on the keyboard without ever looking down at your hands. And one of the main ways to do that is to practice on a word document and start typing any word that comes to mind. At first, focus on limiting the typos rather than the speed and keep practicing every day for 10 to 15 minutes. As time goes by, you’ll gradually improve your speed and accuracy, and therefore become more productive.
Look after Yourself
This might sound counterintuitive, but if you spend hours writing without ever taking a break, you’ll most likely end up doing less work than if you had worked fewer hours. Or at least less quality work.
Indeed, taking regular breaks to stretch your body and clear your mind is essential to improve your productivity and efficiency. In fact, many studies have shown the benefits that taking breaks can have on productivity.
After all, the 10% most productive people tend to work 47 minutes and take a 12-minute break before getting back to work. So, even though you might not be able to apply this method to your writing routine, make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day, walking around, stretching, and keeping hydrated. This will help improve your typing speed and accuracy, the quality of your work, and your overall performance.
Best Tools to Improve your Typing Speed
Ever heard of the saying, "practice makes perfect"?
If you really want to learn how to type faster, the answer is quite simple. Patience and practice are the only two ingredients you need to nail it. The great news is that these days there are plenty of free resources online to help you practice and sharpen your typing speed and accuracy. So, once you feel comfortable touch typing, you can practice increasing your typing speed using free online assessment and practice tools.
If you need more advanced tool, we’ve listed below three of our favorites:
TypeRacer is a free typing website that allows users to improve their typing speed while having fun, competing with other online writers. The website has a "practice yourself" mode, allowing you to practice your touch typing first and compete with yourself. Once you’re ready, you can move onto "a typing race". There, you’ll automatically compete against racers with a similar typing speed to make it more engaging and interesting. You’ll then have a few minutes to write a predefined text.
And what we really like about the website is that it also has an option where you can compete with your friends!
10fastfingers is another free gamified online typing speed test. You can either practice against yourself by typing the text provided on the screen or compete with others. If you create an account, the website will record all of your scores, and you’ll be able to review them over time. In addition to entering typing races for fun, you can also join typing competitions.
Keybr is one of the best free typing tutor software to learn how to type faster. The first time you log in, you’ll be shown how to use the website. If you create an account, you’ll also be able to see your personal metrics for each of your sessions.
The way this website works is pretty simple. You’ll be given a short paragraph with random letters, and you’ll need to type these same letters as quickly as possible without any typos. The tool will then summarize your score in terms of average words per minute and typos.
Note that as you progress, the complexity will increase.
We hope this blog was insightful and will help you nail your essays, books, articles, emails, presentations, or reports. Follow the tips above, and we’re confident that you’ll be on your way to producing quick and high-quality writing in no time. See what we did there ;)
Be patient, practice, practice, and practice some more using free online resources. And most importantly, be kind to yourself. After all, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day!