Sign up ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free.

I've been practicing typing over the past little while, and I'm wondering if there's any tricks to getting further.

I started out at ~40 wpm back when I was typing with 6 fingers. It took a little while to learn to use 10 (about a week or so where I was at the ~20 wpm range), but I improved quickly, and I'm now typing at ~65 wpm. That's pretty good, but I seem to have hit a wall there (going from ~40 to ~20 and back up to ~65 took about 3 months of on-and-off practice, but this was 5 months ago and I haven't improved at all since then in terms of accuracy or speed).

So far I've been using Klavaro exclusively. Is there anything special you have to practice in order to get into the 80-90wpm range, are there any specific tools I'd need, or does it just take longer to improve at that level? (I'm using a qwerty keyboard, and I don't want to switch to dvorak, but I think I should still be able to crack 80wpm, at least).

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by ChrisF Oct 12 '11 at 20:27

Questions on Programmers Stack Exchange are expected to relate to software development within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

A Das Keyboard Ultimate may help. – glenatron Oct 8 '10 at 19:58
Play <a href="">Typing of the Dead</a>. – Carra Oct 9 '10 at 22:31
Try Burning Cargo. A lot less boring than other touch typing courses. – user24629 May 5 '11 at 21:55
65 wpm is fine for a programmer that doesn't do much technical writing. The increased speed will come if you you stick to using 10 fingers and avoid going back to the old ways. Oh! And avoid looking at the keyboard. – Apalala May 5 '11 at 22:08
@Apalala You should make that an answer. – Limited Atonement Oct 12 '11 at 18:36

7 Answers 7

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I started with Typing Tutor 6 when I got my first computer (In 2005). I never completed any lessons of TT6 but I just learned how to place your fingers on keyboard. In the boring classes at school I used to go to the Computer Lab and used to write the famous line

"The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog."

Then after since I knew how to put the fingers on keyboard I started memorizing the Alphabets and their locations. Then I started typing without seeing on keyboard and again that famous sentence. And after that I got Typing Master and since I had only demo version of it so I did a few exercises and then un-installed that :P

Since I love Computers from childhood so used to spend most of the time on it hence got experience soon and then I don't remember when did my fingers move from Alphabets to Numbers and other keys.

Then when I came in college I started practicing a little to impress my colleagues ;-)

Started using word games etc.

I used an Orkut application. That too helped me. There was a guy on Orkut whose typing speed was better than me. I started challenging him on Orkut and I see myself improving.

So that was my story. Maybe you've got bored by now :P

Finally what I suggest as a conclusion is that :

while (!pro) {


  1. Get a typing-tutor. (Any = All teaches the same thing)
  2. Practice daily. Minimum 15 minutes, Yes I said 15 minutes only. 15 minutes are not less, The only key is that just be regular.
  3. When feeling free open notepad and start typing that line (the quick ...) :D

I wish you'll get 80-90 WPM soon.

share|improve this answer
+1 for "The quick.." – Ayush Goyal Oct 8 '10 at 18:04
@Ayush : Thanks :) – Chankey Pathak Oct 8 '10 at 18:08
So pretty much "more practice". I'm planning to, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't wasting my time by keeping the same training strategies as when I started. – Inaimathi Oct 8 '10 at 18:12
@Inaimathi : Ya it happens. Change the way of learning for e.g. Try practicing word games, hit the balloon game. Since you have a blog try posting some more stuff there that will increase both your speed and Google PR B-) – Chankey Pathak Oct 8 '10 at 18:18

I learned touch typing on an old manual typewriter when I was 10-11 before I even got a computer. My cousin was doing secretarial training and college and had covered over her letters with stickers/

So, I thought "if she can do it", so I did the same.

I used to cover over the letters on my work keyboard with the sticky part of post-it notes, cut off the non-sticky part, and cut up the sticky strip.

Not having the letters to look at makes you really focus on pressing the right key, and finding it with the right finger, which it sounds like you already 'know' how to do using muscle memory from all the typing tutorial practice you've done.

Cover over the letters, focus on using the right fingers. If you mistype a word in a word processor, application or email, backspace and erase the WHOLE word, not just to the error, and type the whole word again. You can usually easily delete a whole word by pressing CTRL-Backspace. This practice of typing the whole word will train your brain, and muscle memory for that word..

Yes, it's old school, and non-tech. But it will work wonders for you.

share|improve this answer

Don't know about klavaro, but I've been using Typing Web, which is great IMO, it keeps a record of your problem keys ; i.e. the ones you most often get wrong, and lets you train on those ones specifically.

Surely, focusing on those problem keys would help improve your general speed.

Also, maybe you'll find some intersting tips in the answers to this question I asked on learning touch-typing

share|improve this answer

The obvious answer here is more typing. It was mentioned a few weeks ago that my boss (not a programmer) hits about 60 WPM. I was curious (as all are) about my own speed and I hit 93 WPM with no errors. It's not that I'm especially fast or able, it's practice, key mapping, and muscle memory. I'm sure if I spent all day mowing lawns I would be pretty good at it.

share|improve this answer
Figured, and I don't plan to stop practicing regardless; I was just wondering if I needed to adopt a different regimen for 70wpm+ than the one that got me from 20 to 60. – Inaimathi Oct 8 '10 at 18:10
Could always try Dvorak. ;) – Josh K Oct 8 '10 at 18:44

I think that typing speed is not the most important thing if you're programming. Higher accuracy is the most important. You should also improve your speed when typing symbols, dashes, underscore, brackets, etc because just typing words is easy. I also seem to have hit a 100wpm barrier. If I really focus on a paragraph I can type it in 120wpm. It seems like I'm in need of a catalyst to go over this 100wpm barrier.

share|improve this answer
I've heard that the Dvorak keyboard layout can help accomplished typists gain an increase in speed. But you're going to have to take the hit of learning a new keyboard layout. – cometbill Dec 24 '10 at 7:59

Biggest speed boost I ever had was putting a towel over my hands while practicing.

Before that I would glance at the keyboard and I had no idea how much it slowed me down, but I could tell that I was now and then a lot. Once you get to where you can watch the screen exclusively it raises your typing speed by quite a bit--a lot of it is that you notice mistakes more quickly and can fix them right away.

So whatever program you use, give this a try. Even if you don't think you glance at your hands, you may. It only took me a few days of practice to completely break me of the habit.

share|improve this answer

Nothing replaces practice. Be sure to go ahead and do the hard lessons (10 wpm symbol lessons, for instance). Beyond that, some equipment to consider is below.

Make sure you have a good keyboard. A switch-technology keyboard is best, and you should probably use an ergonomic keyboard if you're serious at all.

The best ergonomic keyboards on the market are, hand down, Maltron, and Kinesis. These keyboards increase the comfort of typing and reduce finger motion. Besides that, they make it so that you can't miss! when reaching for the number keys, there is never a guess as to where they are. With these keyboards, the numbers are right above the other keys for that finger rather than a standard design where the keys are arranged like stadium seating.

Besides that, if you have more time than money, or you're serious about typing quickly, use the Dvorak layout. The Dvorak layout is installed on nearly every computer ever, and the Maltron and Kinesis keyboards can do the dvorak keyboard layout in hardware (so that you don't have to change any computer settings). Cursory research will reveal the advantages of this layout.

Good luck increasing your speed!

share|improve this answer
"been dubbed" seems like weasel words to me. Citation? – naught101 Feb 16 '13 at 21:01
@naught101 I couldn't find the original source of the comment, so I changed it. – Limited Atonement Feb 18 '13 at 15:03

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.