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Which tips helped you learn touch-typing?

I've been coding for many years (>10), and I can average only about 40wpm. My error rate seems pretty rubbish, and when I am coding I find it much harder to type fast because of all trickier characters.

About 4 years ago, I tried to force myself to touch type rather than the 4-fingered typing I'd been doing for many years before. I'd say that I'm probably slightly faster than I used to be, but would love to get more nimble and faster.

Is there any advice to get better at typing, other that what I have been doing, which is to try to position my fingers correctly, and use practice sites such as www.keybr.com ?


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marked as duplicate by Anna Lear Oct 30 '11 at 23:19

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Get a label-less keyboard and use it at work. You'll be forced to improve! –  birryree Oct 30 '11 at 21:15
Start using Vim as your primary editor :) vim.org –  Michael Oct 30 '11 at 22:43
Improving typing speed is a general computer use problem that isn't specific to programmers. You can find a lot of existing advice out there that will help you out. –  Anna Lear Oct 30 '11 at 22:59
@AnnaLear: but the sort of typing programmers use is specific to programmers. GOOD QUESTIONS / Y U NO TOLERATE? –  sparkleshy Oct 30 '11 at 23:15
@Sshy I disagree, but fair enough -- I found an existing question that looks more programmer-focused. –  Anna Lear Oct 30 '11 at 23:20

3 Answers 3

Consider using a keyboard layout other than QWERTY. I switched to Dvorak, which increased my typing speed by a factor of two. There are other layouts that other people like, like Dvorak for Developers and some mixes of Dvorak and QWERTY.

Since you say you don't touch-type yet, switching to another layout should be relatively easy.

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Huge +1. You may not necessarily type faster with dvorak, but you will definitely be more comfortable typing and will reduce the likeliness of RSI. Also, check out Colemak, it can be a less radical change. –  Artefact2 Oct 30 '11 at 22:42

You are on the right track.

To get faster and better at touch typing you need to continue and practice. There are some fun typing games out there that are not as boring - for example, here, though there are many such games around.

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Related to the unlabeled keyboard: Put a small keyboard layout map on or next to your display.

One obstacle to touch-typing is the habit to look at the keyboard, either to search for a key or just to reassure oneself of the right key position. So the goal is to break this habit and consciously keep the eyes on the screen.

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