Mastering a skill
If you find yourself facing your computer, looking at the keyboard and pressing keys one by one, you probably know how tedious it is to type. This is specially true when you have to copy blocks and blocks of text from a text book, or another written material.
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In today’s computer-driven world, touch typing is a skill that is often overlooked and downplayed, but is actually an essential skill to make our work easier and faster. While there are no official statistics on the number of touch typists in the world, the prevalence of touch typing tools, softwares and Web sites underscore the need to learn touch typing and also gives us an idea of just how many people need to learn this skill.
Basically, touch typing is typing without using your eyes when you press the keys. Put another way, it is not looking at the keyboard trying to find the keys you want to press. And so the secret to learning how to touch type lays in two things: memorizing the keyboard layout, or committing to memory where the keys are placed; and good old practice.
Career and work editors at Ehow.Com, a tips and pointers Web site, outlines the basic steps to learning how to touch type. First, they say, you should place your fingers on the home keys. The home keys–A, S, D, F and J, K, L, ;– are where you should start and end when touch typing. Both thumbs go to the space bar.
All the letters adjacent or above it will be pressed by the finger that is closest to it. For example, your left pointer finger will be typing all the letters above, below and beside it: F, R, T, G, B, V; while your right pointer finger will be pressing J, U, Y,H,N, M. Special keys like the shift key, tab key, caps lock will be pressed by your pinkies.
Basically, you will be moving your hands up and below the keyboard to strike the keys you need to press. Numbers mean your fingers will be temporarily leaving the home key, and travel upwards to press the numbers you need to press.
While doing all these, take time to restrain yourself from looking at the keyboard and instead look at the monitor to find out if you have hit the correct key.
The Ehow.Com editors recommends typing the phrase “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” over and over, since this phrase uses all the letters in the alphabet.
While all these may be boring, learning and memorizing the keyboard layout may be done with tutorials and tools. Most Web sites now offer free software that makes touch typing fun. Some incorporates a shoot-it-out type of game wherein letters come after you and the only way to save yourself if to press that letter key to obliterate it into oblivion. A sort of Dance Dance Revolution for touch typing.
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Typing fast is a skill that not only makes your work faster and easier. In an age where almost everything, from work, to school, to social interactions, involve a computer, touch typing is a skill that becomes more and more essential. Not being able to touch type can put you at a disadvantage: you could fall behind at work, or lag with your deadlines in projects involving data entry. Also, because most companies now require employees to have at least average typing speed, it is nice to have the skill that puts you above the rest.
Another advantage in learning how to touch type is that it saves you time and money. If you invest some time and effort now, you would find that you would be able to finish projects, home work and documents a lot faster than you used to.
Empirically, I found that not having to look at the keyboard makes the flow of thought easier. Instead of trying to figure out where the letters A, R, and E, are, I could use that effort and time to thinking of the next words to say, or write.
Lastly, there are no excuses in not learning how to touch type. As is seen above, the concepts behind touch typing is not difficult to learn, it is certainly not difficult to master. It will be difficult at first, because habits are innately difficult to break, but you will soon find it that it becomes easier and easier to do, until it feels natural for you.
How to Touch-Type. Retrieved on August 3, 2008 from E-How.Com, Web site: http://www.ehow.com/how_2042971_type.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art