First, a challenge! Go to typeracer (or click the pic to the right) and click ‘Enter a typing race’ (it’s free and no registering required). You’ll be taken to a race with real people and you MUST correctly type the passage using proper grammar and capitalization. Come back to this article after you complete the race.
OK, be honest, what was your typing speed?
- 0-20 WPM (words per minute) — You are officially a hunt and peck typer, don’t let your friends know about this.
- 20-40 WPM — You type a few emails per day without problem, but you still spend way too much time glancing down at the keyboard
- 40-60 WPM — You are a decent touch typist but you have some weak keys that are slowing you down
- 60-80 WPM — You aren’t looking at the keyboard anymore and you’re on the verge of being worldclass
- 80-100+ WPM — Congratulations! You finish your work twice as fast as everyone else and now you have more time to play!
No matter what your typing speed is today, it can be improved beyond what you think is even possible. According to Guinness, Barbara Blackburn maintained 150 words-per-minute for 50+ minutes! That is basically transcribing a 100 page novel in less than three hours, with no errors. How long would you need?
Luckily the intersection of keyboards and the internet has created a typing tutorial realm where you can practice 15-30 minutes a day and be up to speed (heh) quicker than you ever imagined.
There are loads of free online typing sites out there competing for your patronage. You can start from scratch on many of them if you are new to touch typing. Some have built-in algorithms to detect your weak keys and adjust the lessons accordingly, and some even turn the lessons into games for when you don’t feel like being in school.
Here’s a selection of the most popular free sites:
Typing Web Tough to beat this site. A plethora of exercises from beginner up to advanced. Registering is free if you want to keep track of your progress.
Sense Lang A wealth of typing tutorials and games to familiarize yourself with the keyboard. Also has animated tutorials that would be great for kids.
Keybr Refreshing to just open up a typing site and start typing. Recognizes your trouble keys and adjusts lessons accordingly.
Typeracer Very addictive site that turns typing into a race! The cool thing about this site is that you HAVE to spell and capitalize everything properly if you want to finish the race. Great resource if yur tping tends to lok lik thes.
PowerTyping Easily accessible site that quickly allows you to target which keys you want to work on. For example, you can jump to a lesson that targets the number keys.
RapidTyping Think reverse Tetris as words rise to the top of the screen and you have to type them all before they get there. A great way to get better using a familiar game format.
And once you work your way through these sites, you can always go here for more options. Post any success stories down below. Good luck!