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How to increase your typing speed

‘Touch-typing’ means being able to type without looking at the keys because you’ve memorised where they are.

Can you touch-type?

Click this link if you’re not sure what touch-typing is, or whether you can touch-type:  Can you touch-type?

If you can touch-type, you have the potential to become a very fast typist, if you want. All you need to do to increase your touch-typing speed is practice and commitment. Here is how.

If you work with others: how to increase your typing speed

Many years ago, when I was working with Hansard (Parliament House, Darwin),  I increased my pretty slow to average typing speed to 100 words per minute. This took me about six months. Others in our team improved their typing speed as well. We did this by racing against one another in five-minute audio grabs. It made work more challenging and more fun but best of all, it was great for improving our typing speed and productivity.

If you work in an office with co-workers and/or managers:

  • ask if anyone else would like to join you in improving their typing speed
  • set weekly typing speed goals as a team,  and try to meet them
  • set short tests and race against one another – but make sure you set an accuracy requirement (e.g. 98% accuracy) as well.

You can use this method of racing against others to improve your typing speed whether you’re doing audio transcription or copy typing.

If you work alone: how to increase your typing speed

If you work alone – e.g. you’re a freelance writer, editor or transcriptionist – you can improve your typing speed by putting pressure on yourself to race against your usual speed. Here are some ways to do this.

Audio transcription (producing transcripts)

Set the stop watch then transcribe five minutes of audio recordings; note  down the result. Next time, when transcribing a fresh five minutes of audio, try to beat your previous speed.

But don’t forget to maintain good accuracy as you type. Or to have a few minutes’ break after each fast-typing session to prevent hand and finger strain.

With practice, this method will pay off: your typing speed will improve.

Copy typing

If your task is copy typing, set the alarm for five minutes and type, hell-for-leather (but with accuracy) for that five minutes. Stop as soon as the alarm goes off and check your word count and accuracy.

Try again, putting yourself under pressure to type faster, whilst maintaining your accuracy.

Each time you do this ‘test’, try to beat your record for speed.

Over time, you will get faster and faster while maintaining your accuracy.

How fast can you get?

We all have different types of fingers, concentration and other abilities, and the speed you’re able to attain will differ depending on the person. I can  type at 110 per minute which some people find it hard to do. But the world record for typing in English is 212 words per minute – a speed I’d never be able to attain no matter how hard I practised because I don’t have supersonic hands.

But being a very fast touch-typist is so helpful in all sorts of ways, and you’ll never know how fast you can get until you really try. So give it a go.

Image: Pixabay (creative commons licence)


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