Computer Science Canada

Proper Typing Technique - Required or Not?

Author:  Nathan4102 [ Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Proper Typing Technique - Required or Not?

For YEARS, people have been telling me to learn properly, and I have tried, but it's just so painfully slow! Typing the way I do now, I type between 80 and 100 WPM, but while typing using the "Home row" stuff, I only type at about 15-20 WPM, and with bad accuracy because of my weak pinky and ring fingers. Because of this, I just haven't found it very practical, and I keep switching back to my old way of typing, the way I've been typing since I was about 5.

The way I type is weird. With my left hand, I use only my index finger to cover the entire left 1/3 of the keyboard. And then with my right hand, I use my index finger and middle finger to take the other 2/3, and the space bar. I use my right ring finger for the enter key, but my index for backspace.

It seems really inefficient, but I'm able to type quickly without looking at my keyboard. Because of this, I don't really see any pros of switching to proper typing.

What do you guys think about this?

Author:  Insectoid [ Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:54 pm ]
Post subject:  RE:Proper Typing Technique - Required or Not?

Nobody really cares how you type, as long as you can get words on the screen. Programming doesn't even require you to type fast.

Author:  Raknarg [ Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:56 pm ]
Post subject:  RE:Proper Typing Technique - Required or Not?

Im going off of total speculation here.

My first guess is that it could create some wrist issues. The most common technique should also be the most ergonomically feasible, so the way you type might be putting a lot of stress on your hands.

The second might be that you're plateauing your potential wpm and/or accuracy. You may find that you can't go any higher simply because how you type hampers your possible speed, I could imagine some bottle-necking occurring with that left hand.

I'm pretty sure I use the "common" style. I used to type with just two index fingers but this way I'm much faster.

Author:  DemonWasp [ Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:58 pm ]
Post subject:  RE:Proper Typing Technique - Required or Not?

I think that the only problem I see with that is the possibility of increased risk of a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). I'm not even sure it would increase your risk, but it seems (intuitively) that it would -- and keep in mind that I'm a computer programmer and my biology education ended in grade 12.

To decrease the risk of RSI, you could make sure your wrists are well-supported and that the rest of your work area is ergonomically sound. You might also consider working on strengthening your weaker ring and little fingers.

Author:  Nathan4102 [ Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:28 am ]
Post subject:  RE:Proper Typing Technique - Required or Not?

When I'm on the computer, I'm usually in some freakishly unergonimic position, so I guess I should work on that. For now though, I'm gonna stick with my way of typing until I see a real reason to switch.


Author:  [Gandalf] [ Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Proper Typing Technique - Required or Not?

I've been thinking about this quite a bit recently. First off, the most important thing when typing is to keep tension to a minimum. Things like keyboard layout and speed are far less important.

I too type using a non-standard method. What home row typers would type with their right pinky, I type with my ring finger, with the exception of the enter key. When typing caps I use the left shift and type As for example with my left ring finger. I also press the space bar with my index finger. For the past two weeks or so I've been experimenting with typing by-the-book, but I find that my right pinky is pretty weak, which is bad for speed. Stretching to hit the braces or the backspace key strains my pinky a lot as well. I've done a lot of programming over the years and my current typing habits formed naturally through that. Semicolons, braces, brackets, quotes, etc. are all on the right side of the keyboard, and moving my entire hand to that area of the keyboard is more comfortable than stretching and overworking my weak pinky. That said, I think it's very useful to try typing with more fingers for an extended period of time to see if it works better for you (again, speed should be a very small factor). You can learn a lot about why you do what you do, and what you are doing suboptimally. It would probably help you a lot more than me, since you're only using 3 out of your 10 fingers! I usually get 100-110 on this typing test, and 10-20 less using proper home row typing technique.

You can still be ergonomic while using a non-standard technique, even if on average your fingers are moving longer distances to type. You just have to focus on things like taking breaks and maintaining good posture instead of those other relatively minor things.