Improve Your WPM

There are many articles on the web about "learning to type", but they all say the same things.

  • Put your fingers in the right place.
  • Learn which fingers to use on each key.
  • Don't look at the keyboard.
  • Practice.

Those things are obviously important, but I think people deserve more than that. If you are at the point where those lessons are second nature, here are some tips for the intermediate typists.

Tips To Help You Type Faster

Look at the next word as you are typing.

When I was learning to type, I looked at each letter that I needed to type. When I got a little better, I started to read the whole word as I was typing. Now I read ahead to the next word, so as soon as I hit the space bar I can start the next word immediately. I wouldn't recommend looking more than one word ahead, because if you miss an entire word, spell check is not going to help you.

Practice the most common letter combinations.

There are some very common combinations of letters that will come up over and over. ('tion', 'ght', 'er', 'ous', 'ed', and of course the common words 'the' 'of' 'is' 'as', etc.) - If you practice these and get your fingers to work together in these situations, you can make up for lost time somewhere else.

Release the 'shift' key immediately.

I still have trouble with this one when the first word of a sentence is one of those common words. If you have trained your fingers to type the letters of those common words in one fast motion, make sure that you don't capitalize the second letter of the word.

Advanced - Learn your keyboard's "Personality"

You do not have to press the key all the way down to type a letter. Every keyboard is different, but learning how far that you need to press the keys can make a real difference.

Note: This tip will not help you if you have to do a typing speed test at a testing center, but it will help if you want to be more productive at your own computer.