Learn to type faster

Touch typing

This web application will help you to learn touch typing, which means typing through muscle memory without using the sense of sight to find the keys on the keyboard. It can improve your typing speed and accuracy dramatically. The opposite is hunt-and-peck typing, a method of typing in which you look at the keyboard instead of the screen and use only the index fingers.

The teaching method

This application uses a unique approach. It employs statistics and smart algorithms to automatically generate typing lessons matching your skills. It works by repeating the following cycle:

  1. The algorithm generates for you a list of random words based on your typing skills. The skills are measured from your typing statistics collected so far. The words consist of a set of letters selected by the algorithm.
  2. You type the given words. You try to make as few mistakes as possible.
  3. As you type the algorithm collects your typing statistics, such as the time-to-type metric for each individual key. At the end these statistics are used to generate the next list of words for step one.

So at any time you just type the given lists of words and the computer does the rest.

The word generating algorithm

This application generates random but readable and pronounceable words using the phonetic rules of your native language. These words look almost natural, and often they really are. Typing sensible text is much easier than repeating random letters, and it helps you remember frequent key combinations. The latest point is crucial. For example, it’s almost impossible for the letter ‘W’ to follow the ‘Z’ in English, and you will never type such a combination in this application. Instead, you will type more common words, such as «the,» «that,» «with,» and so on. And soon you will learn how to type the «th» combo really fast.

The words are generated from the letters which are selected using the following rules.

1

The algorithm starts with the initial letters

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When you start practicing for the first time the computer knows nothing about your typing skills, so it uses a small set of the most common letters to generate words such as ‘E’, ‘N’, ‘I’, ‘T’, ‘R’ and ‘L’. All the generated words will consist of only this small set of letters, and the remaining letters are unused. As the statistics for the letters are unknown, the corresponding indicators are gray.

2

You learn the initial letters

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Then you begin to type the generated words, and the computer collects your typing statistics. The indicators start to change their colors from red to green. Red color means that the typing speed for that individual key is slow, and green color indicates the opposite. At this step your goal is to make all the letters green by improving your typing speed. Please note that in this example letter ‘T’ is highlighted as it has the worst typing speed metric, so it becomes the target letter. The target letter is included in every generated word and this is a crucial point. It means that at any given time you are practicing the key that that gives you the most trouble.

3

The algorithm adds more letters

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When your typing speed improves, and all the letters finally become green, a new letter ‘S’ is added to the set. The random words will be generated from this new expanded set of letters. Letter ‘S’ is the target letter and appears in every generated word. Again, the indicator color of this letter is gray because its typing statistics are unknown.

4

You learn additional letters

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At this step your goal is to make this new letter green, and when this happens another letter is added to the set, and the cycle repeats. Realistically speaking, it is very likely that the typing speed of the previous letters will degrade, and you will see that they become red again, as in the example. This is expected, your goal is still the same, to make the new letter green to unlock the next one.

5

The cycle repeats

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alistofwordswithalltheletters

If you are persistent enough sooner or later all the letters will become green. Congratulations, you have achieved your main goal! However, this does not mean that you should stop learning, you can keep going for as long as you wish.

The precise meaning of each indicator color is given in the following legend.

Indicator color coding.
  • ? A not calibrated key with the unknown confidence level. You still have not pressed this key at least once.
  • ? A calibrated key with the least confidence level. The more times you press this key the more accurate this metric becomes.
  • ? A calibrated key with the most confidence level. The more times you press this key the more accurate this metric becomes.
  • ? A key with boosted frequency. It takes you the most time to find this key so the algorithm chose it to be included in every generated word.
  • ? A key which was manually included in the lessons.
  • ? A key which was not yet included in the lessons.

The right way to use keyboard

Put all your fingers on the home row, the one containing the Caps Lock key. There are small bumps on the keys ‘F’ and ‘J’, put your index fingers on the bumps. Each finger is responsible on its own set of keys, as explained on the next illustration.

Keyboard zones and the proper finger placement.
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The effectiveness of this application

We selected a few example profiles to show you how people advance in learning touch typing when using this application. These are real, anonymized user profiles. Hopefully they will inspire you to keep learning!

  • Example 1, from 30 to 70 WPM after 4 hours 20 minutes of practicing in the course of 15 days
  • Example 2, from 35 to 70 WPM after 2 hours and 20 minutes of practicing in the course of 12 days
  • Example 3, a decent jump from less than 20 to 40 WPM after 5 hours and 30 minutes of practicing in the course of 11 days
  • Example 4, after 2 hours and 10 minutes of practicing in the course of 11 days, typing speed stayed at ~70 WPM (which is already pretty high), but accuracy improved
  • Example 5, from 20 to 45 WPM after about 10 hours of practicing in the course of 22 day (yes, sometimes it takes longer)