Desktop computers have become a household staple, and laptops and tablets are seen everywhere. As a result, keyboards for these devices are in use every day at work, school and in the home. Knowing how to touch-type has become an essential life skill, and it has gotten to the point where one must learn typing to thrive in nearly any environment.
Touch-typing is a typing technique in which the 10 fingers are trained to strike certain keys, allowing you to read and type simultaneously without looking at the keyboard. Touch-typing cultivates more accurate and rapid typing, which can save time, boost productivity and improve efficiency.
Typing software such as UltraKey, Ultimate Typing and Typing Instructor Platinum is designed to help you learn how to type using this proven method. If you are a beginner, this type of application can teach you the basics and much more at your own pace and on your own schedule.
Even if you already know how to type well, these typing applications can hone your skills so you can type faster and more accurately. Our side-by-side comparison, in-depth reviews and articles on typing software can help you find the best typing tutor application for you.
Learning how to type better does not have to be a chore; the best typing software delivers training that is as engaging and motivating as it is effective. Whether you want to learn to type faster to gain a competitive edge in the workplace or to save time as a busy student, here are the key factors to look for in typing applications.
The most important factor to consider with typing software is how effective the application is. The best typing software entails step-by-step training lessons that clearly demonstrate touch-typing skills and guide you through supplementary exercises that allow you to practice those skills. The lessons should be cumulative, in that each lesson builds on the skills learned and practiced in previous lessons.
Typing quickly is advantageous only if you type correctly, so you should seek out typing software that focuses on both speed and accuracy. An application is even more helpful if it provides dictation practice and proper ergonomics training. Typing ergonomics refers to correct posture and positioning while typing to deliver optimum comfort and prevent bodily stress or typing-related injuries.
Typing games and warm-up exercises are also useful training tools to look for in typing software. These constitute an excellent resource for typing practice outside of structured lessons to further improve your keyboarding skills.
One of the most important things to look for in typing software is adaptive or optimized learning. This means that the software monitors your progress and customizes its lessons based on that progress. If you do not meet certain benchmarks, the application prompts you to repeat the lesson or exercise. This ensures that you are acquiring the necessary typing skills and getting the most out of each typing lesson.
Beyond a typing application's core training, consider the supplementary features it offers, as these can greatly influence its overall effectiveness and usability. Many typing applications include the ability to customize the font and size of the application's text for more comfortable viewing and to import or create your own practice text. You should also look for applications that offer video tutorials and a virtual keyboard. Both of these items can enhance your learning and help you better comprehend essential keyboarding concepts.
Another feature you might find highly useful in typing software is a goal-setting capability. This lets you input personal typing goals, whether you want to attain a specific words-per-minute target or a higher accuracy percentage. Some applications also recommend performance goals to work toward based on an initial skills assessment and your current typing capabilities.
Typing software should also contain an interface that is easy to navigate and lessons that progress smoothly and methodically. This will help you seamlessly advance through each typing lesson. You should also consider how many people can use the software under a single license, especially if the software will be used communally, like in a classroom or with your whole family.
Progress tracking and reporting are crucial elements of typing software. After completing an initial skills test to pinpoint your ideal starting level, the software should track your progress as you make your way through the application. This allows you to see exactly how and where your typing improves. The best typing test software tracks your words-per-minute rate and typing accuracy by hand, key and finger. Such in-depth accuracy tracking enables you to pinpoint and focus on areas of weakness. Generally speaking, the more information and reporting options the typing software provides, the better, because you will have a more precise assessment of your current skill set.
Help & Support
Most typing software is fairly intuitive, but there may be times when you need additional assistance. The manufacturer should provide technical support for troubleshooting issues via email or telephone. You would be smart to seek software that offers tutorials, a user manual and an online FAQs section. These resources can help you learn more about the software and how to use it.
For everyone from college students to corporate professionals, touch-typing is a valuable skill in today's world. Typing software can teach anyone the basics of typing, but with a top-notch typing application, becoming an expert typist is just a few keystrokes away.