Have you ever wanted to touch-type but found your fingers too slow or awkward? If so, you’ll probably find a typing tutor very helpful. Typing tutors are software programs which basically teach you how to type - no surprises there. They’re often freely available and generally incorporate a “soft” keyboard (a keyboard displayed on-screen) and various tasks which help develop your finger movement, co-ordination and placement. The best typing tutors, however, are the ones which directly engage with the way in which you type and work to correct and train your specific habits and nuances, rather than just offering generic exercises and training routines which don’t adapt to your style. While there are a host of typing tutors available on the internet, here are two which we think are particularly worth your attention, getting your typing up to speed quickly and in a user-friendly, comfortable manner.
Typefaster Typing Tutor
This typing tutor is more geared towards adults and schools than small kids, with a far more spartan and monochromatic interface than other programs like Rapid Typing Tutor (see below). However, Typefaster provides a number of nifty features which put it ahead of the competition, including support for multiple keyboard layouts and the option to focus specifically on your weakest keys and awkward fingerings, a feature which we’ve found to be extremely useful for rapid learning. The program gives you an option to practise on either prose or poetry (which can keep things interesting and even help you learn some Shakespeare), and provides excellent analytics which feed back into how the program operates on training your weak points. Teacher and multi-user support also make this a great educational tool, with support for the classroom and a couple of nods towards kids including a 3D typing game. Overall, Typefaster is a well-rounded typing tutor which looks like it should come with a price tag but doesn’t, making it the typing tutor to beat.
Rapid Typing Tutor
This typing program from Rapid Typing Software claims to make learning how to type “fun and interesting” - no mean feat given the somewhat pedestrian nature of the typing process. Rapid Typing Tutor provides a series of lessons which the user can work through at their own pace, with each lesson involving a scrolling line of text which runs across the screen. So far, so typical: most typing tutors stick to a similar sort of format. However, Rapid Typing Tutor provides some of the best analytics and training aids from any free typing tutor, including graphs and timesheets which measure your accuracy and a free typing game to spice things up a little (and a welcome encouragement for kids learning to type early). We find that although the program’s interface can be a little confusing, its range of skins and avatars also make it more enjoyable than most for new typists of all ages. By following the on-screen diagrams which show you the best hand-positions to use, you can learn to adjust your style extremely quickly, and the program moves to match your speed as well meaning you’re always being challenged to improve.
A quick search will also reveal a wide variety of typing tutors out there. As always, practice and consistent effort are what make your progress faster - with a good typing tutor and perseverance, you’ll match any secretary in no time.