Learning to touch-type DOESN’T quicken your keyboard skills

Unless you’re currently in primary school (in which case kudos for reading this), learning to touch-type was never introduced to a lot of us as a part of our schooling – it’s something that came about of our own volition or intensive late-night MSN messenger sessions with our to-be Year 8 boyfriends and girlfriends.

However, a new study from Finland suggests that spending hours with Mavis Beaker (the touch-type software, not the Year 9 love-interest) is a total waste of time. Touch-typing has been a focus of study since the 1920s but noone has since looked into the difference between typists trained and untrained – until now, the Guardian reports.

The ‘untrained’ touch-type recruits were aged between 20 and 55, all attached with motion capture buttons on their finger joints, eye-tracking glasses on their faces and a camera stuffed in their personal space.

The final report of this experiment resulted in this: “We find that regardless of the number of fingers involved, an everyday typist may achieve entry speeds of more than 70wpm. Even some participants using only one or two fingers per hand can achieve a level of performance you’d expect from touch typists”

The elite typists of the world can max out at the speeds of 120wpm but bear in mind that they have to utilise all their fingers to achieve this level of word-typery.

Self-taught typists were found to have developed a multitude of different styles however the amount of fingers used to type did not affect the overall speed of their type. This is good news for people like me who type with two fingers exclusively like some kind of admin-driven ET.

And do you want to the secret to getting the most out of your touch-typing? “Keeping your hands relatively steady and only using your fingers to move forward for the keys” says Dr Weir. The idea is that the next finger is already reaching for the next key, even before the first one is pressed.