What is touch typing? How to learn touch typing? A Beginners Guide

Today when computers are being used in every field, good typing speed can keep you ahead of others.

Maybe you are working on a computer based job, or you are going to college but if you type regularly; then in both cases, learning touch typing could make your life faster and easier.

Touch typing is the ability to type with all ten fingers without actually looking at the keyboard. It is a valuable skill if you want to dramatically increase your typing speed. This method requires training and practice to be able to do it efficiently and accurately.

If you’re new to the world of touch typing, here’s a beginner’s guide to get you started.

What is touch typing?

Touch typing has nothing to do with a touch screen. Basically, touch typing is the ability to type with all your 10 fingers without actually looking at the letters on the keyboard. To accomplish this typist rely on their muscle memory.

Each key on the keyboard is associated with a specific finger. Through proper practice our hands memorizes the location of each letter, number, and sign on the keyboard, and also which finger controls which keys.

At first it may seem as if using the touch keyboard you can never type as fast and as accurately as with your current two finger system (also called “hunt and peck”), but you cannot.  As you spend more time practicing touch typing, it becomes easier and faster.

How to get started with touch typing?

The first step to learn touch typing is to remember which finger can tap on which key because it is the fingers that will find their key on the keyboard, and the hands must not move.

But there is one more step, maybe even before the first step: knowing what is good sitting posture for efficient typing.

1: Sitting posture for efficient typing.

Typically, prolonged sitting can bring its share of pain if you are improperly seated, Poor posture can cause back pain, muscle fatigue and other severe problems. It is therefore essential to know how to position yourself before you start learning typing.

  • Sit straight and remember to keep your back straight. and feet flat on the ground
  • Keep your elbows bent at the right angle.
  • Face the computer screen with your head slightly tilted forward.
  • Keep at least 45 – 70 cm of distance between your eyes and the computer screen.
  • Еxpose the shoulder, arm, and wrist muscles to the least possible strain. 
  • The wrists can touch the desk in front of the keyboard. But never shift your body weight to the wrists by resting on them.

2: Position your fingers correctly to memorize the keys of the keyboard

The basic step to learn touch typing is to remember which finger can tap on which key. It is also important to remember the rest position of the fingers.

Home Row Position

Curve your fingers a little and put them on the ASDF and JKL; keys which are located in the middle row of the letter keys. This row is called HOME ROW (or rest position) because you always start from these keys and always return to them.

As shown in the image below, for the standard QWERTY keyboard.


Here is the rule when it comes to finger positioning of the home row:

Index finger of the left hand on the letter F,

Left middle finger on the letter D,

Ring finger of the left hand on the letter S,

Left little finger on the letter A,

Index finger of the right hand on the letter J,

Right middle finger on the letter K,

Ring finger of the right hand on the letter L,

Right little finger on the key : or ;

Both left and right thumbs on the space bar.

#Note: You may have noticed that the letters F and J have a raised line on them. The idea is that if you accidentally move your fingers from the correct position, you will be able to reposition them without having to look at the keyboard (thanks to these little markers).

Keyboard scheme for each fingers

The color-coded keyboard as given below will help you to understand which finger should press which key.


The picture above shows the correct position of the fingers of both the hands. You will remember all the postures only by practicing daily. Otherwise the process will be more difficult and you may feel frustrated.

Red Keys: Use your left hand little finger to press the keys shown in red color (1, Q, A, Z, Left Shift, Caps Lock, Ctrl, Alt)

Orange Keys: The left ring finger should hit the keys shown in orange color (2, W, S, X)

Yellow Keys: The left middle finger should used to press the keys shown in yellow color (3, E, D, C)

Green Keys: The left index finger should hit the keys shown in green color (4, R, F, V, 5, T, G, B)

Light Blue Keys: Use your right hand index finger to press the keys shown in red color (6, Y, H, N, &, U, J, M)

Dark Blue Keys: The right middle finger should hit the keys shown in orange color (8, I, K, <)

Dark Purple Keys: The right ring finger should used to press the keys shown in yellow color (9, O, L, >)

Light Purple Keys: The right little finger should hit the keys shown in green color (P,; (semicolon),: (colon), ‘(apostrophe), “(quotation mark), / (slash),? (question mark), {} (curly bracket), [] (bracket), \( Backslash), | (vertical bar), right shift, backspace and enter)

#Note: Use the thumb of whichever hand is more convenient for you to press the Space bar and ALtGr.

#Note: Always return to the starting position (Home Row) of the fingers “ASDF – JKL;”.

Now start writing words, without looking at the keyboard. It can be difficult in starting, you will probably make errors at first, but as the training sessions progress your hands and brain will get used to it, and you won’t even need to look at the keyboard even a small glance.

Some extra points to remember while learning touch typing

Don’t look at the keyboard when you type. Just slide your fingers around until they find the home row (rest position).

Do not rush when you just started learning. Speed up only when your fingers itself memorizes the position of keys.

Take your time when typing to avoid mistakes so that your hands and brain can learn the correct position of keys. The speed will pick up as you progress.

Always scan the text a word or two in advance.

Keep your hands and fingers close to the rest position. This improves typing speed and reduces stress on the hands.

How long does it take to learn to touch type?

If you use this method to typing, in 15 days (two weeks) you will be a good typist. But you need some more practice to achieve great.

You have to type with your all ten fingers. We already explained which finger should used to press which key.

Once you understand how you should put your hands on the keyboard, then practice daily by respecting this standard finger positions.

If you have a hard time doing this, reduce your speed (this may force you to type very slowly the first day).

It will be sufficient to do the above practice for 15 minutes on the first day, twenty minutes on the second day, half an hour on the third. From day to day the speed will increase by itself, without you making any mistakes.

Practice daily and only accelerate when you feel able to.

At the end of the 15 days, you’ll be able to achieve good typing speed with correct position of fingers and now you also don’t need to look on keys for typing. You can further increase your typing speed by practice more.

It is advised that after 15 days if you want to improve your typing speed more you should practice typing daily at least for 10 minutes.

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