The Art of Typing

The definition of typing (as a noun), from Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, is using a computer keyboard or a typewriter to produce typed documents or text. Since nowadays the typewriter is practically obsolete, the process of typing is more often used for inputting text on a computer keyboard. Typing is a technique that involves “training” the fingers to automatically find the keys and, thus, increase writing speed. If we considers that, by implementing this method you can type an average of 90 wpm (words per minute), it’s important that a translator master this technique quickly, because it can significantly improve productivity.

Below are some suggestions to improve your technique in the long term. Note that you must be persistent and very patient. It’s an arduous process that requires practice. But with time you’ll begin to notice that it can greatly benefit your career.

1. Sit with good posture.

Sit upright with your feet on the ground in front of you. Your back should be fully supported by the back of the chair. Your elbows should be on your sides in parallel and your forearms slightly elevated. Your wrists should not be resting on the desk or table; they should be just above the keyboard to avoid injury. You eyes must always be focused on the computer screen when typing. Good posture helps prevent typical injuries, such as low back pain or repetitive strain injury, and it also helps you press the keys correctly.

2. Maintain a consistent writing speed.

Instead of changing from a fast pace to a slow one as you type, try typing at a steady and comfortable speed. You’ll notice that a steady pace will not only help you type faster, but it’ll also help you write more accurately.

3. Use a typing program.

Search the Internet for a program you like and use it to improve your technique. There are many learn-how-to-type programs, which can be used online or downloaded to your computer for free.

4. Practice regularly.

When you’re learning to write on a keyboard while looking at the screen, it’s essential to schedule practice time, otherwise your fingers will start to lose muscle memory. Determine a time of day to practice; for example, in the morning. Try to respect this time.

5. Chat.

No kidding! You need to practice to improve your technique. What’s more fun and common these times than to chat with friends or relatives via Instant Messenger (MSN Messenger, AIM, Skype, etc.). Just remember to implement all that you’ve learned on the subject. It’s a good way to learn and have fun at the same time!

6. Rest.

This suggestion speaks for itself. If you don’t rest properly, you’ll increase the chances of wrist, back and hand injuries and thus, increase the amount of errors you makes when writing.