Weekend Open Forum: How did you learn to type?

By Shawn Knight · 72 replies
Mar 30, 2012
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  1. I grew up in a generation where computers and the Internet were just starting to become a “big thing.” As such, there were multiple computer-related courses as electives in middle…

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  2. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    I started back in school when i was 16 using just one very slow finger. Over time i started getting faster using my one finger until i could manage two fingers.

    Anyways, after around 8 years of self learning (I never used any programs), I can now type with all fingers pretty fast. Although i can't touch-type yet...just can't seem to break that barrier.
  3. mccartercar

    mccartercar TS Booster Posts: 140   +26

    Programming on an Apple IIc when I was 10 in 1993.
  4. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,667   +988

    When I got into high school they were just moving away from teaching Typewriting to Computing, but funnily enough they "taught us" how to use Word the entire first year. This is to say, no I did not learn how to type in school, heh, unless "Wordart" counts.

    Today I'm a fairly fast typer, not sure if I do it by the book but practice is everything.
  5. I've worked with a computer long before I formally learned to type, and some experience with an old DOS typing program back in elementary school. In junior high, I more formally learned to type on an Apple typing program, made practical by learning to type up documents correctly with tab stops and sections and whatnot.

    I then followed that up the next year with a dedicated typing class.

    Using an old-school typewriter.

    I will say, that the feedback on the typewriter was the best feeling ever.

    Afterwards, I always kept my skills up by pretty much typing up and printing out any type of homework assignment or report I could, in a time when 56k modems was "bleeding edge." It kept me in a good habit of using proper capitalization, punctuation, and grammar when I eventually got into chatrooms and forums.
  6. playing online games really enhanced my typing skills.
  7. I had to learn morse code in the Navy, using a manual typewriter. In the front of the classroom there was a large poster of the keyboard layout and the key zones assigned to each finger.

    I decided that if I had to do this, I'd learn to do it the right way - not the two-fingered Christopher Columbus method (i.e. Look for it and then land on it).
  8. In sixth grade I had a typing class in my middle school. I think I took it just as a filler class, but it ended up being one of the most useful skills I'd ever learned in school, period.

    I type somewhere in the 90 wpm range on average, but faster if I try.
  9. sondang

    sondang TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Using the computer everyday from year 7 gave me touch type and an average of 100wpm. I'm in year 11 now, and our generations messed up
  10. Similar to your story, but ... In basic typing class in 7th grade (1966). Had taught myself to type (4-finger stomp), got 85 wpm on the first test. The teacher told me I had my A, just don't bother with class. I wish he had forced me to re-learn it the right way when I was 13!
  11. SeiveD

    SeiveD TS Enthusiast Posts: 37

    I just started typing when I started using the computer around the age of maybe 8? Since I used the computer all day every day for a very long time, I eventually got pretty good at typing, even with my weird-*** typing style I could manage over 100 WPM. Lately' I've transitioned more toward a touch-typing like style that I've tried to learn so that I could make better use of the rest of my fingers as I was typing.
  12. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,306   +1,400

    I've been in front of a keyboard since I was three. I didn't take a typing class until my first year of high school. While I knew my way around a keyboard, my speed sucked. During the last 4-5 weeks of that class no one had anything to do. I had memorized the entire first lesson and kept doing it over again trying to see how fast I could get it. My actual typing speed is 40-50wpm but my record in that typing program was 190wpm. It only had words in it that could be typed on the center row of keys.
  13. AIM taught me how to type much faster. I got tired of talking to them and seeing 8 things they wrote while I was still trying to respond to the first thing.
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    In 1991 I was in 7th grade and we had a typing class, I didn't learn much, but I did at least learn the correct finger positions. Then through HS I had to type up some papers for various English classes but I was still pretty slow, as in real slow.

    What really made me fast was using AIM (like the guest above) once I got to college. I accumulated a lot of 'buddies' including one girl that I ended up talking to nearly daily for the next 10 years of our lives. I got faster in a couple weeks than I did from a class in 'middle school' and then all the years up until college.
  15. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    I learned to touch type in junior high school. That was before there was such a thing as middle school, at least in my part of the country. Our school used old heavy manual (non-electric) typewriters. I actually took two courses (I & II). I figured that it would come in handy typing papers for college later. Little did I realize at the time that PCs would become an essential tool in the workplace and touch typing would come in handy writing the numerous reports, manuals and memorandums my job would require.
  16. aspleme

    aspleme TS Enthusiast Posts: 56

    I've used a computer nearly my whole life, though I don't remember much before using Windows 3.0 and 3.1 (as well as Dos). But what gave me the ability to type was Mavis Beacon. Before that, I had to look at the keyboard to figure out what I was typing... not really the same as touch typing at all. Beyond that, AIM, MSN, and other chatting did improve my speed... though I never picked up the habits of shortening my words or ruining my grammar that a lot of my peers did.

    I just wish Mavis Beacon gave the option to teach Dvorak. I've always wanted to learn it, but the few typing programs I can find teach it, I can't get myself to stick with.
  17. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    Grade 9 keyboarding class and Mavis Beacon.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,524

    Bear in mind that Columbus didn't land anywhere near where he thought he was. So, sort of a very questionable analog.

    "Hunt and peck", is the more traditional description of this "method".....;)

    I think Columbus said it best himself, "Grtr O sn um Omfos"!
  19. indiangamer

    indiangamer TS Enthusiast Posts: 57   +9

    i do WASD fastest
    i dont know how i learned typing but maybe by playing games.
  20. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,996   +1,317

    grew up in a very "techy" environment, we were really forced to use computers for typing papers and stuff.. chat in halo, etc, etc..

    I just gradually learned. I mean, now, ive been typing so much that i can type much, much, faster than anyone i know.
  21. Oh, children...

    I learned to type on an IBM Selectric typewriter in typing class in high school. In those days the only computers were on college campuses, and the only access was with punch cards.

    When I was in college, the IBM 360 that most students were allowed to "use" (to submit our box of punch cards) was behind glass. There were three lights connected to a switch that the techs behind the glass used -- green meant the 360 was "up", red was "down", and yellow -- well, I still don't know what Heisenberg state that one referred to.

    Now I probably have a dozen computers around here that are all faster than that 360 was.

    I really don't miss the old days.
  22. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    I learned in a junior high computer typing class. However, most of my practice and where I really became proficient at typing was in chatrooms as well as computer games. If you dont have a mic then you have to learn to type out messages in a split second in the middle of a game.
  23. yorro

    yorro TS Booster Posts: 251

    Counter Strike
  24. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Same here (13 y.o.). Typing class for budding programmers (male) and budding secretaries/EDP punchers (female). The 5:1 female/male ratio probably put paid to any typing skills advancement- and contributed to numerous ejections from class...strangely enough, this coincided with me adopting (what should be henceforth known as) the Benny Method...
  25. killeriii

    killeriii TS Enthusiast Posts: 213   +14

    Funny thing,
    I've used computers every day for a very long time.
    I've never learned to type fast.
    When I'm on a roll, i don't look at the keyboard much. (i can hit the backspace button real well) ;)
    Most of the time i do the search and peck method.
    Maybe one day...

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