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- Registered: 26-Nov-2016
- Posts: 4
What layout did you use beforehand, and how long have you been typing with it?
I learned QWERTY from the very beginning, but I never learned to effectively touch type for various reasons. However, after typing with QWERTY for 16 years and learning my own way of touch typing (using WASD and IJKL as my "home keys"), I was typing at about 60 WPM. I decided recently that I would like to improve my typing and learn to type more productively. So for the past year I have been learning to touch type with QWERTY, and reached about 80 WPM.
How long have you been using Colemak and how many estimated hours per week have you typed with it?
I have been using Colemak for approximately 10 days as of writing this message. I currently have some time available to me; thus I am able to practice about 30 hours a week.
What methods have you been using to learn the Colemak layout?
I initially used Typing Study to familiarize myself with the Colemak layout. However, once I was comfortable with generally knowing the positions of the keys I began using Keybr and 10fastfingers to obtain the muscle memory of words. A few days of practice and I began using Typeracer to help adapt my knowledge at that point into actually typing speed. Initially, I was typing about 30 WPM on Typeracer.
What operating system are you using?
I am using Linux with the Linux Mint 18 distribution.
Do you have any tips on learning the Colemak layout?
As unhelpful as the advice may seem, I would recommend avoiding typing anything but Colemak and avoid conflicting your muscle memory. Additionally, I found it useful to practice some of the most common words for my language and memorize the patterns for typing them. This includes your languages most common bigraphs and trigraphs, for example: he, th, sh, the, and, are, st...ect.
What encouraged you to switch layouts?
As I previously mentioned, I first attempted to learn to touch type using QWERTY and made a lot of progress. However, I have been developing RSI in my right wrist for a few years now and only recently did research on how to prevent it developing further and from becoming more painful. I began using my mouse with my left hand, I am learning shorthand for writing to reduce the amount I need to write and I learned to write using my forearm instead of my fingers and wrist. I plan to make some transition to using my left hand for most activities. This research and effort on my part made me realize that I could not type for very long (30 minutes at most) without experiencing some serious discomfort and the tension would last for the rest of the day making typing a most unhappy experience. Therefore, I began doing research on keyboard ergonomics and came across many studies and anecdotal evidence about different typing layouts. I attempted Dvorak (with caps lock as backspace) due to its popularity, however, the right hand use of the layout was making my hand just as tired as before, but some less pain. After a final batch of research, I settled on Colemak due to the very limited movement and reduced movement of the hands. My choice was validated by the fact I am now currently typing effortlessly, and without the pain I experienced in all my other typing endeavors. For me, Colemak combines the right factors to prevent the excessive fatigue and pain I experienced and for that I am grateful.
As a point of verification, this is my account on TYPERACER. I am currently able to maintain speeds of about 50+ WPM, with my current average about 55 WPM. I type a little faster everyday and feel better about my typing as well. You can view an image of my progress over the past few days and I will continue to post updates as I make continued progress with the Colemak layout.
Thanks for taking the time to learn about my experience with Colemak :D.