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- Registered: 01-Apr-2018
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So, I had a neat way of thinking about typing with Colemak that at least has helped me to gain some speed in a shorter amount of time than was expected. Some of you will probably have already thought of most of these little "tricks" subconsciously, but hopefully having it written out can be of help to some. :)
To start off, I'm a pretty big fanatic of arcade games. Always have been.
For those that don't know, arcade games, especially fighters, require a totally different kind of focus and control than games in other genres. There are a host of techniques that competitive players are expected to have mastered if they really want any hope of winning, and some of them are remarkably similar to what you do in Colemak. QWERTY users can also benefit from much of this, but not to the same degree.
The big techniques I can think of are rolls, slides, double-tapping, and "piano-ing".
An example word is "question". If I approach typing that word as I would playing a fighting game, the motion comes out like this:
q - slide (ue) - roll (st) - roll (io) - n
q - slide - longer two-handed roll (stio) - n
As you can see, there are some distinct types of motion, including a single-finger slide and two rolls that can benefit from very slight wrist motion.
Or, perhaps you're typing the word "right". That might look like this:
r - i (build a little hand tension) - piano motion (gh) - land on "t"
A "piano" motion in this case involves lifting your hands a little bit more than usual and snapping your fingers back down on adjacent keys rapidly, as many times as the word requires. It feels almost like a jumping action if you do it right.
Rolls can also be used across rows almost as easily as on the same row.
Take the word "swan" for instance.
s - roll to w and a - n.
"Would" is a very nice example.
w - "circle" roll over o, u, l - d
And for double letters, "double-tapping" doesn't quite convey what the motion involves. When you see someone double-tapping on arcade controls, they either use two fingers and "drum" out a double-tap (not helpful in proper touch typing), or they sort of twitch their finger to get the same effect. Doing it the second way, you don't need to let go of the button or key - instead you keep it near its actuation point and twitch it down again. Being able to do this on any finger is a great advantage and keeps your speed consistently high. The real challenge is getting only two letters out this way!
The number of examples is really quite endless. The most essential thing is to get the rhythm down and make the motions automatic. Once you do, whole words form with very little effort at a surprising speed.