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Viper’s Speedtyping Guide
If you’re looking forward into improving your typing speed, which you most likely are, considering you’ve actively tried to find a better keyboard layout, then you’re surely tired of hearing the famous phrase: ,,Just practice more!”. After all, who wouldn’t? Truth be told, the amount of time spent practicing is just the first part of the equation, the quality of the practice being the equally important second part, not to forget the slight advantage of having better equipment, and couple of other factors, but let’s keep that for later!
--Section 1; Equipment
The sword is only as strong as it’s master! But.. While no tier of quality of equipment will substitute skill, it makes typing a lot more satisfactory, and the higher your skill is, the bigger the difference will be. A lot of it is pure preference, but there’s one thing that’s purely objective: Go for the most responsive equipment!
Typing on majority of mushy membrane keyboards is going to wear down your stamina fast, as opposed to the mechanical ones. The reason being the fact, that you don’t have to press the keys all the way down and bump on the sturdy build of the keyboard, but just halfway, usually accompanied with a tactile click that your fingers will definitely notice to stop upon, they also return from a pressed state to an unpressed state way quicker, making them feel ,,responsive” instead of ,,mushy”, this will rather impress gamers than typists, though. Most mechanical keyswitches have an actuation force below that of the average rubberdome ones, further taking excess strain off from the fingers while still maintaining a high accuracy. On a side note, some mechanical switches do have a higher actuation force than rubberdome switches. I do not recommend these unless you’re a tall powerlifter, in which case, they may come in handy. More information about this can be found here
There’s no questioning that any keyboard layout that was designed with typing in mind will be way more effective than one that was designed with typewriter’s jams in mind.
There are many layouts, but it’s not worth going into a great detail, there are 3 main ones worth talking about, sorted by popularity, they are: Qwerty > Dvorak > Colemak. With all things in mind, the arrows turn the opposite direction when talking about quality: Qwerty < Dvorak < Colemak. Meanwhile the Dvorak and Colemak layouts are nearly equal, Colemak’s easier accessibility scores many bonus points. There are couple of layouts that are, mathematically speaking, even better than Colemak, however, it’s just pure mechanistic speculation with arbitrary scoring systems at this point. No one is denying the possibility of a slight advantageous nit-pick, however, it’s not worth going this deep down the rabbit role. Needless to say, many of these layouts suffer from their strong department from Qwerty, making relearning that much harder.
--Section 2; Technique
Many fast typists have picked up detrimental habits on their way up, while they may say that they are, in fact, not detrimental, don’t believe them. No person can tell what the opposite is like, which in this case would be typing properly, without giving it a proper go first. Utilize all the fingers you can and divide the required effort evenly among them. Using all fingers is undoubtedly better than using fewer. If the standard homerow technique is the most efficient technique isn’t all that questionable, considering keyboards and layouts, like Colemak, were made with homerow in mind. However, there are couple of changes I’d suggest to try out to improve your experiences with it.
Here we have the regular homerow technique:
Notice how the left hand moves in the same way as the right hand one? This is very unnatural, instead, mirror the right hand:
I'd suggest to experiment out with swapping the top-row pinkie fingers with ring fingers, personally, I find moving pinkies to the up-row extremely uncomfortable:
In the case that you'd be interested, there are specific modifications to the Colemak layout that further manipulate the idea of manipulating the left hand's angle, read more here, for even greater detail, check out DreymaR's Big Bag Of Keyboard Tricks
--Section 3; Practice Quality
The way you practice matters as much or even more than how much you actually practice. Type mistakes consistently enough, and you’re already learning to do the mistakes. Your muscle memory doesn’t distinguish between ,,good patterns” and ,,bad patterns”, be careful!
With this in mind, it’s clear cut that you should spend majority of your practice on sites that force you to fix your typos or that penalize you for making them, which will instinctively make you focus on typing more accurately. On sites that do not do such a thing, set an accuracy bar that you’d never go below, high enough to make practice positive, but not so high that it will make practice outright frustrating.
More importantly than all of that, make sure you actually enjoy yourself while practicing! It’ll make reaching higher consistency and accuracy that much easier. There are enough ways to practice for everyone, no point in choosing something you despise.
Make sure you try your best to get rid of all of the unnecessary excess stress in your life. Maintain a healthy diet rich in whole plant foods, checked occasionally with a program like Cronometer to make sure you get past the minimum daily requirement of all the necessary micronutrients. Exercise frequently. Get rid of any unhealthy habits. Make your practicing environment as calm as possible and remove all the distractions. The more you do to eliminate the stress the better!
--Section 4; Practice Material
With more than enough knowledge in mind, let’s actually start learning! Here’s a list of typing sites you should definitely try out, divided by their respective categories:
Strings of Words:
Strings of Words:
Strings of Words:
The end. Have fun, be consistent, and keep your variety fresh to expect improvement!