Anyone else not type "properly"?

By jdcunningham09 - updated: 5 months, 3 weeks ago - 26 messages

I never learned the proper way of typing (all fingers, set initially on the home row), and the term "home row" means nothing to me. By the time I even learned that there was a proper way to type, I was already so proficient at my own way that I didn't even bother learning.

Basically, I use the pointer and middle fingers on both of my hands, and that's about it (given exceptions here and there). The left hand seems to be more middle finger dominant, and the right hand seems to be more pointer finger dominant, but both hands implement both fingers when needed. I also don't have a "starting position"; whenever I begin a new sentence, I just bring the fingers to the first letters of the first word, and launch into an endless, dynamic flow of hand movement until the next break. My average WPM is about 90-95, and my accuracy is around 97%. Even if I type super leisurely, my WPM still rests around 80. And, whenever I even attempt the proper way, it feels so rigid to me that I can't even bring myself to bother.

Does anyone else have their own personally developed way of typing that actually works?
By vimcredible - posted: 8 months, 2 weeks ago

With your method can you type without looking at the keyboard?
By jdcunningham09 - posted: 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes. In fact, just moments ago I hit 120wpm with 100% accuracy and didn't look down once. However, since neither of my hands ever remain stationary (both hands are just going all over the place at all times), sometimes I will glance down to maintain proper reference, or if I make a mistake and lose my place. All in all, I'd say that I spend about 5% of my time looking at the keyboard, if not less.
By vevilo - posted: 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I used to type using a combination of touch typing and doing whatever with my other hand. I had my left hand on the home row and sort of typed properly with that, but used the pointer and middle finger of my right hand for everything else. I also only ever used the right shift.

I have now transitioned to typing properly (full touch typing). From my experience it only took four days to get used to it (you can see on my profile the effect it had). I am glad I did, as I feel like I am improving much faster now. In my opinion, learning touch typing is a good idea, as I find it much easier to type in punctuation, such as semi-colons, quotations, parentheses, and numbers.
Updated 8 months, 2 weeks ago
By vimcredible - posted: 8 months, 1 week ago

jdcunningham if you can type 120WPM@100% 'improperly' without looking down then props to you, keep doing your thing. Just know you're not human ;)
By jdcunningham09 - posted: 8 months, 1 week ago

Haha thanks. Of course, that was my all time best, so far. My average seems to be about 100 now, with around 98% accuracy. Still... I'll take it!
By di-ferr - posted: 8 months, 1 week ago

Wow that's fantastic
By user282294 - posted: 8 months, 1 week ago

That is quite impressive, but typing the proper way isn't really about speed as many people (such as yourself) have demonstrated that you can attain quite sufficient speed by using pretty much any method you like.
In reality 60-70 wpm should be quite enough to keep up with your thought proccess, higher speeds can really only be attained if you don't need to think about what you are typing, as in copying text or dictation where there is no real need to understand what you are writing.
In any other situation you are going to want to pause and think about what you want to write anyway, and there will inevitably be some cut/paste, going back, refrasing etc... involved in the process.
The point of proper finger positionning is to minimise movement and therefore reduce muscular and tendon stress, which in turn improoves endurance and reduces the risk of injury.
Still I kind of wish I could do that, as the problem with touch typing is that as soon as your hands aren't in the right position (as in leaning over the back of your couch to quickly search something on google using your left hand only) you get lost real quickly
By pkoch - posted: 8 months ago

Very uninformed person here, with no science to back its opinions up. But, I can tell you what I feel.

I feel like I have a similar style, but less impressive stats (45 wpm, crappy accuracy). I've been finding that the thing I need to improve the most is touch accuracy (it's super common for my fingers to want to hit the middle of two keys). The thing that has been the most improving is to consistently hit each key with the same finger. I feel like my fingers have started to "fall into their own home row", which diminished the need to look at the keyboard to calibrate, which in turn increases accuracy, and then speed.
Updated 8 months ago
By user543583 - posted: 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Honestly, I'm trying to get to grips with typing QWERTY after being on Colemak for 3 years. Prior to Colemak, I was on Dvorak for about 2 months. I tell you, I made better progress with Dvorak in those 2 months than with Colemak for 3 years. Even after 3 years, I could not type a single sentence properly.

Right now, I've been trying to touchtype on QWERTY for about 3 - 4 years now and I still make mistakes like a dyslexic idiot. My WPM has never reached above 40 and my accuracy always suffers and hovers around 60 - 80%.
By magellan - posted: 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Man, I'd love to see a video of that. I just can't picture it.
By magellan - posted: 7 months, 2 weeks ago

If you don't mind me asking, why keep switching layouts?

Also, have you ever been evaluated for dyslexia? It's a spectrum, so you can be just mildly dyslexic. My mother is and she struggles with typing.
By magellan - posted: 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I just started learning to touch type about six months ago -- though I've been using PCs daily since about '94 -- and what you describe mirrors my experience. It's the same thing when you're learning guitar: your finger has to land in just the right spot above the fret to sound the note without buzzing. It's improving steadily with practice, though I still have to keep my nails trimmed very short to totally avoid the tendency to snag the edge of a key from the row above the one I'm aiming for.

One thing I've found helpful is to resist the temptation to look at the keyboard at all... whether it's to find B or PrtScn.
Updated 7 months, 2 weeks ago
By user543583 - posted: 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Never thought about it being that way... but the fact is I feel like I'm having to fight my fingers. They seem to have a mind of their own. For instance, I know that E is on the middle finger of my left hand.. but why does my right hand type L?
This even happens while I am looking at the keyboard. How is that possible?
Sometimes I feel like Dr. Octopus in Spiderman2, fighting with his arms at the end: "Listen to me now!... E.. E..."

I switched from Colemak to QWERTY because I wanted to be able to type on any computer and keyboard in front of me.
Trust me when I say this... it feels like switching back to something that is worse. You literally feel the discomfort on QWERTY. Colemak is far more ergonomic and easier for the fingers. But I could not get to grips with it as easy as I did with Dvorak. Seriously I was far more faster and less prone to mistakes on Dvorak than the any other layout. I was able to master it within a matter of a month as well.

There are times when I feel that I need to switch to Dvorak to get over the hurdles, but that would probably be admitting to myself that I was defeated by a simple keyboard layout.
Updated 7 months, 2 weeks ago
By user227058 - posted: 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I tried your way for a quote and it was surprisingly fast and a lot easier to be accurate.
By user58277 - posted: 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I have a bad time typing
By user58277 - posted: 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. I need help
By magellan - posted: 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I have a couple of those quirks where a key is kind of mismapped somewhere between my brain and my hands. The one that bugs me most is the period and comma. If I don't pay attention, I hit the comma when I want a period, and I hit the period when I want a comma. Thought about giving in and remapping them, but eh. Rather break a bad habit.

I've dabbled with Dvorak a bit and agree it's a more comfortable layout, but I'm leery of committing to it for the same reason you're working on QWERTY. I particularly like the layout of the common punctuation keys.

One suggestion that didn't occur to me earlier is that a lot of the strain I felt starting out touch typing was due to feeling the need to keep at least one finger anchored somewhere on the home row at all times. Working on hovering more brought that discomfort way down. It feels very unreliable at first, and will slow you down, but it gets better.
By asianontheinside - posted: 7 months, 1 week ago

I am in the same boat as you I only use 4-5 normally and type around 110-115 on every typing website, except for here, which I type around 105. I usually tend to hit the same keys with the same fingers, but my typing style is dependent mostly around the words in front of and behind the world as well as the word that I am typing itself. It is based around comfort and practicality. It works for me I type the fastest in my school and faster than all my teachers by a long shot. I am only 13 by the way which I am hoping that one day I will be laughing at the fact that I used to type 115. People say that everybody should type the proper way, however I believe that typing should be based upon comfortability and in my personal opinion the best way to type is just forcing yourself to not look at the keys and knowing the layout, In the end that and practice will be the things making your speeds as good as they can get.
By canyoujustnot - posted: 7 months ago

I follow some of the "typing rules" that I was taught, but some of them make no sense to me. I often catch myself switching finger placements, but whenever I try to type the "correct" way my WPM instantly decreases.
By leof - posted: 6 months, 2 weeks ago

In all honesty I think improper typing should be a whole sub thread. I am certain there would be many 'improper typists', as computers have become so accessible and people learn to use them intuitively rather than formal training in how to touch type.

I have never been able to touch type. I would reach up to 60 wpm with 97% accuracy in the past. I am currently an infrequent typist and I rest at around 50wpm. But my right hand rests pretty still as my left hand does most of the leg work.

I would love to see jdcunningham09 actually typing to see what techniques he uses to get such an excellent wpm.

I think the placement of my right hand is due to spending a lot my first few years on using a keyboard with playing fps with a right handed mouse. I am certain that there are many other people out there who have a similar habit.

Another thing worth mentioning; punctuation. It is punctuation that slows down many people. Having the right hand still is probably in compensation of the punctuation that is needed. If we could get away with just lettering I am sure many typist's styles would be different.
Updated 6 months, 2 weeks ago
By smooshedpeach - posted: 6 months, 1 week ago

What gets me is capitalization. Since I use shift and not caps lock (as everyone should use) I end up hitting the next character before taking my finger off shift, causing me to lose wpm. Something strange that I do is I type to the beat of music. I can type without music, but I type better when listening to rap or hip hop, something that has a strong beat.
By gibus8 - posted: 6 months, 1 week ago

I can imagine how fast you could type if you do the "proper" way.
By hewbs - posted: 6 months, 1 week ago

The formal way of doing it like all fingers sit on home row feels really uncomfortable to me. If ever someone want's me to it formally, I would use a dvorak keyboard because qwerty is so badly designed that it makes your left hand dominant in typing even you are right and the way the letters are arranged in a way that typing some words require me to awkward move my fingers and most words require you to jump over the home row.

And here I am with my qwerty keyboard, where my left hand has domain nearly 75% of my keyboard and my right hand usually doing assists. Typing with all my fingers except the pinky of my left with an average WPM of 47. Though been thinking to change to dvorak but just keep my qwerty keyboard for gaming purposes.
By typistnovice - posted: 5 months, 3 weeks ago

My left hand types the proper way with all my fingers in action, but I only use my index and middle finger on my right hand, occasionally my ring finger. I guess this speaks to the imbalance of the QWERTY keyboard.
By xsiangio - posted: 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I type almost normally, having half learned touch-typing method and sort of filling in the other half intuitively. What I ended up with is this sort of thing where I do not use my pinky fingers very much (the left is solely used to press shift the right mostly covers "enter" and the ' key).

My fingers kinda maintain a base near the home row for the most part. My pointer fingers gravitate over the standard f and k keys, my middles hover between e/d and i/k keys. my ring fingers hover between a/s and o/l keys, and the pinkies rest on left shift and between ; / ' (In case you cannot tell, my hands are rather large, and my fingers are rather long).

What this ends up with is my ring fingers taking most of the area the pinkies would have been in charge of, the middles mostly only being utilized for the top or middle rows, and the pointer fingers filling in the gap in the middle keys and the bottom row. Its a little more flexible with finger positions though. Rather than having each key assigned a specific finger each finger is assigned a domain, which can overlap with other domains, allowing some fingers to cover other fingers (many keys are pushed by two separate fingers at different times)

The reason my fingers must "cover" each other occasionally is because, due to the increased domain of my ring and pointer fingers, my hands must make minor movements in order to reach certain keys (my left hand often expands or contracts to cover outer keys like t and y and contracts to cover keys such as a and c, my right acts on a swivel in order to reach keys such as backspace (ring finger), enter (pinky), and comma (thumb, middle, or pointer)), and that, combined with the increased usage in general, creates a situation where it is more convenient to use an alternative finger to press a key while another is farther, or occupied.

For example, comma, as pointed out earlier, uses middle finger naturally, pointer finger if the middle is occupied (with a key like p), and thumb if the middle is occupied with a key that makes it difficult for the right hand to reach, such as u, or y, or if backspace was recently pushed. (It is not that complicated with other keys, most have one finger push it most of the time, with an occasional key having to be covered by two).

I think the system is more linguistically based than anything, with certain configurations for certain letter combinations, but it works well enough. I'm not exactly a typing god like Mr. jdcunningham up there but I average a solid 65-70 wpm with ~95% accuracy (well enough to keep up with my thought process uninhibited), and I just learned about this website a couple of days ago. (I'm a high school student if that provides any context as to usage).

I think the only time I have trouble are with complex, unfamiliar words, or with the letter y (which is sort of awkwardly shared between the left pointer and right middle).

Oh and semicolons, those suck.

edit: I feel kinda awkward for posting a text wall
Updated 5 months, 3 weeks ago