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View Full Version : Should I learn "home row" typing?



IYY
April 11th, 2006, 12:55 AM
Currently, I only type with my index fingers and thumbs, and I do it quite well (around 120 wpm for short sentences, around 80 for long ones). I am trying to learn the "proper" way of typing using the gtypist app, but it seems much slower! Would I really be able to type significantly faster? Is it worth the effort?

NeghVar
April 11th, 2006, 12:58 AM
personally im much faster with just a few fingers than with the ways that r normally taught. Once u become used to it and get more experience with it u will speed up, its all a matter of gettin used to it.

SeanTater
April 11th, 2006, 01:00 AM
If you are worried about speed, try the "dvorak" keyboard layout.. (You'll need to buy a dvorak keyboard). The problem, all your keyboards will need to be dvorak, or you may run into problems changing from one to another.

banjobacon
April 11th, 2006, 01:13 AM
If you are worried about speed, try the "dvorak" keyboard layout.. (You'll need to buy a dvorak keyboard). The problem, all your keyboards will need to be dvorak, or you may run into problems changing from one to another.

From what I've read, the Dvorak layout does not help you type faster. Or maybe the difference in speed was insignificant.

Also, you do not need a new keyboard to use the Dvorak layout. You're not supposed to look at your keyboard anyway, so all the keys might as well be blank.

And switching from one to the other shouldn't pose a problem. We're all smart enough to handle it.

rfruth
April 11th, 2006, 01:13 AM
Definitely learn proper keyboarding techniques, the hunt & peck method works for some but sooner or later you'll wish you could type ...

IYY
April 11th, 2006, 01:30 AM
Definitely learn proper keyboarding techniques, the hunt & peck method works for some but sooner or later you'll wish you could type ...

Well, what I do isn't really hunt and peck. I never look at the keyboard, my fingers just know the location of each key relative to the spacebar.

jrib
April 11th, 2006, 01:45 AM
Your hands probably get mored tired. I used to use a similar method. I definitely prefer my typing now.

gord
April 11th, 2006, 02:04 AM
From what I've read, the Dvorak layout does not help you type faster. Or maybe the difference in speed was insignificant.

Dvorak is actually much faster, qwerty was designed from the get-go to make you slower at typing, way back when (1910 or so?) typists were typing to fast on those mechanical typewriters and were making far too many mistakes, which arn't easy to correct without the use of liquid paper, so qwerty was designed to slow people down, but at the same time it also has the effect of being counter productive and gives you repetitive strain injury.

dvorak was created not so long after after a study into the feild, its designed to be very quick but also extreamly productive (having all the vowels in the right place, not all over the place for example). it also has the nice effect of reducing RSI.

id love to learn it myself (had many attempts) but after 14 years or so of qwerty, its just too hard to change...

Qrk
April 11th, 2006, 02:55 AM
I switched to dvorak by puting a sticker on each of my keys. I'd recommend that... minimal cost and no risk. Ubuntu already has the dvorak keyboard layout ready, you just need to switch to it.

Unfortunatly, after having to use Qwerty at work, I decided to switch back. But I would recommend it to anyone that isn't glued to an unchangable keyboard everyday.

banjobacon
April 11th, 2006, 03:22 AM
Dvorak is actually much faster, qwerty was designed from the get-go to make you slower at typing, way back when (1910 or so?) typists were typing to fast on those mechanical typewriters and were making far too many mistakes, which arn't easy to correct without the use of liquid paper, so qwerty was designed to slow people down, but at the same time it also has the effect of being counter productive and gives you repetitive strain injury.

Lies.

The QWERTY was designed to prevent typewriters from jamming by spreading frequently-used letters, or something like that.

The Dvorak Zine explains it in a fun way. http://dvzine.org/zine/index.html

benplaut
April 11th, 2006, 03:30 AM
qwerty is designed to be slow. While the home-row method technically makes it more efficient (your hand doesn't move around as much), it also requires alot more coordination, and can be hard on your hands after typing for a long time (in my experience).

I spent a month with covered keys, which didn't teach me the correct way to type, but it gave me a definative knowledge of where each key is on the keyboard. I usually type using the first three fingers, primarily index and middle (while pressing spacebar with index). It's not the most efficient, but i can type with any fingers, or even one handed - it's the advantage of not only knowing what to do with each finger, but to know where the keys are in relation to each other.

You might want to add another finger on each hand, it should make you faster.

jbmalone
April 11th, 2006, 03:35 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTY_Keyboard

ice60
April 11th, 2006, 03:35 AM
here's an mp3 about keyboards including Dvorak, it's not long and worth listening to. i can't remember exactly what's in it.
http://twatech.org/eps/twat056.mp3

i heard the dvorak keyboard was about to become a world standard, but that was the year 1913 or 1938, something like that and the war put an end to it - couldn't waste metals etc etc.



there are left/right hand Dvorak keyboards too, incase you only have one hand! the most used keys are on the home row along with the vowels - 70% of the work is done with home keys - qwerty is only 33%

Mr Dvorak looked at word construction and tried to make it so with a Dvorak keyboard you type one letter with one hand then the next with the other and so on. minimum is easy to type with a Dvorak keyboard lol.

we even have the option to use the layout with Ubuntu :) System>Preferences>Keyboard>Layout

http://www.webopedia.com/FIG/DVORAK.gif

Iandefor
April 11th, 2006, 03:41 AM
I don't think you'd need to with speeds like that. I mean, if it's uncomfortable the way you're doing it, try home row. It might be more comfortable.



Definitely learn proper keyboarding techniques, the hunt & peck method works for some but sooner or later you'll wish you could type ...
You can't really categorize the way people type into "typing" and "hunt & peck". I don't do "proper" typing, but I don't do hunt and peck, either. I know where all the keys are, and the rest just happens on it's own. I've typed enough that I'm aware of the relative positions of all the keys on the keyboard without needing to think about it.

Similarly, do you think IYY would be able to achieve 120 wpm using hunt and peck? I've seen people do hunt and peck, and, believe me, they get around 5 wpm. It's painful to watch.

drizek
April 11th, 2006, 03:48 AM
Damn it, now i have to switch to dvorak.

I love the part in the comic at the end that gives details on how to enable it and the windows one says "If you use windows... use these directions" and the linux one says "if you use linux... you're awesome!!!"

drizek
April 11th, 2006, 03:50 AM
<.nnw c o,cyjd.e mf t.fxrape yr ekrpatv

ODCY!!!!!!!

ncappel1
April 11th, 2006, 03:52 AM
The QWERTY was designed to prevent typewriters from jamming by spreading frequently-used letters, or something like that.
the reason the letters were jamming is because people were typing too fast. ;)

I use dvorak when I can because I find it is easier on my fingers, it's also more fun, it's like a brain workout, but If I have to type a paper or something, Ill stick to qwerty because it's been in grained in me for several years. I'm building up the dvorak skills though, slowly but surely!

I heard somewhere that the number of "most frequently used" words you can type on the home-row on a qwerty keyboardis about 300-400, but on dvorak it's over 1000.

an interesting historical note: my grandmother, 82 years young used to work as a secretary at the capitol building in Hartford, CT when she was in her 20s. she was a professional typest. The typewriter is now probably a collectors piece collecting dust in her attic. She told me that a really good typest on a typewriter cannot afford to type at more than about 110-120 words per minute, making mistakes slows you down way too much, and the chance of keys crossing each others paths and sticking at those breakneck high speeds is just too high. In short, she was able to type faster, but the mechanics of the keyboard wasn't letting her! I suppose it wouldn't have mattered even if her typeweriter had a dvorak layout though, at those high speeds the keys would still stick.

Dvorak is better at productivity though, it is designed to keep the most commonly used keys in the best places. It just takes practice, remember how slow it was typing when you first started on the qwerty keyboard? it's the exact same thing. I will add that I think the dvorak is a more intuitive and logical layout--once you learn it. There is more alternating left-hand right-hand typing than on a quirky qwerty keyboard.

This next one is completely unfounded, but i've heard legends that really really good dvorak users can get up to 300 words per minute. I can't even think that fast!

banjobacon
April 11th, 2006, 04:01 AM
I heard somewhere that the number of "most frequently used" words you can type on the home-row on a qwerty keyboardis about 300-400, but on dvorak it's over 1000.

This next one is completely unfounded, but i've heard legends that really really good dvorak users can get up to 300 words per minute. I can't even think that fast!


I know one shouldn't believe everything read on the internet, but this webpage (http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/Dvorak/) sounds a lot more reputable than some legend you might have overheard once upon a time. It states that differences in speed are mostly myth.

That's not to say it won't be faster for some people.

ncappel1
April 11th, 2006, 04:14 AM
you and your "references"

;)

drizek
April 11th, 2006, 04:32 AM
Look at me im typing in dvorak.

This is cool, but slow as hell so far.

more typing, and more. some punctuation too. Wow im getting good at this. Sorry for wasting your bandwidth. Typing with my right pinky feels weird. random crap. OK, I think im done.

briancurtin
April 11th, 2006, 05:18 AM
did the OP really say he can type 80 WPM with a few fingers?

sorry but i dont believe it at all.

IYY
April 11th, 2006, 05:57 AM
did the OP really say he can type 80 WPM with a few fingers?

sorry but i dont believe it at all.

I don't know, that's what gtypist says the speed is. It could be wrong, I guess.

Iandefor
April 11th, 2006, 06:35 AM
EDIT:

What a fool I am. I said something, but nevermind.

htinn
April 11th, 2006, 06:49 AM
For true WPM, you really need to get yourself tested by a professional typist. They will expect you to make *no* errors, by the way (that's part of the speed measurement). I rate a solid 35 WPMs, by the way. :)

stoeptegel
April 11th, 2006, 07:08 AM
Dvorak is actually much faster, qwerty was designed from the get-go to make you slower at typing, way back when (1910 or so?) typists were typing to fast on those mechanical typewriters and were making far too many mistakes, which arn't easy to correct without the use of liquid paper, so qwerty was designed to slow people down, but at the same time it also has the effect of being counter productive and gives you repetitive strain injury.

dvorak was created not so long after after a study into the feild, its designed to be very quick but also extreamly productive (having all the vowels in the right place, not all over the place for example). it also has the nice effect of reducing RSI.

id love to learn it myself (had many attempts) but after 14 years or so of qwerty, its just too hard to change...

Now i know why i always found myself struggling with my fingers.
This is so lame, why should i keep using a system that is designed to slow me down! :mad:

I am looking for keycaps for my happy hacking lite2 keyboard now.
Does anyone here know what country/language this shop is?
http://www.geekstuff.no/items.php?groupid=4&itemid=35

helpme
April 11th, 2006, 08:00 AM
To the OP: I'd certainly recommend learning proper typing. It's simply faster and more convenient once you've learned it.

About qwerty designed to being slow. Let's just say that there are many who call this a myth:
http://wwwpub.utdallas.edu/~liebowit/keys1.html
http://home.earthlink.net/~dcrehr/myths.html
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=356

Jenda
April 11th, 2006, 08:03 AM
I can wholly recommend the dvorak. The worlds fastest typists use it, and so do I. How I wish english was my only language - it would make it a lot simpler.
I had to add special Czech characters to it, so I gave up the top row of numbers and use the num pad instead.
Trust me that there is a notable difference when typing in English (thus using the dvorak advantage in full) and when typing in Czech, which reduces the dvorak to only little more than QWERTY - as the character frequencies and diphtongues are different, and thus the optimalisation is lost, and I have to reach to the top row for ěščřž chars...
That difference, which I can feel as a strong sensation of *pain* after typing three pages in Czech, illustrates nicely the difference between a simplified and non simplified KB layout. On another note, if a different language than english is your primary - google. There are french, finnish, swedish and more alternatives, each optimised for their own laguage. If you are a programmer, or might for another reason use one hand for typing, consider a one-handed dvorak.

GarethMB
April 11th, 2006, 10:27 AM
Touch typing is the nuts :D. My sisteter types like you and when she's upstairs all you can hear it her thudduing the keyboard because she has to work so much harder to keep up the speed. That said all she does is MSN pretty much which means she does not even use real sentences or words most of the time.

*Felt incredibly slow typing this. Anyone else notice that when they were concious of thier typing.?*

Kvark
April 11th, 2006, 10:32 AM
The Swedish dvorak keyboard is identical to the English except that the ',. keys are replaced by the Swedish letters so it is still optimized for English. I think it is the same with most dvorak layouts in other languages because it takes a lot more research then some dvorak fanclub can do to position the keys so that the common letter sequences in the language leads to fast paths for the fingers. So there is no point in using dvorak to type anything else then English. Also dvorak is optimized for fingers that are in the true proper typing position so there is no point in using it if you do some other variant.

If you really want to type fast and are prepared to learn a special layout then a chorded keyboard gives much faster speeds. Specially the keyboards they use to caption live TV broadcasts where they are forced to type as fast as people speak which is more then twice as fast as anyone can type on a qwerty or dvorak keyboard.

But personally I think it's too much trouble to mess with special layouts. Just put tape over the letters on the keys to make 100% sure you don't waste time on peeking at them. Also make sure that you use more then half of your fingers so one finger can be on it's way to the next key before the previous finger returns from the previous key. Maybe go play typespeed twice a day and see if you can improve your score over time.

stoeptegel
April 11th, 2006, 11:17 AM
About qwerty designed to being slow. Let's just say that there are many who call this a myth

The opposite here:
http://www.theworldofstuff.com/dvorak/

But off source there are languages where Dvorak is useless; it's build to be fast for the US language.

majikstreet
April 11th, 2006, 06:26 PM
(haven't read the whole thread)

I dunno if you should. I don't type with all my fingers -- I have developed a way of my own.. It seems to be efficent for me! (I mainly type with my index fingers and middle ones.) Also, I don't use shift for capital letters. I use caps lock.. but lots of my stuff comes out LIke THis..

Swiss
April 11th, 2006, 06:51 PM
ReALLy? THatS fuNnY. ;)

I type with all my fingers....

ow50
April 11th, 2006, 09:24 PM
Dvorak vs. Qwerty comparison applet:
http://www.acm.vt.edu/%7Ejmaxwell/dvorak/comparePage.html

videodrome
August 1st, 2006, 06:35 AM
I have been using Dvorak for about 3 months now and I absolutely love it. Although it is a major adjustment to say the least. Gone are a lot of the wrist pains I used to have with qwerty.

fuscia
August 1st, 2006, 07:44 AM
i learned to touch type, but lately i've been finding myself using the wrong fingers to type the correct keys. it reminds me of the old saying in golf - "the ball doesn't know what your swing looks like".

Footissimo
August 1st, 2006, 10:33 AM
120WPM!!!

Just been playing around on this (http://www.typingtest.com/test/default.asp) and I get 42 words per minute (though I have just come off a night shift...with sore wrists too)...and I don't consider myself to be a particularly slow typist.

AlexC_
August 1st, 2006, 10:47 AM
I type with my index fingers and then my thumb on my left hand is the one that does the space. It's werid because I can touch type like this, I hardly ever look at the keyboard ( Sometimes when I move my hands too far, and like the offset of my hands change, so instead of typing "you" i'd type "tiy"- I just know from years of doing it that I have to move my finger "So much Up and so much Across" to get the letter I want. I have tried to learn to touch type normaly, but I find it very hard to get to special characters and the return/shift keys - which is bad for coding

Titus A Duxass
August 1st, 2006, 11:42 AM
You can speed up your typing by adopting the texting style i.e. CU, etc. But the problem is that most people will not understand what you have written.

AlexC_
August 1st, 2006, 12:13 PM
That really doesn't help - it will only slow you down when you need to type normally.

macogw
October 5th, 2006, 09:44 PM
Dvorak is actually much faster, qwerty was designed from the get-go to make you slower at typing, way back when (1910 or so?) typists were typing to fast on those mechanical typewriters and were making far too many mistakes, which arn't easy to correct without the use of liquid paper, so qwerty was designed to slow people down, but at the same time it also has the effect of being counter productive and gives you repetitive strain injury.

dvorak was created not so long after after a study into the feild, its designed to be very quick but also extreamly productive (having all the vowels in the right place, not all over the place for example). it also has the nice effect of reducing RSI.

id love to learn it myself (had many attempts) but after 14 years or so of Tqwerty, its just too hard to change...
I think the reason was that the metal bars that fly up to type the letters on the typewriter tangle/cross/jam when you type too fast.

henriquemaia
October 6th, 2006, 04:22 AM
I think the reason was that the metal bars that fly up to type the letters on the typewriter tangle/cross/jam when you type too fast.

The QWERTY myth (http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=356)...

strabes
April 7th, 2007, 05:58 PM
I think the reason was that the metal bars that fly up to type the letters on the typewriter tangle/cross/jam when you type too fast.

True, but also because if they're too close they'll cross each other and jam. That isn't a problem with computers so dvorak should be considered by all. I use it every day and type 90-100 wpm effortlessly and painlessly on my qwerty keyboard.