Keyboarding Skills For Your Career

Using a computer in today’s society is no longer just an option: It’s becoming mandatory for anyone who wishes to keep up with current technology. Teachers now require that students complete school work on a computer and hand in typewritten assignments. Professionals often complete tasks on a computer to streamline their work. To prepare for a career, students need touch-typing skills. Using a computer keyboard will benefit you both personally and professionally.

A computer keyboard contains the basic typewriter keys that have long been the standard. This keyboard is known as the “QWERTY” keyboard because of the configuration of keys on the top row of letters. By learning these keys by touch, it’s no longer necessary to hunt for keys you want to enter by sight. Your fingers will automatically know where all of the keys are located so they can find and press them quickly. Typing speed will increase significantly after you take the time to learn the touch-typing method. Many people can type about 40 words per minute. If you practice keyboarding skills, you might succeed in raising your typing speed to 60 or even 80 words per minute. The fastest recorded typing speed was achieved by Stella Pajunas in 1946. Pajunas typed 216 words per minute using an IBM electric typewriter.

Touch-typing involves placing your fingers on the “home row” of the keyboard. These keys are A, S, D, and F for the left hand and J, K, L, and semicolon for the right hand. Once you have your fingers on these keys, you can reach to the rows above and below with your fingers. Each finger has specific keys assigned to it that it must press to enter text. For example, the index finger of the right hand reaches up to press Y and U on the row above the home row and N and M on the row below the home row. Both thumbs have the responsibility of pressing the space bar. Most computer users use either the right or the left thumb to add spaces, depending on personal preference. Once you become familiar with the position of all of the keys and you learn the fingers that press these keys, practice will enable you to increase your typing speed.

Computer manufacturers have added shortcut keys to the computer keyboard to simplify some tasks and make it possible to complete them more quickly. Two “Alt” keys are located to the left and right of the space bar. By pressing the Alt key with other keys, it’s possible to execute common commands. For example, Alt + F enables you to open a file menu on your computer. The “Ctrl” keys are also located to the left and right of the space bar. Pressing Ctrl in conjunction with other keys executes specific commands. For example, by highlighting text and pressing Ctrl + C, you can copy text to your computer’s clipboard. It’s then possible to paste this text into a document by pressing Ctrl + V.

Anyone can benefit from learning and practicing keyboarding skills. By spending time on typing exercises, you can become proficient at typing. Typing tests will help you focus on increasing your speed. Test results will show you the keys you struggle with so you can drill on these problem areas. It’s even beneficial to play typing games to improve keyboarding skills. Once you have keyboarding proficiency, you might add this skill to your résumé. It’s likely that you will use this skill frequently in your career.

Introduction to Keyboarding

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Keyboard Shortcuts

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