Must I learn to touch type?

Sunday, May 10th, 2009 | laptops

If you’ve never worked on a computer before, or did not take typing lessons, you won’t be able to touch type.  Even many experienced computer users never acquired this skill.

What is touch typing?  It is typing without looking at the keyboard to find the right keys to press – through practise the fingers are trained to locate the keys so that the person typing can read from a text and type at the same time.  This skill can be compared to dancing – an accomplished dancer’s feet automatically follow the music.

Touch typing is indeed a valuable skill if you work a lot on a keyboard.  Typing with two fingers in a hunt-and-peck fashion is easy, but slow and tiresome.  Once you’ve mastered the skill of touch typing, you will be able to type:

  • much faster
  • more accurately
  • while you are reading from a document, or looking at the screen of your computer.

It is not difficult to learn to touch type.  A typing teacher on your staff may be able to help you.  Free typing tutor programmes are available for use in your own time.  Don’t give up if your fingers are dumb in the beginning – over time they will loosen up and obey you effortlessly.

The dividends that learning to touch type will pay you are illustrated by Aesop’s fable of the farmer and his sons.

A father, on the point of death, wished to be sure that his sons would give the same attention to his farm as he himself had given it.  He called them to his bedside and said, “My sons, there is a great treasure hid in one of my vineyards.” 

The sons, after his death, took their spades and carefully dug over every portion of their land.  They found no treasure, but the vines repaid their labour by an extraordinary and superabundant crop.

The moral of story: sometimes the rewards for one’s efforts are indirect.

In itself the skill of touch typing has no merit – you will find a real treasure when you reach the point where your fingers translate your thoughts into text.

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