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Transitioning From Hunt and Peck to Touch Typing

The hunt-and-peck method of typing, also called two-finger typing, is a typing style common amongst people who have not taken a keyboarding class. With hunt-and-peck, typists look down and back up at their documents to try to find the key they are looking for. This method takes longer than more technique-based methods because typists must stop what they are doing to double check their fingers and then try to remember what they were trying to say. 

For this reason and others, many people choose to learn how to touch type instead. When touch typing, typists assign each key to a different finger. Using muscle memory, the hands will automatically move to the correct key without being checked again, which saves time.  

However, lots of people stick with hunt and peck, simply because they are familiar with it. In this article, you can learn a bit about this technique and some suggestions for how you can develop a new set of typing skills through touch typing.

The hunt and peck method

A study was conducted by Aalto University to find out more about the hunt and peck method. Researchers attached sensors to the fingers of participants to measure typing speed, accuracy, and movement patterns while the participants used the keyboard. 

The researchers discovered that hunt-and-peck typing is not necessarily slower than touch typing. Many hunt-and-peckers reached speeds up to 75 words per minute, which is comparable to the average speed of a touch typist. The most successful hunt-and-peckers keep their hands mostly static, much as touch typists do, and use a mental map of the keyboard to place their fingers. 

Hunt-and-peckers use several strategies that most touch typists do not; some use both  thumbs to hit the keyboard, or use caps lock rather than the shift key. Hunt and peck typing, more than touch typing, is personalized to the individual typist, and can be used for gaming or other computer uses than simple writing.

Why touch typing is still a good skill

Although hunt and peck offers a high degree of personalization, it still indicates a lack of training. Your brain has to split attention between keyboard and screen, which can hold you back, and it has the potential to cause some physical discomfort due to bad posture.

Touch typing is also more generally accepted as a professional method of typing as it shows that you have been trained to type “correctly.” You may be able to type quickly with a hunt-and-peck style, but touch typing is still a good idea.

If you want to move away from hunt-and-peck, it will take time to unlearn your habits. In the beginning, you should expect slow progress, but don’t give up! Keep training using the right techniques until you master them. This ultimately frees up the processing power and attention required to handle the task so that you can focus on producing high quality work instead of looking for the keys on the keyboard.

Author Bio

Name: Chassie Lee

is the Content Expert of Typesy – a premium keyboarding for education used by schools, businesses, homeschool parents, and individuals.  

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