Join Anson Alexander for an in-depth discussion in this video Learning the home row keys, part of Typing Fundamentals.
In order to start typing correctly it's important to know where all of the fingers should be resting on the keyboard when they're not actively typing a letter. In order to maximize the range your two hands can reach on a keyboard, they should be positioned in the middle of the keyboard. Your left fingers should be resting on the letters A, S, D and F. And your right fingers should be resting on the keys J, K, L and semicolon.
This set of eight keys is known as the home row. And it's important to remember this position and become familiar with it because every time you type a letter the finger that was used to type it should always move back to the home row. On most keyboards the F and J keys should have a slight protrusion on top of the key so that your index fingers can easily tell when they're back on the home row. With your fingers on the home row both of your thumbs should be resting on the space bar. This makes it so that no matter which hand is used to type the last letter in a word you can use the thumb from the opposite hand to press the space bar.
The space bar is the main key that your thumbs will be responsible for on the keyboard. Some people prefer to type the space bar with the same thumb every time and this doesn't generally create many inefficiencies because of the thumbs limited responsibilities. When typing, it's important to make sure that your home row fingers remain on their respective home row key when not being used. The thumbs however, may need to open up and move off the space bar a bit when typing certain letters on the bottom of the keyboard. With your fingers resting on the home row remember to keep your fingers slightly curved and not to put any weight on your wrists.
Remember to sit with good typing posture. When you're ready go ahead and move over to the exercise files to open your practice file and practice number one will only be with typing with keys on the home row and it's a good idea to repeat the practice file five or 10 times to help your fingers become more comfortable with this position especially because it will always be their home position on a QWERTY keyboard. Also, it's important to say the letter you're typing as you type it, this will help to aid your body in creating muscle memory for each particular key-stroke.
- Understanding the importance of typing ergonomics
- Measuring your typing speed and accuracy
- Managing your habits
- Learning the home row keys
- Locating letter, number, and math keys
- Using modifier keys: Shift, Alt, Control, etc.
- Using the numeric keypad effectively