Top typing tips

Think it’s too late to learn something new? Think again! We’re all about the life hacks around here. That means we’re always looking out for clever little tricks to help make our lives and our work just that bit easier. Our latest life hack? Touch typing! Check out our top tips and thank us later!

Person typing on keyboard

We all want to be super efficient, right?

Who doesn’t want to have more time to spend on going for a long walk, whipping up a delicious meal in the kitchen or hanging out with friends? Well, increasing your typing speed could be the answer you need to make it happen. You could even cut the average time you spend at your computer keyboard in half! Half!

That means...

  • You could spend an hour and a half typing at your desk instead of three hours.
  • If you work 22 days a month, that’s 33 hours you’ll be saving.
  • Within the space of a year, you’ll have gained eight whole working weeks.

Once you’ve mastered the skill and typing has become something you can just do without thinking about it, you can concentrate fully on the task at hand. And you may not have realised that touch typing requires the left- and right-hand sides of the brain to work together, creating new neural pathways and turning on new parts of the brain. You want to find out more now, don’t you? Well, you’re in luck! Keep reading for our top typing tips!

You have ten fingers for a reason!

Were you ever sat in school wondering why on earth you needed to learn how to type properly with all ten fingers? Don’t get me wrong, I was more than happy to be tapping away at a keyboard. But I just wanted to type. Without having to worry about doing it in a particular way, thanks very much. And I got along just fine. Sure, I wasn’t the speediest scribe. But it didn’t really matter back then.

As I found myself having to type more and more, though, I had a change of heart. I decided it was time to get all ten fingers in line after all. Once you’ve mastered touch typing, your speed and accuracy seriously improve. You barely need to look at the keyboard anymore. As a translator, I would much rather be keeping my eye on the source text. I’m well aware that every glance down at my fingers is time wasted.

You’ll be pleased to hear that you can find all kinds of tools online to help you master this handy advanced skill. Tipp10 is one of my favourites and it’s totally free ( You can get the online or software version for Windows, macOS and Linux. Sign up to access 20 practice lessons that help you train each finger to do exactly what it’s supposed to do. The progress tracker lets you know how you’re getting on and you receive a report after each lesson.

Here’s a few extra tips to help you on your way:

Practice, practice, practice
You know what they say – practice makes perfect. Fitting in 20 minutes every day is much better than trying to cram for two hours once a week. It’s all about the repetition.

Stare at your screen
Have you been unable to keep your eyes off your keyboard until now? It’s time to put a stop to it! Keep your head up and look straight ahead at the screen in front of you. As you get used to it, you’ll find that you’re looking down at the keyboard less and less.
It may help you to say the letters out loud as you hit the keys because your brain will then make a link between each letter and the way you moved your fingers to type it. With most of us working from home now anyway, it’s not like we have to worry about disturbing anyone by talking out loud.

Focus on quality over quantity
You probably won’t be typing at super speed to start off with. And there’s no shame in that. It makes more sense to focus on typing accurately whilst you’re perfecting your skills. You won’t be able to start picking up speed properly if you’re still making loads of typos.

Type out texts in different languages
When you start to feel a bit more confident, put your skills to the test by timing how long it takes you to type out a whole text. You’ll realise that you don’t even need to be able to understand what you’re typing. In fact, understanding will only distract you. Just type the words in front of you mechanically. There are some German practice tests here that list the number of keystrokes per line:

 Set up an ergonomic workspace
You probably know that getting your posture right at your desk is important for your health and well-being. But did you know that it can improve your typing speed too? If you need more tips on this, check out our blog post on how to set up your workstation:

PS: Even touch typing pros can practice their skills using Tipp10. There’s always room for improvement, so why not give it a go?!

The power of the keyboard

When you think about all the incredible things our computers can do, it makes sense that we can use our keyboards for so much more than just typing. You guessed it – we’re talking about shortcuts! Do you use any to save you time and effort? We’ve got some good examples to share with you!

Just remember that you’ll need to use the command key (⌘) instead of Ctrl if you’re using a Mac.


  • Save: Save documents; Ctrl + S
  • Copy: Copy selected text or files to the clipboard; Ctrl + C
  • Paste: Paste the copied text or file where your cursor is; Ctrl + V
  • Cut: Remove selected text or files but save them to the clipboard; Ctrl + X


  • Show desktop: Windows + D (macOS: F11)
  • Toggle between windows: Alt + Tab
  • Screenshot: Take a screenshot and save it to the clipboard; Windows + PrtScn or Windows + Shift + S (macOS: Command + Shift + 3 or Command + Shift + 4)


  • Minimise/maximise current window Windows + down arrow (minimise) or Windows + up arrow (maximise). On macOS, ⌘ + M minimises the current window to the dock.
  • Insert current date/time in a Word document; Alt + Shift + D (to insert the date), Alt + Shift + T (to insert the time)
  • Count the words in a document or selected passage in Word; Ctrl + Shift + G

Start by picking one new shortcut at a time to try out. Once you get used to them, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without them...

Top tip

If your fingers need a break from all that typing, we recommend Dragon voice recognition, dictation and transcription software for Windows from Nuance. All you have to do is speak and the software puts the words into a document for you. Just start by setting up the software using voice training so the system can be configured for your voice and intonation and you’re good to go!

Did these tips help you, or do you have any other favorite tips you'd like to share with us? Then write to us at

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