Copmputer Keyboarding Skills and Tips
To really succeed at a web business you are going to have to do pretty well all your work on your computer and that means hours and hours with your fingers on that keyboard. If you are older and took typing in school way back in your life, keyboarding will not take long to learn. What if it has been a long time since you were in school, or typewriters were never in your life?
If you put your mind to it, you can learn the basics of typing on a computer keyboard in about 12 hours, although the more practice you get, the better for you.
If you do a Google search you will find many websites that offer free help, and typing games you can play on their site, to help you develop your computer keyboarding skills. Some of them are quick to tell you that while keyboarding games can improve your keyboarding speed, they don't do so well at teaching you to type correctly. They help you at the beginning to learn which fingers go on which keys. Perhaps some of them will help you develop some speed as your fingers learn to intuitively find the right keys.
Once you have mastered computer keyboarding it will be like riding a bicycle. You never fully lose it, though practice makes it better again.
Here are a couple of sites that can get you started. Sense-Lang.org offers a course online and games too. Remember to get instructions for each game before you begin, or you will feel frustrated. BBC.co.uk has a course as well with a flash training program. There are many more! Feel free to search until you find what works best to help you with your computer keyboarding skills.
You can also find typing practice software online that you can buy. If you have the money to burn go ahead, but with all the free stuff available I wouldn't spend the money.
Personally, what I have found best was to learn the basics about where my fingers were to go and then just go ahead and start typing the things I want, but allow for a slowness and stopping to correct myself. With time the speed and the skill came. In fact, my elderly Dad and his buddy Jona used to sit and marvel as they watched my fingers flying on the computer keyboard, and talking to them as I typed.
I used to chafe at how I scribbled when I write my thoughts out in hand-writing, but once I got my typing speed up, I found that my fingers really could type as fast as I could think my words and sentences. It was very liberating! I trust it will be for you too.
The most basic computer keyboard rules:
Introduce your left hand digits to their home keys. They should hover or rest over a, s, d, and f as their home bases, with your left thumb on the longer space bar or key below. Then introduce your right hand digits to their home keys, which are j, k, l, ; (the semi-colon). The pointer fingers each are assigned the two keys above and the two keys below as their responsibility when you need to type them. The last three fingers on each hand need to be alert for one key above and one below, plus one number or punctuation or symbol key in the top row. Give yourself a few days to practice hard until your fingers remember where they go without having to be told any more.
Your thumbs should be bent and rest on the space bar. If one hand is busy reaching for an upper key, use the thumb of the other hand to do any necessary space bar work. You other fingers should be curved in such a way that the tips are pointing down on the keys. When idle, they point down on their home key, when they are to type another key, the correct finger darts out and keys it, and then returns to its home place.
Try to keep your eyes on the screen while you type. If you make a mistake, give your right pinkie finger the extra job of hitting the backspace key to erase the mistake and then you can try again. If you resort to the hunt and peck method with just one or two fingers you will learn that as a habit and find it hard to break. try not to do that unless you have a cast on for six weeks on one of your hands. Then you are allowed.
Above all, practice! If you have some old letters and journals, or recipes you've been wanting typed up, now is a good time to bring out that project. Or copy passages from some book. Or start writing a book of your own. Do as much keyboarding as you can for a few weeks and then you can slack off more because the skill will be ingrained in your fingers.
Other Computer Keyboard Tips to Speed up Work
The mouse is a huge boon to those who hate to type, but you have to learn to control it too. If you can learn to do things with your fingers on the keys, you can take many short-cuts, never losing your stride, and do things much faster than if you are circling with the mouse trying to zero in on the button or link you need to click.
Cut, Copy and Paste - you will need this a lot! It's not hard, and you can do it in several ways.
1. Highlight some text with your mouse, then hunt for the right icons, and click to cut that passage out, or the other one to copy it, then get over to where you want to paste that patch of text, and click another icon to do that.
2.The keyboard and mouse way is to highlight the text, right-click with your mouse, or - hit that menu key just left of your right side Ctrl key (it appears to have a list on it). A smaller menu will pop up on the screen. Slide down to the word cut (or copy if you want to leave a copy there) and click in it with the mouse, or hit Enter. Now scoot over to where you want to paste or move it to, and right-click again, on mouse, or hit that menu key, slide down with mouse, (or use the down arrow key) to the word Paste, and hit it. Presto, you have pasted the text where you wanted it without having to re-type it.
3.There's another key-stroke combination you can use for Cut/Copy/Paste.
To Cut - hold down Ctrl and hit X.
To Copy - hold down Ctrl and hit C
To Paste - hold down Ctrl and hit V (it must have meant insert at one time)
Need a Help Menu? - Click F1 (that works in nearly every program).
Need that Start menu? - Press down Ctrl and Esc (Escape) key at the same time
Need to get from blank to blank in a form? Press the TAB key
Need to go backwards to previous blanks? - Press Shift - and hit TAB until you are where you want to be.
Need to switch back and forth between more than one window? - Press down Alt and hit TAB key until you are in the window you wanted
Need to undo whatever you just did? - Press down Ctrl and then also hit Z.
Need to quit a program or shut down? - Press Alt and hit the F4 key at the same time.
There are many other computer keyboard short-cuts, and if you look closely at the links on the menus when you click on them, you will often see at the right end of the same line the link is on, there will be a clue as to what key-strokes would accomplish the same thing. Try some out. If they make life easier for you, add them to your repetoir of short-cuts. I'm still learning new ones all the time. Some programs will have their own peculiar set of tricks. Absorb them gradually, and the learning won't be hard
Change Font Size
You will find yourselves on some websites where the font is unbearably small. Don't ruin your eyes. Just hit the Ctrl key with one thumb, and the + sign on the numeric pad on the right. Every time you hit that + sign the font will get larger and larger. If it gets too big, hit the - (minus) sign until it is the size you like. Note, some web-masters do specify an exact font size, which may interfere with this trick, but most times it will work.
Incidentally the wheel of a scroll mouse will do the same thing too, increase the size or decrease font size.
Moving about in Documents via Keyboard
If you are working in a large document of many pages and you need to get to the top of it in a hurry, just press down Ctrl and then with the right hand, hit that "Home" key in the area between your normal typing keys and the numeric pad. Or, if you want to get to the end of the document in a hurry, press down Ctrl and hold it while you hit "end" (which is just under home in that area above the arrow keys). You'll be whisked to the end of your document in a jiffy.
If your cursor was in a certain place when you last closed that document and you want to get back to that spot when you open the file again, just hold down Shift and then hit F5. Presto, you'll be where you left off!
Keyboard Arrow Keys
A number of games use the arrow keys, so you may have discovered their use that way. But they play a huge part in normal keyboarding too. For one, you can creep to the exact character spot to type or make a correction, or up and down a link, using the arrow keys, but -
If you press the Ctrl key and then the left or right arrow keys you bound forward or back by the word instead of character space
If you press the Ctrl key and then the up or down arrow you can leapfrog from paragraph to paragraph in a document. (or rather to the next carriage return)
If you press the Shift key and an arrow key you are selecting and highlighting the passage you cover that way. ( See no mouse!)
Computer Skills Lessons
Your Computer's Hardware and Components
Set Up a Computer and Peripherals
Installing a Linux Operating System
Computer Keyboarding Skills and Tips
Ruth Marlene Friesen
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