In today's world, where most offices are networked and/or supported with computers, touch typing is an essential skill. It is required across the majority of professions with typing a normal daily routine for many. Learning correctly and with practice increases the speed of typing, improves capabilities to spell every word correctly and reduces inefficiency in searching for one letter at a time. Once you touch type on a regular basis and maintain the discipline, your typing speed will increases substantially. To learn touch typing easily, you need to be acquainted with 'home row’ keys. Here, you will learn about them and understand just why they are so important.
What Are the Home Row Keys?
The home row keys (middle row of the keyboard) are where fingers rest, whilst at rest or not typing. For instance, on a QWERTY keyboard, the home row keys for the left hand are A, S, D, and F and for right hand are J, K, l, and ; (semicolon). In the case of both hands, your thumbs rest on the spacebar. When you position your hands properly on the home row keys, you can easily memorize the location of all keys on your keyboard.
Helpful Tips for Positioning Your Fingers on the Home Row Keys
Place your hands naturally on the home row keys (middle row of keys) of your keyboard. Remember, your left-hand index finger should be on the letter "F". While your right-hand index finger should be placed on the letter "J". Position your both thumbs on the spacebar.
You can easily identify where to position your hands, without looking at your keyboard, by feeling for the small bumps on the letters 'F' and ‘J' under both index fingers.
Why You Should Always Position Your Hands on Home Row Keys
By placing your fingers on the home row keys it is far easier to boost typing speeds as it allows easier access to the surrounding keys. How fast you type depends on how each finger locates and presses their designated keys. When you learn touch typing you do not need to move your entire hand, other fingers or look at the keyboard.
What are the Accessible Home Row Keys?
To type a capital letter you should always press the shift key using the opposite hand required to press the letter required. So, for a capital 'G' press the ‘G’ key with your left index finger and the right shift key with your right small finger. As your right hand is resting on the home row keys, you can easily access the J, K, L, and ; (semicolon) keys. To press the ‘H’ key you should use your right index finger. For pressing the ' (single quote) and Enter keys, use your right little finger. Pressing and holding the left Shift key while pressing the ; key that allows you to type a : (colon) and similarly holding the left Shift key whilst pressing " will result in the (quote) key.
How Many Keys and Letters Are on the Home Row Keys?
There are a total of 14 keys on the Home Row including keys that are not letters ie Caps Lock, semicolon, colon, single quote, quote and Enter keys.There are 9 letter keys (A, S, D, F, G, H, J, K and L) on a QWERTY keyboard, whilst on a Dvorak keyboard there are 10 letter keys, including A, O, E, U, I, D, H, T, N, and S all on the home row.
To learn touch typing quickly, you need to train your fingers to instinctively locate the 'home row’ keys. Hopefully, you have understood the importance of the home row keys in touch typing. The more you practice typing, the more your speed and efficacy will increase.
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