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My family was posted to Cold Lake just as I was entering Grade 7. Grade 7 was when we started to get optional classes back then and unfortunately we arrived late enough that most of the popular option classes were full. Stuck for ideas my mom suggested I take typing.
Her advice was valuable as learning to touch type made my career as a computer programmer possible.
These days it's almost hard to imagine not knowing how to type, but there are still plenty of non-typists out there. Even more common are poor self-taught typists. If you think sitting in the passenger seat of a car with a bad driver is unsettling, wait until you're an expert typist watching a two finger hunt-and-peck typist try and type out a resume in Word. I think the UN is working on a draft for a convention outlawing it.
Learning how to type doesn't have to be hard. It's easy to do and can even be fun, but it does take some time. Once you've learned how you'll discover that your computer becomes a much more useful tool.
The best traditional typing learning on the web is at http://typingclub.com/ The slow progression through each letter with repetition is exactly how I learned. It's designed to teach your brain the finger movement for each letter. It's more work than fun, but it's how generations of us learned and it does work.
Another touch typing site is http://keybr.com/. It's a little different in that it has you typing what looks like words, but is really random letters. It's supposed to have a more natural typing feel while still teaching you to type a letter at a time.
Searching Google for “touch typing” will yield a host of others. Try a few until you find one or two you like. Some tips: be comfortable; sit upright; hover your fingers over the keyboard; type lightly; practice everyday.
Don't forget to try and have a bit of fun with typing.
Now that you're on your way to improved typing skills, it's time to speed you up at the keyboard while working. Every time you take your hands off the keyboard to use the mouse you take a speed hit. Reorienting your hands takes time. So, let's go through some keyboard shortcuts that will help.
For below Key-Key means press both (or all) keys together. Generally the command keys (i.e.Ctrl, Alt, WindowsKey, Shift) are pressed first then the other keys.
Alt-Tab will help you shift quickly from one application to another.
If you're on Windows 7 then WindowsKey-Tab gives you a cool stacked view of your applications and lets you walk through them.
Ctrl-Esc brings up the start menu.
F10 opens up the menu of whichever application you're in.
Ctrl-F4 closes the window you're using
Alt-F4 closes the application you're in
Alt-F6 switches between windows in the current application
Holding down the Shift while moving around the screen with the arrows selects that text
Ctrl-Shift-arrow selects a word at a time
Ctrl-A selects everything in the current window
Ctrl-C copies everything selected
Ctrl-V pastes the previous copy
Ctrl-X cuts everything that's selected
Ctrl-Z undoes the last change
Ctrl-B bolds the selected text
Ctrl-I italicizes the selected text
Ctrl-U underlines the selected text
Ctrl-Home jumps to the start of the document
Ctrl-End jumps to the end
Shift-Delete deletes things permanently and bypasses the recycle bin
In dialog boxes, Tab will move through the controls and buttons.
Pressing Space on a button presses it. These two commands will let you do a lot if you don't have a working mouse.
Bonus tip: holding down the Shift key when you put a CD in or plug in a USB drive will prevent Windows from automatically running it.