Typing was a required course in high school. I hated the class at the time, but boy, am I glad it was required. Typing properly is certainly helpful as far as workflow is concerned. If I hadn’t learned how to type, would I have learned later — or would I be hunting and pecking?

The reason I bring this up, is because I recently witnessed someone hunting and pecking with unbelievable speed. Just using their two index fingers with rapid and forceful precision. I was amazed, and this person was probably typing as fast as I do (using all ten fingers). The noise was incredible — a machine gun ferocity. I don’t recall the delete key being used at all. Impressive.

I would think that capitalization and special characters would be significantly slower using the hunt and peck method, but after witnessing the amazing index finger typist, it seems that it’s possible to keep up with the best of them.

I’m curious, do you type from the home row — or do you hunt and peck?


  1. Kyle says:

    Ten finger typing here. I’m pretty sure it’s not exactly what Mavis Beacon would recommend as to what fingers do what, but it works for me.

  2. stuart says:

    I’m one of those people who can use index fingers, but still type as quick as the average joe using the rest of thier digits. although, I got an iMac today, and im finding it hard to get used to the different feel and layout, so for the next few days, im going to be doing some serious backspacing.

  3. seth says:

    I use my index and middle fingers for characters, and then my pinkies for enter, alt, ctrl, shift, etc.
    I was never taught to type. I’ve been using a computer since I was about 3 (25+years) and this is just how my typing has evolved.

  4. Shane says:

    Mavis Beacon…NICE!
    I’m a 10-finger typist…used to top out at about 60wpm, but I’m probably closer to 45 now.
    Keyboarding was still one of the most valuable classes I ever took in high school.

  5. Clay says:

    I used to be a modified hunt-and-peck typist, much like seth, until about 7 years ago.
    I made the change to the Dvorak layout, and did it without relabeling my keyboard. I used an online typing tutor for dvorak, and taught myself to touch-type.
    Now, I touch-type on Dvorak layout and still hunt-and-peck when I have to go back to QWERTY…

  6. Keith says:

    10 finger, from the school of Mavis Beacon, learned on a manual.
    I can type 60 WPM+ and will take any hunt and pecker on any day…
    Hunt and pecker…lol.

  7. Rob Mientjes says:

    Index and sometimes middle fingers. Last weekend, I had several thousands of keystrokes, so I type quite fast. But I try to use as many fingers as possible.

  8. Feaverish says:

    I use all ten fingers, but to varying degrees. My ring fingers get probably twice as much use as my pinkies, my middle fingers twice as much use as my rings, and index fingers much more use than anything else. Wait, that’s only eight…oh yeah, thumbs. I guess I use them for the spacebar and apple keys and whatnot.

  9. Sharif says:

    Like Seth, I use index and middle fingers for characters and pinkies for peripheral buttons, but I throw the thumbs into the mix for the space bar and command keys… so that would make me an 8-finger guy.
    I blame it all on my Commodore 64. Commando and Prince of Persia were so much more fun than my learn-to-type software.

  10. Chet says:

    “You’re fingers are too fat. To order a special dialing wand, mash the keypad now” – Homer J. Simpson

  11. Eric says:

    The three middle fingers are my primaries, the thumb is for the spacebar (sometimes), and the pinkies I rarely use.
    I also have to look at the keyboard, i’ve tried to stop that, but can’t for any extended period of time.

  12. alan taylor says:

    Also an 8-finger guy here. My pinkies get no use at all, left ring finger is rarely used. I’m no speed typist (I look at the keys while typing), but manage alright.

  13. Gary says:

    I’m an 80 WPM touch- typist. For a while, I typed one-handed at around 30 WPM when I lost the use of my right arm temporarily after a motorcycle accident. It took years (maybe even six years) before I could type normal again.

  14. Boris says:

    I’m using my own “seven-finger-system” … it’s not that fast, but hey, I don’t live on a highway ;)

  15. Rimantas says:

    10 here. I’ve said to myself watching my friend typing — “I must learn to type like this”. So I have.

  16. Jeremy Flint says:

    I hover between 60 and 70 wpm. I hated typing class in high school. The noise was unbearable.
    I use all of my fingers, but I often cross over using my left hand on the right side and vise versa, depending on what I am typing.
    The odd thing for me (and probably most web designers) is that I always seem to hold my pinky fingers up, ready to pounce on the shift, command, ctrl, or some other key to punch in brackets or something.

  17. Brad says:

    10 fingers here. Although I pretty just you my pinkies only for the ‘a’, ‘;’, and ‘shift’ keys. Come to think of it, I only use the left ‘shift’ key…interesting.

  18. James says:

    10-finger, 80-100+ WPM here. That’s only when I feel like typing that fast though. Usually it’s much slower because it’s just short typing sessions like IM’s or what not.
    Any of the other 10-finger typers type slower when you actually look down at your fingers? I probably type faster when my eyes are closed, actually. I dunno, am I weird?

  19. 10 fingers. Learned typing in 9th grade (1969) which was well BC (before computers!)
    Great skill to have. Also, took it in 10th grade. Me and one other guy with a room full of girls and a weird teacher who was a perfect double in appearance and speech pattern for the late great Paul Lynd of Hollywood squares fame!

  20. Simon says:

    Ah, the irony of it all…
    Is this some kind of subtle joke or did anybody else notice the typo Dan made in this entry.

  21. Jason says:

    Ten fingers.
    You can take a java-applet typing test (words per minute or characters per minute) at:
    Go little fingers, go!

  22. chrispian says:

    I know several people who use all 10 fingers but are still “hunt and peck” as they don’t know they keyboard. I’m a touch typist, meaning I don’t have to look at all. Maybe if I stray over to the insert/home or keypad area. But I’m 10 fingers – no eyes all the way ;)

  23. R6MaY89 says:

    I have always typed with my index and middle fingers, on both hands. Using these four fingers and the occasional little finger for backspace, I can type as fast as anyone else I know.
    Personally, I dislike the idea of required computer classes in which the only right way to do something is the way the teacher does it. Although I never took a typing-centered class, I can type faster and more accurately than any of my teachers.

  24. Brian Rose says:

    Like many of those who already posted, I taught myself how to type from a very young age.
    My typing has evolved into what I’d call 8-finger typing – index fingers for the center portion of the keyboard, middle fingers for all other letters and delete, pinkies for modifier keys and enter, and thumbs for spacebar.
    I never use my ring finger while typing except in rare circumstances when typing at blazing speeds. I don’t know why, but it’s always felt very, very uncomfortable.

  25. Kim Siever says:

    Hunt-and-peck. I get about 65-85 epm. I have been typing this way since I was ten (over 20 years ago).

  26. Tom says:

    I can touch type but I still need to clance at the keyboard to get going. Using the mouse and keyboard have been killing me lately, due to my shitty workdesk.

  27. Adrian says:

    I’m pretty fast hunting and pecking. Being able to properly touch type is great, if you’re typing pure text. But if you’re coding I think you end up using too many non letter keys, and doing a lot of whitespace formatting, and hunting and pecking seems to do fine for me.

  28. Steve says:

    I tend to type with all of my fingers, and can get anywhere between 40-100 wpm and average about 60 html tags a minute when i’m hand coding my webpages.

  29. Waylan says:

    I have developed my own one-of-a-kind system over the years. And it’s not the same every day. Some days I do not use my index figures at all, other days I only use one of them, and on occasion I use both – usually when crossing to the “wrong side” of the keyboard. My other figures get used about the same as the normal 10 figure typist, except that my middle figures pick up the the slack from the index figures.
    I usually hold my index figures above my middle figures and find that they cramp up after a while. I have absolutely no idea why I do it that way. I can generally keep up a decent pace as long as I can see the keyboard, although I don’t always look at it. But I do get lost if I don’t glance down at it once every few words, which is fine when typing what I hear or from my own thought, but really bad when typing from a written transcript. I spend more time finding where I left off than actually typing.
    I’ve been intending to something like Clay described but haven’t got around to it. Learning a new keyboard layout and typing style at the same time will require I slow down at first. I just don’t have the time to slow down. Maybe someday.

  30. 8-10 finger typing here, but varies greatly what finger that touches a specific key – basically, the closest finger rules.
    Speed about 50 wpm.
    I did attent a typing class once (14 years ago), but found it to be limiting. Why move a specific finger, when another one is closer :)

  31. matt says:

    I used to play the piano, and I think that has helped me. No formal typing training though, but I do knock out code faster than most …. :)

  32. Jeff says:

    I type with no fingers. I do it telepathically. I can “type” 400 pages per second.

  33. JD says:

    I am touch typist myself (use ten fingers). I use it to impress hot chicks. ;)
    Btw, I had a friend who will use index finger of right hand to do all the typing while his left hand is on his forehead. It used to be amazing to watch him type like that. [Hint: He hates computers! ;)]

  34. Casey Gollan says:

    I type with every finger but not necessarily keeping them on the home row…I use both thumbs for spaces, both pinkies for shift and all of the other fingers in between for words. I can type at a decent speed but I need to look down occasionally.

  35. Karl Guertin says:

    Touch typist. I try to vary my typing position in order to delay the onset of RSI. I’m sure I’ll get it one day.
    I generally hold around 50 wpm when I’m not in a hurry. If I’m on irc/im/under a deadline, the wrists come off the desk, I sit in proper typing position and crank up to ~90wpm. I know a guy that types about 120 wpm and that sounds like some kind of weird engine, a continuous blur of sound. I’ve never seen an index finger typist at more than ~40wpm.
    I actually maintain most of my typing speed when hand-coding html, due to a nice set of vim macros.

  36. Alistair says:

    A hunt and pecker has no chance of keeping up with someone that can touch type with reasonable speed.
    To hear someone type that hits 100wpm with 98%+ accuracy is something to smile about.
    What I’d be more impressed about, would be to see someone like that (generally a secretary or the like of) try and type out code fast, be an interesting experiment I think.

  37. Hans says:

    10 finger typer here. Average typing speed is 40 wpm, but I don’t know for sure…
    All the way back in 6th grade (I think) there was a required typing unit in “tech” class. I sucked; I hunted-and-pecked. Then once I finally got my own laptop, I got better, though I had forgotten about the typing lessons.
    I hate hunt-and-peckers. They seem so… barbaric.

  38. Ben says:

    I use index and middle finger. Sometimes the “outer fingers” for punctuation and the enter key. Thats about it. I’m not sure about words per minute, but I’m faster than the ten fingered typist in the room across the hall.

  39. Actually I use a combination.. most of my fingers are in use, but it’s not the traditional ten-finger system used by secretaries and so. To many people it looks like I am just using two fingers really fast, but I am not.
    I am fast though, a test at BrainBench proved that the other day. I am actually a “Master” in Typing Speed and Accuracy now.

  40. Chris says:

    I use 9 fingers because my space bar is broke on one side so it makes this awful bang noice when I use my left thumb.

  41. Phoat says:

    High School typing class taught me the basics, then a serious addiction to IRC a couple of years ago did the rest.
    I’m a pretty decent typist, but with my job requiring typing in Greek, my speed has diminished greatly, epecially since I don’t know Greek that well. Thank God for spell checkers.
    BTW… What ever happened to the SimpleQuizes? You should bring them back. You’ll need the material for your next book. :)

  42. Allen Pike says:

    I started programming when I was about 8 years old, before we had much in the way of typing classes in school. As such, I had spent hundreds of hours typing before I’d really heard of the home row method. As a result, I hunt and peck at some 70wpm using about half of my fingers.

  43. I am a 10 fingered typist, but my form is not quite proper. Quite often, My index fingers creep over to the wrong side of the keyboard for letters like B T and V.
    Also, I don’t quite touch type. It helps me to look at the keyboard even if I don’t really have to.

  44. Jeff Werner says:

    7-fingers or so, hunting about 50 per cent of the time. I persistently resisted typing classes in school, the nagging of my mom…even Mario Teaches Typing couldn’t hook me. You can get pretty decent with a 7-finger handicap over a 10-year period, but it’ll never be as good as 10 fingers.

  45. m^r(oS says:

    Seven fingers here! and writting in a foreing language!
    I’m from Córdoba, Argentina jeje and i have 3 useless fingers i cannot use… they keep getting onto the wrong key!

  46. Chris says:

    I use all my fingers now but I started out as someone that had to hunt and peck with two fingers staring at the keyboard. I don’t do that anymore though. My typing just gradually got better over time. Now people stare in awe at the racket I make when typing. Never took a course in my life. I can’t imagine it would do anything but slow me down now.

  47. Keith says:

    I type the same way as seth in that my pinkies only get used for ctrl, shift, alt, etc.
    I think my wpm is around 65-70 (last time I checked).
    I do still have to look at the keyboard every few seconds though. I could probably get away with not doing so, but it’s more out of habit now to look.

  48. Richard says:

    All ten fingers, with eyes on screen with pretty decent speed and so so accuracy.
    I learned in 1984 on a 128K Mac with a little program called Typing Intrigue. After learning finger placement I played its little game of “rain” where one had to stop letters from hitting the ground by pressing them. This forced me to keep eyes up and all fingers down. It worked too and led the way to some very high Tetris, WordTris, and Columns scores.
    Watching the screen while typing is the best thing that ever happened to my writing and my use of a computer and it’s hard for me to understand how folks who use computers a lot can live without this.

  49. Rafi B. says:

    65 words per minute.. Pretty much learnd how to type by myself, didn’t quite master it though, I can type without looking at the keyboard both English and Hebrew.
    But how do you control those ctrl/alt/shift keys? pinkies? I use my second finger after the pinky, forgot how you call that.

  50. Max says:

    I use all 10 fingers when I type.
    I think the way I learnt was through using chat programs when I was in school, trying to keep up with multiple conversations means typing as fast as possible.
    I type at about 60 WPM, but that suffers a little from having to correct myself as I type (I can’t deal with leaving words misspelt if I notice they’re wrong).

  51. Mike P. says:

    “Just using their two index fingers with rapid and forceful precision.”
    I’m a 4-5 finger typer, no hunting and pecking so much, though I do need to glance at the board once in a while ;-)

  52. Alex Metzger says:

    I don’t type the way I was taught to, and even refused to use this “Type to Learn” program we had at our school. I type reasonably fast, but it’s my own style. Its somewhat of an evolution of hunt-peck with all of my fingers. Certainly nothing Mavis Beacon would approve of, it’s just the way I type.

  53. greg says:

    I tend to use my first three fingers on my right hand, but only my index finger on my left, and only rarely my middle left finger. Weird – it’s something I’ve never really thought about before. I also use my right pinky for stuff like the apostrophe and thumb for spacebar.
    I’ve evolved from hunt-and-peck.

  54. Arthur says:

    Like most of the programmers I know, I don’t type using the traditional 10 finger method. Although all 10 fingers are used, they sort of dance over the keyboard and find their place. I get about 100 WPM on those stupid typing tests (typingtest.com)

  55. I used to be an ‘enhanced’ hunter and pecker (right hand making lightning raids on T and so on) until I got an MS Natural keyboard about 8 or 9 years ago. At the same time I was working with a guy who’d typed ‘properly’ since his first keyboard – he could face you, hold conversations about what he did at the weekend and still bash out, in a deafeningly ballistic style, letter-perfect code… So I took the plunge and taught myself to touch-type. Glad I did.

  56. can’t touch type, but i don’t hunt and peck either. i’ve developed what seems to be good muscle memory when it comes to writing common english words…i just don’t think about them anymore, the position of the keys is ingrained in my mind. however, i only use thumb, index and middle finger on my right hand, and thumb + the other two on the left hand (when i’m holding a cigarette…very stylishly, i might add)

  57. Mike says:

    I’m a 10 finger, touch typist as well. I’m not very strict about it though so I like to switch it up every once in a while.
    Someone else mentioned that they spotted a typo in the original post and it seems that I’m the only other one that spotted it. Unless of course I’m just the first one to post about it.
    Cerainly Dan will fix it ;o)

  58. Kulin says:

    I actually use a combination of both – go figure :). In the morning when I’m groggy, I use the hunt-and-peck and then as the caffine kicks in, I use the home row.

  59. Jason Berry says:

    Hmmmm 10 finger typer… I use my pinkies the least tho I think.

  60. Rob Crowther says:

    I hit ~80 WPM with two fingers (my preferred typing method) and if I go all fingers, then I *can* hit 100. But I’ve grown up using computers, since I was 4.

  61. Typo fixed :-) A typo within a sentence that contains the words “typing properly” is rather hilarious (and not intended).

  62. Myke says:

    Both I suppose. Most of the time it’s all but my pinky and ring fingers.

  63. Craig says:

    10 fingers. Dvorak layout. Kinesis contoured keyboard.
    I used to be a 10-finger-while-looking-at-the-keyboard typist, thanks to a high school typing class. But when I went to the Kinesis keyboard remapped to Dvorak I worked through a typing tutorial and now I’m a touch typist. It was the most productive thing I’ve ever done. And the Dvorak/Kinesis combination takes a tremendous strain off of my hands and wrists. Fingers move up and down instead of diagonally and the most often used keys don’t require any movement at all.

  64. Jason Arnold says:

    Proper 10 finger typing is a lot easier (yea, necessary) when you’re using one of these.

  65. JamesZ says:

    I use 10 fingers and can hit around 55-60 wpm, but have a hard time getting over 90% accuracy mainly because I cannot spell for a damn!

  66. Shane says:

    Until recently I was a fast hunter-and-peckerer, but I have been slowly teaching myself to touch type. I started out using the typing tutor in Mandrake Linux and that got me up to enough speed to start touch-typing at work. I’m still slower than I used to be (and occasionally need to take a peek) but it is feels a lot smoother and is great to be able to look at the monitor while typing (Especially considering the number of times that Windows steals focus from a window while I’m in the middle of typing something- grr!).
    My wife is a hunt-and-peck typist and makes a hell of a racket. I’m trying to convert her.

  67. Kyle says:

    Not really sure how those hunt and peckers do it… I’m a 10 finger typist, have been since 3rd grade (Yes, first typing class in 3rd grade…) Although, apparnetly I’m a lot faster than I thought I was… just took one of the above mentioned tests and got 85WPM with an 8% error rate.

  68. Yannick L. says:

    I type from the home row. I used to hunt and peck (slowly though) and then the wonderful thing called a typing tutor plus lots and lots of practice got me typing from the home row. Been happy every since.

  69. Alex Aguilar says:

    I learned to type in Jr. high but my wpm is pretty dismal. I actually recently started practicing cause I realized I was wasting a lot of time writing things in my journal when I could just be typing them into my pseudo-blog/PIM
    I spend a couple of rounds on this to beef up my typing skills

  70. Kevin Navia says:

    10-Finger typist here… learned em way, way back with those “typing tutor” series of software.

  71. John Serris says:

    “I hate hunt-and-peckers. They seem so… barbaric.” Well, you can just call me Conan!
    I’m a sort of hunt and pecker (hehe he said pecker). Actually I use all fingers but rather randomly. I mean, I can type the same word 50 times and use different combinations of fingers each time. There is no method to the madness.

  72. Victor says:

    Ten finger typing here with Dvorak O:

  73. Zachary Jones says:

    I honestly couldn’t tell you how I type. I am quick and, for the most part, precise, but I couldn’t explain to you how I type. It’s not something I think about. I type about seventy words a minute, and as a friend pointed out to me: I only use one finger on my left hand, and four on my right by standard. I can type on homerow if I desire with little speed difference, I just end up going everywhere, so I don’t bother. I use four different keyboard layouts daily so I’m pretty adaptable.

  74. Manoloweb says:

    He he he, actually I’m one of those. I only use my index fingers and the thumbs. And I can type as fast as anyone I know.
    That’s funny to know that there are more people like me out there…

  75. Jordon Brill says:

    Your topic is an interesting one. I kinda have my “own” way of typing. While I use all fingers at some point, sometimes its not maybe the “correct” way to go. So, I use 7-10 fingers. ;)

  76. Sage says:

    Pretty much always been a 10-finger touch-typer… I taught myself during the summer after 4th grade (on a typewriter – we didn’t get our first computer until a year later) using a book I borrowed from the library. Switching to a computer keyboard was a bit weird, since you have to type much more forcefully on a typewriter, but I’m perfectly fine at typing now.
    However, I’ve never learned to use the number pad (easy as it is, I’ve just never bothered). Also, I always type periods and commas with my right index finger—I just never got comfortable doing it with my ring and pinky fingers—but I can do it so fast that I’ve forgotten about it. I also use my index fingers for Backspace, Enter, Tab. and those other “fringe” buttons (Shift is with pinkies though).
    Not that anybody cares, but you asked! :-)

  77. Oliver says:

    What’s your word per minute speed? I remember typing on some Mac program (Mac 7 or something) with racing boats and words that needed to be typed. Mine was around 90 and peckers are just.. hm.. hah

  78. Peter says:

    I’ve been wanting to take typing lessons several years ago, but I didn’t come round to it. Now I have been typing so much that is just goes natural for me. I type using probably somewhere between 4 and 6 fingers (it’s hard to tell), but I think that I am starting to use all 10 occasionally. It just feels easier and once you get rid of the mistakes it’s probably faster. I am already a fast typer, though, because I spend so much time in front of my computer.

  79. Craig says:

    I‘m another of those that‘s developed a personal almost-right method using 8-10 fingers. By the time I was taught proper touch typing I was already a fast hunt and peck typer and didn‘t see the benefit but then came IRC I guess. Actually as I‘m typing this I’ve just realised I use my index fingers a lot more when I‘m typing slowly(like when I make a mistake) and then switch when I get my speed up. It‘s amazing how much of it is subconscious now.
    Home keys? Well I don‘t think WASD was what my high school teacher had in mind but I guess that‘s what growing up with Quake will do to you.

  80. Mgan says:

    I’m a 10-finger typer. I’ve grown up with a computer most of my life as well. And though I don’t always use the home keys, I always manage to find the keys I need.
    Watching my parents use a computer can be entertaining or even talking to them over IM. They are just amazed at the speed in which I type in comparison to them.

  81. Kate says:

    10-finger 85wpm — one part junior high typing class and one part spending a year having to type in book excerpts because we didn’t have a OCR scanner.
    However, I do tend to put more emphasis on the left hand from when I was learning BASIC on my Tandy — I used to hold the book in my right hand and type in all the code with my left.

  82. robw says:

    I have no idesa how I type but I do seem to be rather quick at it, my brain gets in the way more than my fingers. Oddly for most of you out there I use a 2/3 to 1/3 split on my keyboard L to R cause I’m left handed. I also seem to be hitting whatever the shortcut is to open up the search function on FF a lot. I think I use ring to index on my left hand nad on index and little on my right, the little finger does all the Shift or Control stuff.
    I’m off to stick my hands in a bucket of cold water now.

  83. A few fingers but my favourite word to type is POWER!

  84. Hi Dan,
    man, I hated the typing course in my class, and I was one of the slowest arround in the class.
    But after over 5 years in the www, 10 fingers are the first choise. And I’pretty fast with them. :-) My teacher would be happy now with my speed, but in school it was horrible.
    My boss is also familiar with the hunt and peek thing. He’s also pretty fast with this system.
    Greetz from Austria

  85. The Narrator says:

    Another important question to ask is: Does one need to look at the keyboard in order to type effectively?
    I know a person who can “finger-type” faster than I touch-type – but they can only do this while glancing at the keyboard.
    The biggest advantage of touch-typing doesn’t seem to be speed as much as the multi-tasking ability it grants to the typist. Most touch-typists can transcribe, speak, or watch television while they work – without the need to look at the keyboard.

  86. datawise says:

    I moved from hunt and peck to touch typing when I went back to college. It makes light work of copying quotes from books. To me this is the biggest incentive. It is looking at a document whilst typing and knowing that what is appearing on screen is what you are reading from the book.

  87. I use around 8-9 fingers. I never got around to learn it in school, and two fingers are just too slow.

  88. Bryan Buchs says:

    I actually failed my typing class in high school. I was as fast and accurate as anyone, but I just couldn’t train my brain to follow the rules. I still cross my hands over to reach certain keys.
    I think the instructor was being a little overzealous. I also find it ironic that I basically type for a living now.

  89. Davezilla says:

    I’ve noticed I type better when people aren’t looking over my shoulder.

  90. Hector says:

    I type with eight fingers…havent’t figured out how to use my thumbs to hit letter keys…lol! In all seriousness, I use all fingers. When I was in college back in ’97 I got a “C-” in typing, if my teacher could see me now! Unfortunately I was too busy squeezing in design projects while she was walking around the room checking on students…lol!

  91. Olly says:

    See, I thought that I just hunted and pecked, but while typing this comment, I realised that I use a wierd combo.
    Most of the letters are got by the peck method, but I use a thumb for space and a pinky for shift, return, ctrl, etc.

  92. kost says:

    I know a girl with very long nails. She types using two pencils to press keys. :)

  93. Taylor says:

    I think this is the most commenting I’ve ever seen on a SimpleBits posting. The post is hilarious, as well. Thanks for the comic relief.
    Back on topic, I’m a nine-finger typist. All five on the left and all but the pinky on the right. Somehow I never learned how to use the right ctrl/alt/shift keys. Perhaps not the Mavis method, but it works.

  94. Zelnox says:

    I type with all fingers. Taught myself during high school with a software I found online. I lost it before I got to learn numbers, but I can guess their position somewhat. I also only use the left-shift for my capital letters. I type around 50-60 wpm. I can’t seem to go faster. T_T
    What’s funny is I have some friends who do caps-lock on, capital letter, caps-lock off. Haha.

  95. Vanish says:

    Modified index typer since 1978. While in High School, I took the obligatory Typing class. I argued with the teacher that home row was too slow. She finally got tired of hearing me complain so she held a contest between myself, the fastest typing student, and her. They used home row, I used my index fingers and thumbs (primarily). I trounced them both: 15WPM more than the teacher and 25WPM more than the other student. I had 3 errors, they had 5 and 12 respectively. :) I have since forgotten how to type on home row and don’t miss it.
    Another interesting aside: Two years ago I was involved in an ergonomic study at my day job. Throughout all of our fact gathering one interesting thing became abundantly clear. Hunt-and-peck typers suffered from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome much less than home row typers by an order of 1:4

  96. Adam Michela says:

    I type with my right hand as if I have 8 fingers on it… and on my left like I only have two.
    I don’t know why I’m so right hand bias.
    Yet… I type as fast as the next guy.
    I’m weird.

  97. I am actually using 6 fingers, thumbs, pointers and middle fingers. I write quite fast, faster than anyone I personally know at least. I mostly use the thumbs for the space bar and the middle fingers for the Shift of other function keys. Well, I least I know how to type.

  98. Meri says:

    I use all 10 fingers, but I wouldn’t say that I’m a touch typist. The wrong fingers go on the wrong keys and I tend to use my pinkies far less than the other 8. Partly I think because the “correct” touch-typing method doesn’t really accommodate the number of modifier keys (Ctrl, etc) that I use when coding.

  99. Josh Renaud says:

    I type with mostly my thumbs, index, and middle fingers but I also use my left ring finger occasionally. Never use the pinkies. I type without looking at the keyboard.
    I took keyboarding in hs, but since I could type far faster than anyone else learning the “proper method”, my teacher let me use my way for the speed tests, as long as I at least tried to use the ten-finger way for all the exercises, etc.

  100. Tudorbob says:

    Hunt and peck – the only way.

  101. kadavy says:

    I didn’t take typing in High School (took four years of Spanish instead), but I did take it upon myself to download a type-training program and learn how to do it “right”. However, I only “Shift” using my left pinkey, and I hit the space bar exclusively with my right thumb.
    I have that program, and lots of IMing, to thank for my typing skills. I still can’t speak a lick of Spanish.

  102. eric says:

    I used to hunt and peck, but now I type “properly” from the homerow – and much faster than I could before. Don’t get me wrong, I was fast at h&p, but in about a month and a half of changing over during high school I managed to get to the 70+ wpm range with the homerow and didn’t go back.
    I’m not very good at using both sides of the keyboard, though… just the left shift, I think. Sometimes I wonder why I bought the Powerbook with the backlit keys, since I don’t really need them! :D

  103. Jeremy G. says:

    I’m a hybrid. I type using about eight of the ten fingers, and I don’t rest them on the home row. My hands just kinda flail about as I type. Just me though.

  104. I use one of those birds that bobs up and down and drinks water with its beak. Instead of drinking, it pecks the keys. It’s slow, but it frees my hands up to do other things.

  105. Andrew Donnelly says:

    Depending on what sort of typing test I take, I score between 80 and 105 WPM. It just depends on how complex the sentences are. I use all ten fingers, but rarely my pinkies, and I never use the left shift key–only the right. Most of the typing is done with my index and middle fingers, but the ring finger steps in for a few characters. I am currently taking a typing class for beginners, and I leave everyone else in the dust. It makes me feel powerful! Sort of.

  106. Mr. Green says:

    I use four fingers having never learned to type properly and have learned where most keys are. The problem now is that I can go much faster with my four fingers than trying to type. I know I could eventually go faster that way, but have not thought it worth the effort. I can type fairly quickly with the four.

  107. Adrian says:

    I type from home row, and crack around 100wpm on a good day. An average day when I’m in a hurry is about 80wpm, and when I’m just typing at my leisure, its usually around 50ish wpm, and yes, I had to take a typing course in junior high school. We used IBM selectric type writers.

  108. Jough says:

    I learned to type by taking a class in ninth grade. We used an old book from the 50s that you could stand-up next to the keyboard.
    It took me awhile though to re-learn how to type on a non-macintosh keyboard – and while I have typed on a typewriter I’d probably slow down considerably on one, and use lots of white-out, as the backspace key when I make a typing mistake (figure one out of every ten words I slip something up) but even with deleting and continuing I’m about 80-90WPM.
    Of course, Mavis would deduct points every time you backspaced, wouldn’t she?

  109. Adrian says:

    Oh Yeah, and I almost never look at the keyboard.
    Something else, my speed varies based on what I’m typing (and my keyboard). If I’m doing emails or IM or IRC or plain english type of stuff, then I’m very fast. On code, I can cruise at about 30 or 40 wpm all day if I know what I need to type, but if I’m creating code from scratch, then I type as fast as I can think of what the code needs to be, which is much slower. It all depends, but for normal english type stuff, a good day will net at least 100wpm with very few errors.

  110. Yeah.. I have in my head the keyboard layout, and never look at the keyboard, though i have to once to get my alignment correct. It is hilarious sometimes when I have an entire sentence where all the keys are like one to the left of proper, etc.
    I have a tendency to go off in my mind, and if you mess with me too much while I’m typing I’ll start typing what you say and not even realize it.

  111. Andre says:

    Yay, #111…
    I used to hunt and peck with what I thought was incredible speed, until I started using IM services back in high school. That’s when I forced myself to use all 10 fingers. And I am just as glad about it as you are, Dan.

  112. Louis says:

    I’ve been typing using hunt and peck ever since I first learned (by myself). I use other fingers, naturally, when I need to use the shift key.

  113. Breid says:

    I am exclusively a homerow touch typist since I moved to a split keyboard. Except for numbers, which I use the numpad for (and have to cheat).
    When I used a regular 101, I used to do a pretty mean one handed hybrid – using homerow keys as appropriate for the hand and crossing over to peck the other. Right or left, made no difference. And after a couple of years, I could center my right hand and almost touch type the whole thing. I have been a musician for many years, so this wasn’t really a stretch – you get used to the same sort of approximations on a guitar or keyboard.
    And as bad as that sounds, I would type one handed because I was referring to a document held in my other hand :)

  114. I type with all ten fingers, but I have to look down for numbers.
    Once a friend and I were joking around and we started “typing” on a desk. Out of habit I actually noticed when I made mistakes and I used backspace. I shouldn’t type so much…

  115. Nathan Smith says:

    Home-row, all the way. I too had typing class, but for some reason I liked it. I do tend to use the numpad for any extended period of typing just numbers (balancing checkbook, etc). I’m assuming that’s what it’s there for.
    My dad is one of those hunt-and-peck people who has actually gotten it down pretty well. I tried to tell him about the home-row, but he’d have none of it.

  116. zedzdead says:

    About 6 fingers, 2 thumbs and a forehead, the forehead is normally only used during the browser testing phase.

  117. charlie the monkey says:

    I’m a member of the largest group of monkeys anywhere in the world. We haven’t cracked Shakespear yet, but we use 10 finges and 10 toes to get the job done.

  118. dotjay says:

    So that’s why they call us code-monkeys!
    Strangely, I seem to use all the fingers on my right hand and then the index and third fingers on my left hand. My right hand therefore seems to cover the right two thirds of the keyboard while the left hand covers the rest.
    But I can type pretty fast. I’ll have to try out that Brainbench test.

  119. stu says:

    WHat does it matter how people type really? Good lord, there are more comments on this article than there are on the many on here that actually offer value.

  120. Chris Gwynne says:

    I’ve always “hunted & pecked” I find it easier than 10 fingers and thumbs method.
    The speed doesn’t affect me I can write just as fast as those who do it the proper way.
    I’m not even looking at the keyboard right now and I can still do it… whee. ;-)

  121. One can get surprisingly fast with two fingers. I learned the ten-finger system some time ago, but I got back to my own six finger version. Just works better if you shift between mouse and keyboard often, and it is sufficiently fast.

  122. Buck says:

    Anyone recommend the Frogpad?

  123. Jeremy says:

    I use a modified 10-finger method; self-taught. Can’t really say as to typing speed, however, as I’ve a couple curses:
    1) I’m a terrible transcriber – I tend to do one of two things – read well ahead of the typing such that I skip, or I edit as I type.
    2) I do need to occasionally glance at the keyboard; especially jumping between different keyboard layouts, where the index keys are in different locations.
    3) I am rather particular about my word choices, and as such tend to edit on the fly quite frequently.
    All that being said, a few passes through one of the typing tests above put me at an average of around 65-75 WPM (though it was closer to 90WPM for the business text, perhaps because it was easier for me to guess ahead in context…)
    I do tend to jump out to the 10-key pad for numbers more often than not – a habit I picked up doing a heavily clerical job out of college years ago. (It’s such an ingrained habit that I have to force my self to use one or two fingers to dial phones, since the number layout is inverted…anyone else have this problem?)

  124. Darren says:

    I’m not sure how many fingers I use – probably four. The trouble is that when I actually think about how I type it all goes to pot and what I’m studying myself doing doesn’t represent what I normally do. Generally I don’t have to look, although again when I notice that I’m not looking my typing gets worse and then I do have to look to correct my mistakes. Bit of worry really – if I was to start thinking about the way I breathe I could suffocate ;o)

  125. Jeremy says:

    10-finger typing here, though I have to peck the numbers at the top of the keyboard…I skipped the class on typing the numbers in high school. It just seems awkward reaching my fingers all the way up to type a number…I can’t decide which finger to use.

  126. Ryan Latham says:

    It is funny because I have always been a faster than average typer, but my methods range so much. It is pretty much per-keyboard for me.
    In middle and high-school we took a typing class, but I never did it the home row way, as the teacher instructed us to. I’ve been playing with computers since I was 8, and the last 13 years I have had so many methods.
    Right now I use a method that no one would even call a method, I know where the keys are, and which ever finger is close at the time goes to that key. It is instinct now.
    However on keyboards I am unframiliar with, it is your normal home row method. For as long as it takes me to get used to the size and shape of the keys, then I do my own thing.

  127. Todd says:

    6 fingers, index, middle and thumbs and WPM doesn’t mean a darn thing to me and trying to out-duel other typists that learned from Mavis Beacon or whomever.
    I type how I type, and style doesn’t mean a thing, just as long as the job gets done.
    I don’t plan on winning any major typing awards or plan on typing professionally on the pro circuit for a living. Braggers do not impress me either, 60 WPM doesn’t mean squat.

  128. Cyanshade says:

    Touch typed since 8th grade (I’m 32 now), tried the typingtest.com test and got 99 wpm in 3 minutes of “Huckleberry Finn.”

  129. Chris says:

    Put your typing skills to the real test :-)
    Typer Shark!

  130. Tom says:

    In high school typing class, a buddy of mine and I sat next to each other and would compete feverishly at the speed tests we were given (i.e., a given pattern, repeated X times).
    My friend chose to ignore the teacher’s wisdom and employ the hunt-and-peck, which was actually a much better method for these inane repetitive excercises.
    Being the star pupil I was, I followed instruction well and employed the 10-finger method (or whatever it’s called). And while I was almost always bested in typing class, I type circle around him now, 15 years later.
    Fundamentals fundamentals fundamentals.

  131. Quest says:

    I am definitely a home row key typist. I find the feeling to be much more natural for me and I only used the hunt and peck method when I didn’t know how to type. I remember a friend of mine introducing me to the home row keys and the concept of typing. The next thing I knew I was typing. The concept just made sense and I began to type and have been typing ever since. Great question. Thanks.

  132. Mark says:

    Well, I use a combination of peck and home. I never took typing classes; cause in my days of going to high school it was not required. I learned on my own due to necessity, in college all the papers had to be typed. I now work in a high school, and typing is not a required course but yet students need to type all their papers.

  133. Shaun says:

    Neither. I use speech recognition and dictate to my PC.

  134. Brandon says:

    Time for a pie-chart to cull these results together.

  135. I use between 8 and 10 fingers… sometimes streaks with as few as 6… it depends on how fast I’m trying to go, or how much I’m trying to focus on proper technique. (My pinkies are so weak… :( )

  136. Brandon says:

    Oops, forgot to contribute mine. Pretty much Mavis Beacon style taught by my mom. She still asks me if I “incorrectly” use by right index finger for the B letter.

  137. I too had to take typing class in high school. While I remember at the time it wasn’t very fun, but I’m glad I took it. Its helped me become a much better typer.
    A friend of mine uses the hunt and peck method and is so fast that I can’t even keep up with him. And he also never seems to use the delete key. My brother is the same way but not as fast.

  138. Lance says:

    I can’t see how pecking is a healthy way of typing. Although, I find myself a 9 finger typer. Not because I lost a finger but because I never use my left thumb…my right one controls the space key. The flip side of this is that my left thumb is always tensed up. I don’t think that is good either!

  139. Sara says:

    I touch type with all 10 fingers, and usually I get speeds anywhere from 60wpm – 80wpm. Interestingly enough, I never actually formally learned to type. I just started off hunting and pecking, and eventually when I learned where the keys were I started using more fingers, then looking away from the keyboard. I did have some typing lessons in an elementary school computer class, but I did really poorly on those and learned absolutely nothing from it.

  140. I took a typing class in high school, because I knew that I was going to pursue a career involving computers. We learned standard touch-typing on electric typewriters. After a few years, I was typing at around 72 wpm (I used to do a lot of data entry and document editing in my college summer jobs). I don’t know what my current rate is, but I’m sure that my rate (and accuracy) are lower these days.
    But I’ve also seen some folks who can type mighty fast with just a couple of fingers.

  141. Chad Smalley says:

    I took typing as an elective during my sophomore year in high school, and actually got a D because I spent so much time screwing around. I was in there with my best friend, and we spent most of our time typing bits of short fiction and a lot of bad limericks. At the end of the semester I felt like I hadn’t absorbed anything, but it gradually started to take hold over the following year, without me even really trying. It was a very delayed reaction, but that class actually did me a lot of good.

  142. Thomas Tuttle says:

    Personally I type with almost all 10 fingers, but after being raised on typing more programs than regular text, I have an odd habit: my right hand stays much farther to the right on the keyboard than most peoples’. In fact, I usually type as far over as the H key using my left hand, and my right hand stays on KL;’ instead of JKL;. It’s probably from typing lots of Perl, which requires lots of brackets for arrays and hashes.

  143. Ten finger I used to ‘peck’ as I call it but then I got my Mac and it was easier to type with ten fingers on the keyboards, 108wpm last I checked so maybe I should do it again :)

  144. Neill Harmer says:

    I’m a 10-keyer. I have been since highschool, where I also took a computer course. Thought it was a waste at the time, but I quickly learned it was not when I got to college then out into the “real world”.
    Last check, I typed 80wpm. Not super fast, but not bad.

  145. Rita Boyle says:

    I’m a ten-keyer as well — took a class in junior high so I could write my game programs in BASIC that much faster (this was in the 80′s!). I think I was naturally good at it because I’d been taking piano lessons since I was a kid. Same sorts of movements, including the fact you don’t look at your hands when you are typing or playing correctly.
    Last tested, about a year ago, I was typing 115 words per minute. But don’t tell my boss that, because I’d hate for her to know it actually is only taking me half the time it takes my coworker to do the same computer work!

  146. Zordrak says:

    I consider myself a one hand typist. I play a lot of games like Everquest where I typically have my right hand one the mouse, leaving just my left hand to type. Typically I use my pinky for the periphial buttons (often shift key). Most of my typing is actuallt done with my ring, middle, and index fingers. Every now that then my trhumb is used to hit the right periphial buttons when I can’t make do with the left ones. I find that most my typing mistakes are due to my hand going faster than my brain does at times.

  147. Chris Hunt says:

    Oh, thanks a lot. My fingers are tripping over each other now ‘cos I’m trying to type “normally” and see how many fingers I’m using! Reckon it’s six fingers and two thumbs (pinkies don’t get a look in). Been typing – self-taught – for nearly thirty years (gulp), so there’s no hunting going on, just pecking. Still need to look at the keyboard about 50% of the time though.
    I don’t know (or care) how many wpm I manage. I’m lousy as a copy-typist, just reading stuff and typing it, but when I’m coding – and having to think about what I’m going to write next – I can type fast enough to keep up with my brain!

  148. simone says:

    I used to hunt and peck until I started college as a computer science major, then my typing speed increased as demanded by the amount of work and time we had (otherwise I would never have been able to complete a 2000+ line program on time if typing got in the way). I do not type the traditional way as it does not work well for me. But I found a way that does work for me and I type about as fast as I can talk outloud now without thinking too much about it.

  149. David House says:

    My sister’s an index-finger typer. Damn fast as well. I personally go with the 8 fingered approach: I tend to use my fingers, but my thumbs sit lightly pressed up against the bottom edge of my keyboard.

  150. Tim McElwee says:

    I type with all ten digits. However, my dad uses index fingers only and has a speed similar to what you describe above. He was a newspaper reporter and the editor for our county paper while I was younger. It was amazing to see him go.

  151. Cocoa Hill says:

    I type 100+ wpm (10-finger typing, of course) but have found that the newer, mushy keyboards slow me down and weary my fingers. Fortunately, I was able to acquire the Stradivarius of keyboards, the classic Omnikey/102 from Northgate Computer Systems, and it makes all the difference in the world.

  152. Richard Yung says:

    5-8 fingers 40-70wpm. It depends on what I’m typing. If I’m typing what I’m thinking I can touch type pretty fast. If I have to type something from paper I end up having to look at the paper and then at the keyboard. Something to do with my train of thought.

  153. Jonathan says:

    I just pound on the keyboards with my firsts until I get my banana.
    It’s much easier than screaming.
    Actually, I use a weird combination. I tried Devorak, but at the end of the day, it just hurt me when I wasn’t using devorak. So, now I use ten key, but modify all keys with the left hand. Can usually type about 60-80WPM.
    Nice post.

  154. Hey I’m a first time commenter long time reader =P .
    I type at around 30-50WPM I would imagine, although it depends on the time of day and what exactly I’m typing, right now I can’t type for toffee as its 1.22AM and I should have been in bed an hour or two ago, but usually I’m not too bad.

  155. Oh yeah, I forgot to add I use my “pinkys” for left shift, the right one doesnt get used, apart from that I think im a 5 finger typist as I dont use the rest very often, I find it wierd. I also dont look at the keyboard very often as there’s no need. I often miss out punctuation though.

  156. anonymous says:

    I have over time adopted my own set of home keys.. My accuracy is pretty good and my speed is 100 – 120 wpm on average.
    I only use the left shift key (its closer to your hands than the right one), and my home keys are “awef” for the left hand and “jio;” for the right; I find that my hands fall more naturally on these keys since my ring finger and middle finger extend farther than the others, and it gives me the added bonus of having almost all of the vowels I will need very close by. I sed to have carpal tunnel symptoms when I used the home keys but I have found that this allows my hands to be more relaxed when waiting for more words to come to mind.
    This system means that I never use my middle finger for the bottom row; keys such as “x” or “,” I find easier to reach with my ring finger (since its shorter), and keys like “m” and “c” I can reach better with my index fingers. Also, my left thumb is never used… my right thumb does all of my spacing.

  157. Joe Clay says:

    I use 6 fingers main. I type in a strange flow. I do the closest finger method/touch type/no-look. Looking for me is more of a crutch. I really don’t need to but I do it anyway sometimes.
    My typing has evolved. When I was a kid I had mario teaches typing which was just awesome, BTW. I knew how to type regularly, but I evolved into my current typing habit. It’s much faster than traditional typing and a lot more accurate. According to testing, I’m really high up on spatial intelligence so really I’m not so much a touch typist as a space-between-the-keys typist.
    I begin one word with either index finger and use the other hand to fill out the rest of the word as I finish typing the beginning with that hand. It really helps because it’s like I can fit and entire word in half the amount of time it would take. It requires a good bit of timing though.
    I tried that Java test and got about 71 WPM with 0 errors, so I’m not doing badly :)
    Another friend of mine types in a similar manner, though he uses more fingers. I use all ten eventually.

  158. Joe Clay says:

    BTW, my method also keeps me away from carpal tunnel syndrome, which, I hear, is a bitch.

  159. Rico says:

    I am probably the most inefficient typer here. I use indexes only except for the caps lock, which I turn on with my left middle finger then off again for every single capital letter in a sentence. I type maybe 60wpm and don’t make too many errors. I am trying to learn touch typing, though.

  160. Rico says:

    Hmm, according to typingtest.com I whack out 94 WPM. Either the test is overinflated or touch typing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be :)

  161. Fast Typer says:

    I use both index fingers and middle fingers and thumb for SPACE bar.
    I type at ~140 WPM.

  162. peter muroyi says:

    I am fast running out of competitors (speed). Hunt and Peckers aint fast enough. They are twice as slow.

  163. Bo Burnham says:

    I’m a 10 finger typist. I taught myself how to type for the most part when I got my computer in 7th grade. In 9th grade I took typing but by then I was scoring 95 wpm on a typing test (on an electric typewriter). Six years later and I still just as fast if not faster. Even though I typed faster than anyone in the class (including the teacher) I still got a C for being a smart ass to her about it. I don’t care how fast a hunt and pecker can be, there is no way he can out type a 10 finger typist like myself.