Do You Know Where Your Keys Are?

Categories: All About Touch Typing, Typing Practice |

In some respects, getting to know your keyboard is probably the single most important thing you can do before starting work on your touch typing skills. Because touch typing is the ability to type the correct letters in the correct order using the correct symbols, numbers and/or punctuation – without the need to actually look at the keyboard in order to locate the desired keys – you’ll need to memorize the layout of your keyboard. Depending on where you live and whether you use a desktop computer or a laptop, you may find variations in keyboard layout.

The letters of the alphabet typically take up a total of three rows on a standard computer keyboard. The row in the center of these three rows is referred to as the “home” row and it is where the “home row” keys are located. The home row keys consist of letters and several important punctuation marks. As you learn more about touch typing, you will start to understand the need to familiarize your fingers with these home row keys.

The rows immediately above and immediately below the home row also consist of letters, along with other punctuation marks, the Tab key, the Cap Lock key, the Enter key (formerly the “Return” key on a typewriter), the Shift key, and other symbols that are used primarily for programming.

Directly above the top row of letter keys sits a row of keys that displays the digits 1 through 0 from left to right. You’ll notice that each of these keys also displays a symbol above each of the digits. For example, above the four is the dollar sign. The left and the right parentheses are displayed above the digits nine and zero respectively. You’ll also notice a few other keys on this row that display only symbols but no digits. Over to the far right is the frequently used Backspace key.

The top row on the keyboard is where you will find the function keys. The function or functions that each key performs depends upon the software that is currently being used. The instruction manual for the particular program or software will define the functionality of each function key. Since these function keys have no relevance to touch typing, you don’t need to be concerned with them when you’re working on your typing skills.

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