Take A Number: How to Type Numbers and Symbols

Categories: All About Touch Typing, Typing Practice, Typing Tips and Tricks |

Letters and punctuation make up the bulk of keys used by most touch typists. However, there will be times when you’ll need to type numbers. When you do, you have two choices. You can use the row of numbers located above the Top Row of letters, or you can use the numeric keypad, located on the right side of the keyboard. Feel free to choose whichever is faster and easier to use.

As always, you will start with your fingers in the appropriate positions on the Home Row. Then, when you want to type a number, you’ll stretch the appropriate finger up to the number and press. You’ll do this while leaving as many of your other fingers on the Home Row keys as possible. Sound difficult? It won’t be once you get used to these exaggerated finger movements. Like the Top Row and Bottom Row keys, proper touch typing requires that each number be pressed by a specific finger. The exercises and accompanying videos that cover this topic in the Typesy software system will help you remember these important finger-number-key relationships.

Many symbols are also found on the top row of the keyboard, the ones that share keys with numbers. Now, what’s interesting about these symbols is that they are used only occasionally. In fact, these symbols take up less than 1% of most text. Because of their infrequency of use, most touch typists do not actually touch type these symbols. Some do what you’ve been told you should never do: they look at the keyboard.

Not touch typing these symbols is okay because doing so will only have a negligible impact on your typing speed. When you continually look at the keyboard when typing letters, the time loss is significantly greater. If you want to become a proficient touch typist, you do need to know where these symbols are located on the keyboard. As you touch type symbols, it’s important to use the same finger as you do when typing the respective numbers. When typing a symbol, remember that you have to press and hold down the appropriate [Shift] key with the other hand before pressing the symbol key.

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