How to Learn a Computer Keyboard

By Katie Duzan

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Paper

  • Typing software (if desired)

Learning a computer keyboard is a necessary skill in today's world. Most people use computers for writing papers rather than paper and pencil. The set up of a computer keyboard is not alphabetical. Therefore, learning the keyboard is learning something brand new, figuring out which keys are where and which fingers to use to push them. Since keyboards are so frequently used, learning to type two handed makes computer typing faster and easier.

Practice, practice, practice. To learn the computer keyboard, use it. Keep the hands in the proper position, even when it's not the most efficient way to type right now. In the long run, this helps. It is very slow and tedious at first, but it goes faster. Try typing the alphabet in order to learn the sequence of the letters.

Purchase a typing program (see Resources below). Typing software installs on a computer, and uses proven methods to instruct users on keyboard use. These programs progress from basic to advanced, so users advance their skills in order. When using a typing program, always use two hands. It does not help to cheat by using the key-pecking method, it just prolongs the process.

Use paper. Take a piece of paper, turn it horizontally and lay it flat over the keyboard. Use a piece of sticky tape to attach it to the top part of the keyboard. Look under the paper to get the hands in the correct typing position, and then cover them back up. Now start typing. There will be mistakes, but this method of learning the keyboard is fast and inexpensive. It allows hands to move freely while not allowing the user to look at the keys, forcing them to learn the sequence by memory.

Keep your eyes shut. Another way to prevent peeking at the letters on the keys is just to shut your eyes. This isn't as efficient as the paper over the keyboard, simply because there's no looking. Periodically you'll have to open your eyes to check the screen, then close them again to start typing. This is not a good method if trying to accomplish anything, but works as a practice drill.

Try a free program (see Resources below). Online typing tutor programs are more basic than software packages, but are still effective at teaching basic typing skills.