How to Use a Royal Typewriter

By G.K. Bayne

Updated September 26, 2017

Since 1904, Royal typewriters have been in use all around the world. The image of a Royal typewriter is often seen on logos of authors, screenwriters and publishing houses. The Royal manual typewriter was used in businesses and schools for years before being replaced by electric models. Using a Royal typewriter is very different from using a computer keyboard and seeing the letters appear on the computer monitor. A typewriter puts the letters on a sheet of paper and fixing typing errors can be challenging.

Thread the ribbon on the typewriter or drop in the printwheel cartridge. The manual Royal typewriter uses ribbon threaded on two spools: one spool is attached to the typewriter, the ribbon is threaded through the various slotted holders and then the second spool is set in place on the opposite side of the carriage. On electric models, simply place the printwheel in its holder on the typewriter.

Use the sliders on the bar behind the carriage roller to set your page margins and tabs.

Lift the bar that has the three small rollers away from the main roller carriage.

Insert a sheet of paper behind the roller carriage and use the knobs at the end of the carriage to roll the paper into the machine to the point where you wish to start typing text.

Slide the bar with the small rollers back into place to secure the paper.

Begin typing. As you reach the end of the line, a bell will sound five spaces before the margin setting. Use the carriage return bar, on the right hand side of the carriage, to move the paper to the appropriate point for a new line of text. This function will be done automatically on an electric Royal typewriter.

Continue until the page is full or the document is finished.

Backspace to any typing errors, cover the error with correction tape or fluid and then type the correct letters over the corrected errors. Some models of Royal electric typewriters have this feature built in to make correcting errors much easier.

Items you will need

  • Royal typewriter, manual or electric

  • Typewriter ribbon or printwheel cartridge

  • Clean copy paper

  • Correction tape or correction fluid


Ribbons and print wheels for Royal typewriters can be purchased from many office supply stores. Often they will have to be special ordered, since the demand for them has lessened significantly.

A typewritten page will not have the neat look of a computer printed document.

You have to push the keys much harder on a manual Royal typewriter than you do on an electric model or computer keyboard.

If you know the model number of your Royal typewriter, you can find the ribbons and printwheels online at various retailers.