This is how you learn to type correctly

No time right now?

Do I have to be able to type with 10 fingers to type quickly? And if so, how do I learn? We try to answer these questions for you.

For a long time it was true that if you want to type quickly, you have to master the 10-finger system. In early 2016, however, researchers at Aalto University in Helsinki published a study that clearly showed that people can type very quickly without using all ten fingers. Does that mean that the ten-finger system is nonsense? No, because as is often the case, the truth is a little more complex.

10-finger writing: do I need it?

It is true that many people write so fast, even without the ten-finger system, that the limiting factor is not the typing speed, but their own thoughts. These people would get little to no benefit from getting used to ten-finger writing. However, we know from the Finnish studythat these people have internalized some things that are usually also taught in the context of ten-finger writing courses.

Typing fast: 10-finger typing is not always necessary. (Graphics: Anna Maria Feit, Daryl Weir, Antti Oulasvirta / Aalto University)

You don’t use all ten fingers, but you have got used to looking at the keyboard as rarely as possible. This means that you can reasonably well estimate where your fingers are in relation to the next letter. To do this, it is again necessary to keep your hands in the same position between the input of individual buttons.

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Type faster even without a 10-finger system

If you’d like your typing speed but don’t feel like learning the 10-finger system, you should at least try not to look at the keyboard while typing. First of all, it should be noted that you are not allowed to put your hands down while typing. Instead, they should float above the keyboard. When you press the buttons, your fingers should move rather than your hands.

In many writing classes, participants have to put a towel over their hands and keyboard. So you should train yourself to look at the keys. An alternative would be to buy a keyboard without labels on the keys. It’s not really necessary, but it looks pretty cool. But only if you can really type blindly.

10-Finger Writing: Here’s How to Teach Yourself

If you write really slowly, you can consider whether you might not want to learn the good old 10-finger system after all. Because obviously your own method is not really effective. You would also benefit from the fact that there are a number of practical learning aids that can help you with this.

So: how does ten-finger writing work now? With the system, as the name suggests, you use all ten fingers to write. Thanks to the highlighting of the letters F and J on your keyboard, you can always find your way back to the starting position without looking.

10-finger writing: This picture shows the correct hand position with the ten-finger system.  (Graphic: VivienSC / Wikimedia Commons License: CC BY-SA 2.0 DE)

10-finger writing: This picture shows the correct hand position with the ten-finger system. (Graphic: VivienSC / Wikimedia Commons License: CC BY-SA 2.0 DE)

The basic position for 10-finger writing: which finger for which key?

  • Little finger left: QAY <1 2 ^
  • Ring finger left: WSX 3
  • Middle finger left: EDC 4
  • Index finger left: RFVTGB 5 6
  • Thumb left: Space bar
  • Little finger right: P ร– – รœ ร„ รŸ ยด + #
  • Ring finger right: OL. 0
  • Middle finger right: IK, 9
  • Index finger right: ZHNUJM 7 8
  • Thumb right: Space bar

How do you learn to write with ten fingers?

The easiest way to learn the 10-finger system is to spend some time every day on a corresponding learning program. A good candidate would be, for example Tip10. The free tool is available as a web app and for Windows, macOS and Linux. Login is required for the web version, but not for the desktop apps. In Tip10 you have a number of exercises to choose from, with which you can gradually improve your typing. You can also see detailed statistics on your progress. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a web app that you don’t have to log in to, you can also log in as an alternative look at.

10-finger writing: The free Tipp10 tool is available for Windows, OS X, Linus and as a web app.  (Screenshot: Tip10)

10-finger writing: The free Tipp10 tool is available for Windows, macOS, Linux and as a web app. (Screenshot: Tip10)

More free websites and services to practice with

If you want to learn to write faster and with ten fingers, you will find numerous writing trainers on the Internet. Some of these are paid, but there are also many convenient websites that are free. Here level systems and gamification ensure more motivation. In some cases, however, registration may be required. With the diligent help of our readers in the comment column, here are some of the websites for ten-finger writing in the overview.


If you set a decent pace on the keyboard without the 10-finger system, you basically don’t need to change your hand position. But everyone else definitely benefits from rethinking the way they hold their hands and stop looking at the keyboard all the time. If you have noticeable deficits in this regard anyway, it can’t hurt to start with ten-finger writing. Especially since you have some really good learning aids and typing trainers available.

For further reading: This is how you can get your mechanical keyboard really clean!

Last update of the article: January 29, 2021

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