Computer Keyboarding Resources
By Anna Bauman
Keyboarding is an essential skill that all children and adults should master. In school, students need keyboarding skills to perform research, type reports, take tests, and complete other activities on computers. Children are often introduced to keyboarding techniques and correct finger placement in kindergarten and are often able to exhibit keyboarding competency by high school.
Great typing skills can make a difference in a professional environment.
The Importance of Typing Skills
Today, efficient keyboard and computer operation is also a necessary skill for the majority of occupations. With the widespread use of computers in homes, schools, and businesses, it's more important than ever to learn proper keyboarding techniques and to operate the keys with speed and a high level of accuracy.
By having adequate keyboarding skills, adults can open up a much larger market for themselves when choosing a career. Many fields require intensive keyboarding skills, including careers in journalism, paralegal work, transcription, administration, and language arts. Many employers even put potential candidates through rigorous typing tests.
Learning the Lingo
Learning basic keyboarding and computer terms can help you on your way to mastering typing. The keyboard is the primary text input device and contains standard function keys, such as arrow keys, control keys, shift, the escape key, tab, and letters and numbers. The mouse is a pointing device that allows you to tell the computer what to do. The mouse moves an indicator on a computer screen known as a cursor, which identities the point that will be affected by input from the user.
Here, you'll find some other important lingo that can help strengthen your keyboarding skills.
Alternate (Alt) Key
When pressed at the same time as another key, the Alt key gives the second key an alternative function.
Designed to move the cursor in a specific direction.
Causes the cursor to move backwards.
Capitalizes letters when locked.
Control (Ctrl) Key
Alters the function of another key if both are pressed at the same time.
Removes characters and other objects, generally to the right of the insertion point.
Causes the insertion point to move down to the next line.
Escape (Esc) Key
Exits a dialog box or software menu.
Used by software to assign a particular function.
Keys that act as a base position for one's fingers in touch-typing.
Keys used to perform special functions on a computer.
Makes capital letters and certain symbols when used in combination with other keys.
Inserts a space between words and sentences.
Moves the insertion point to the next tab stop.
Keyboard Keys Detailed References
Once you have memorized the keyboard layout, a basic understanding of keyboard functionality can help to improve your efficiency. These detailed references provide information about keyboard parts, Internet terminology and more.
Proper posture is essential when sitting at a computer for extended periods of time. Due to the repetitive movements associated with typing, those who use a computer for long stretches are at risk for carpel tunnel syndrome, a common injury of the wrist caused by excessive pressure on the median nerve. When facing your computer, sit with your spine straight, your shoulders in line with your hips, and your arms forming right angles at the elbows. Your fingers should be relaxed as you type with your wrists loose. Take frequent breaks while typing to adjust your position if needed. It may be necessary to rearrange your workstation to ensure that it is ergonomically adequate.
Over time, improper keyboard technique can cause repetitive stress injuries that require surgical treatment.
Eliminating bad habits, such as typing with only two fingers, can be difficult. It's important to use all ten fingers when typing, with your fingers placed on the home row. Practicing proper finger placement can help you find the correct keys without having to look at the keyboard. Touch-typing is when you can type without having to look down at the keyboard. With practice, you can remember the position of each letter and pick up speed when typing. Using basic keyboard shortcuts can also help to save time when navigating the keyboard. For example, the "Ctrl" and "C" keys are used to copy text when pressed simultaneously. Over time, keyboarding will become second nature and you will be able to type with accuracy and speed.
Computer Keyboard - Tips & Tricks
A few simple tricks can significantly improve your typing speed. These links provide shortcuts, keyboard hardware recommendations and more.
Practice Makes Perfect
The best way to improve your efficiency is to practice typing with correct form. Use these tutorials and keyboard games to improve your skills.