Many other typing programs make the mistake of using continuous pictures of hands and keys to show what finger goes where. Just as learning to count on your fingers is a poor way to learn arithmetic, typing-by-finger does not lead to using the computer as an effective way to write and communicate.
We help maintain focus on your typing instead of your hands by automatically detecting and gently correcting the six most common keyboarding problems.
Home Row - one or both hands not on the home row keys
Off-By-One - typing is out of position with the text
Enter Key - carriage return used instead of word wrap
Backspace - error correction not used in current session
Shift Key - shift used incorrectly while typing capital letters
Caps Lock - key pressed by accident
The main reason people look at the keyboard while learning to type is to make sure their hands are still in the right place.
Visually checking your hands while you type makes learning difficult and can lead to more serious distractions when you are creating and not just copying text.
Our exclusive Hands-ON! monitor constantly checks to see that your hands remain in the correct position on the keyboard at all times.
If you accidentally move your hands off the home row keys, we automatically detect this and quickly show what's wrong and how to correct it. In the example shown here, the left hand is out of position on the keyboard.
This rapid response helps you three ways.
- Removes any frustrations if the hands are not positioned correctly
- Assures that the correct fingering is used in all lessons and drills
- Eliminates the need for visual clues to show correct fingering
Being out of position by one, two, or three spaces is quickly detected by the Hands-ON! monitor, as shown here. The typing is correct, but out of position. As soon as you learn to simply focus your attention on the screen, this is no longer a problem.
Once this is automatic, typing correctly is only a matter of watching the screen and focusing on the content instead of just copying text. Writing original text with email or other documents requires attention on the content. The same is true of computer applications requiring form-fill and other interactions. The Hands-ON! monitor handles this detail of keyboarding automatically.
If the Enter key is used incorrectly as a "carriage return" at the end of a line, this special lesson is introduced to explain how word wrap works. If you use word wrap instinctively and never make this error, this lesson is not necessary and will not appear.
While some typing
expect or require carriage returns, our system is based entirely on computer keyboarding and not typewriter techniques.
When you graduate to word processing, the correct use of word wrap is essential, and "carriage return" and other typewriter habits are devastating. Our educational focus is on writing. Preparation for correct use of a word processor is an essential step.
This is probably the most important key on the keyboard. With this key, you can type without error and use any computer program correctly, just by paying attention to detail and making any corrections that are required.
We teach, rather than avoid, the correct use of this key.
If your typing pattern indicates that you aren't familiar with the Backspace, this special lesson is displayed. We detect this special condition if you have typed several sessions and made mistakes without corrected them.
Once you use the Backspace key to correct any error, the program "remembers" that you know how to correct mistakes if you want to, and this special lesson on using the Backspace key will not appear again.
We also monitor your use of the Backspace key while you are typing and use this information as an important input to our software. If you use the Backspace key in a random manner, this just indicates a general carelessness which we report in the speed and accuracy figures and otherwise ignore. If the Backspace key is used in a specific pattern, however, this signals us that there is a problem with one or more keys. If this is the case, our software automatically adjusts your lessons and drills to focus on these keys or key combinations, correcting the basic problem itself. Careful monitoring of the Backspace key gives our software important information which we use in creating your custom lessons and drills.
The practice in some typing programs of turning off the Backspace key and crippling the computer keyboard so that it acts like a typewriter is, of course, absurd.
This reminder appears whenever the Shift key is not used correctly when typing a capital letter. In practice, this particular mistake only has to be corrected once or twice before you are typing capitals correctly and using both Shift keys automatically.
If either Shift key is pressed accidentally, Hands-ON! monitor is always ready to quickly illustrate the situation and its solution. This simple reminder is all that's necessary to eliminate confusion or anxiety over the correct use of the Shift keys.
Using both the Caps Lock and Shift keys can be confusing for beginners. This is especially difficult to understand if the Caps Lock is pressed by mistake and the keyboard suddenly starts TYPING IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.
If that happens, this special lesson is presented at just the right time to clear this up quickly and easily. This automatic monitor eliminates one more reason for students to look at their hands while typing.
When this special lesson screen is visible, you can turn Caps Lock on and off a few times to see how it works before continuing with the program.
All help screens work the same way. If help is needed, the appropriate help screen will appear automatically. These extra lessons are available in alllessons and drills, but are not active during testing.