There are two standard typing methods: the "hunt and peck" or "two-finger" approach and the "touch" method. These are the most common ways that people type, although some individuals may use a hybrid of the two.
Hunt and Peck
The hunt and peck, or two-finger, approach relies on sight. Most people use this method of typing, keeping their eyes glued to the keyboard until they find the right key, pressing the key they were looking for, checking the screen to make sure they got the right one, and then repeating that whole process over and over again.
This method is much slower than the touch method because the individual spends so much time visually searching for each key.
The touch method relies of memorization of key placement. Individuals place their fingers on a "home" row (the middle row in the 3 rows of letters) so that the left hand digits are covering the a, s, d, and f keys with the thumb on the space bar and the right hand digits are covering the j, k, l, and ; keys with the thumb, again, on the space bar. When typing, the fingers move up, down, or over to reach the appropriate keys, always returning to the home row for quick and easy access to the next key needed. Typically, the standard keyboard includes raised dots on the j and f keys so the typist can confirm by touch that her fingers are in the right position.
Since individuals using this method don't have to visually hunt for a key each time they need an individual letter, the touch method is significantly faster than the two-finger approach and is the preferred method of experienced typists and those looking to improve their speed.
How do you type? If you've been resorting to the hunt and peck method, it may be time to take a step toward learning to type with the touch method. A good first step is to place your fingers along the home row and start using all 10 of your fingers instead of just two, even if you have to peek at first to see where the different letters are. As you practice typing, you'll gradually learn where the different keys are located and find yourself looking less and less!
The free typing test and games are a great way to practice and gauge your progress. As you improve, be sure to check out the typing careers section to learn more about how you can make money with your typing skills.