Unit 1, Lesson 1:  Home Keys, [Space] Bar, [Enter]

Ergonomic Typing

The following should give you some ideas about how to avoid repetitive strain injuries when using computer. You don't have to adhere to these guidelines rigidly, the most important thing is your comfort combined with proper technique and posture. For more details on this, please consult ergonomics related websites.

  • Before you start typing always adjust the height of your chair so that your forearms are pretty much horizontal when touching the home row of your keyboard. If this makes your feet dangle, get a foot rest.
  • Sit comfortably upright with your feet firmly on the floor keep your back straight and well supported by the back rest. Do not slouch.
  • Take a short break from surfing the Web and/or typing at least every hour. Stretch and focus your eyes on distant objects.
  • When moving the mouse, use your whole arm, not just your wrist. Your mouse should be at the same height as your keyboard and within easy reach.
  • When typing, do NOT rest your wrist on the keyboard or the wrist pad. Wrist pad is for resting your wrist when you are not typing! Your hands should be in one line with your forearms, your fingers slightly curved, your forearms pretty much horizontal.
  • When you type for an extended period of time, take a 30 second break every 10 minutes or so. During this break, stretch your fingers, hands, and wrists. Have a sip of your favorite (non-alcoholic) beverage.
Home Keys

After typing any key, your fingers should always return to their Home Position; that is, all eight of them should lightly touch their Home Keys. As you become more and more advanced, you will need to return to the home keys less and less. But no matter how advance you are, we recommend that you start each typing session in the home position, that is with your finger tips lightly touching the home keys.

So here are the home keys for your fingers:
        Left Hand:  [A], [S], [D], and [F] keys.
        Right Hand:  [J], [K], [L], and [;] keys.

We may occasionally name fingers by their corresponding home keys.

[Space] Bar

People usually strike the [Space] bar with the thumb of their writing hand. It is your choice which thumb you use, some people might be more comfortable to alternate the thumbs, etc. We recommend that you use your right thumb if you are right-handed, and the left thumb if you are left-handed. Whichever thumb you use, it should be positioned above the middle of the [Space] bar. The other thumb is not used so hold it close to its adjacent index finger.

[Enter] Key

Extend your right little finger to the [Enter] key but keep the remaining fingers on their home keys - this might be little difficult at first but keep trying! Lightly press the [Enter] key. Return your pinkey to its home key (the [;] key). Repeat several times.

The [Enter] key is often called the [Return] key since it returns the cursor to the beginning of a new line.

Now is the time for you first typing drill! Click on the input window below and practice using the [Space] bar and the [Enter] key.

    Space once ... twice ... once ... twice ...  
    Get ready to return--move your right pinkey 
    to [Enter] key. Return, i.e. lightly press the 
    [Enter] key. Now you are at the beginning of 
    a new line. Hit [Enter] again and again! Return 
    your right pinkey back onto its home key. 

Repeat several times!

   DRILL   BOX   

Congratulations! You have just completed the first lesson of our typing course! It wasn't that difficult, was it? So keep hitting the [Space] bar and the [Enter] key. And make sure that each time you press the [Enter] key, the other fingers remain on their home keys!

NextLesson Go to Lesson 2
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