Play and touch-type with TypeFaster

Play and touch-type with TypeFaster


In this fast and over active world of computers, there is only one thing that seems to remain slow and underrated. I see it at school, with my fellow students; I see it with my friends. At home, I spot the same thing with my mom, and my dad and even my younger brother. It is the keyboard! In this article you will learn how to use TypeFaster to yes type faster!

Introduction

TypeFaster is a Windows specific free software game that teaches you how to, you guessed it, type faster. Within the bounds of 20 dedicated lessons and one game, you will learn how to type with all of your fingers (not just two of them). Adults are not the only ones who can benefit from using TypeFaster; kids and very old-fashioned teachers can also learn how to type, and in a playful way that will engage. If you are not convinced, imagine how much time that it will save throughout your entire life! My best guess calculation is: currently you could easily write over 3000 words per week through a combination of emails, projects at work or school, chatting with friends via IRC etc. That works out at over 10 million words typed throughout a 65 year typing life (ages 10 through to 75). Now if you type at only 20wpm that is a whole year of just typing. If you just double your typing speed to 40wpm, you can have 6 months of your life back.

TypeFaster is the nicest way to learn how to type

You can play it by yourself (in single user mode), with others (in multi user mode, sharing the same computer) or even choose the “teacher support” mode (designed for use in schools). Within the game, each member of your family or class can have their own account. The settings and progress of each user will be stored, so you can check your own progress... and your mother’s!

The Multi user with teacher support is designed for use in schools. It must be installed in one location: for example, in a shared network folder.

Installation

TypeFaster is free software; you can download it from SourceForge. The game file is not very big (it’s just 6.53MB), and it’s available in numerous languages: French, English, German, Japanese, and many others.

Warning : Sadly, At the time of writing the program works only under a Windows environment

Once you run the installer, press “I agree” and then press “Next”.

Figure 1: The install wizardFigure 1: The install wizard

Press “Browse”; you will see a list of options; click on “desktop”. Press “Next” to choose “single user”, “many users” or “teacher support”. Click on “Install”. You are done! You will see an icon with the words TypeFaster on your desktop click on the icon and the program will start.

Figure 2: The folderFigure 2: The folder

My first impressions

Lesson one (figure 3) is quite simple: there are only a few letters that you need to type; only in the lesson named “common words” will you start seeing actual words. Each lesson takes about five or ten minutes. Lesson one is just for beginners. After starting, on top of the page, you see a 0%; when you write a few words, it goes up to 1% and so on. Once you achieved 100%, you go to lesson two. You will also see how many mistakes you have made, and how long it took you to get to 100%. In lesson two, more letters come to the screen. As the lessons continue, more and more letters are added until you are typing with the whole keyboard and all of you fingers.

When you suddenly feel the need for more excitement you can click on “play a game”

Figure 3: Game one of twoFigure 3: Game one of two

The game

When you suddenly feel the need for more excitement you can click on “play game”: a game will appear. You are given three “lives”. The goal is to type the right words in the given amount of time; as the speed increases and more difficult words enter the zone, you may end up with one less life.

(This will definitely test your stress capacity and ability to work under pressure!)

I am sure kids will like the game (figure 4) because there is more action: when you’ve typed a word, a rocket will destroy the word and then another word will appear.

Figure 4: game twoFigure 4: game two

Conclusions

At first, I thought the game would be a real bore. However, once I started to type faster and faster, I began to really like this approach. The game is quite simple. If you see a letter turning red, you press that letter on the keyboard. Usually another letter turns red, and sometimes the same letter needs to be pressed twice. The trick is not to stop pressing the red letters.

What could be added to this game? Well, when you finish a lesson, it would be nice to get a surprise. In addition, when you complete lesson one to lesson 20, you could be “clapped”, or receive a gold star of some sort. In addition, the first game is a bit of a bore. So, I would advise the maintainer to make the first game little less boring!

By spending 3 hours on gaming my speed went up by about 10%. I am 10: I must have saved hundreds of hours or days of my future life. Just think how many more games I can play in that time! [Victorian father comments: Games, games. Give the kids good solid accountancy packages I say!]

You can also play nice competitions with your schoolmates, friends and little brothers and sisters.

If you’re a teacher, I encourage you to use this program with your students: it is indeed the nicest way to learn how to type faster.

Have much fun, let your fingers learn efficiency and TypeFaster.

Category: 
License: 

Comments

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

For those who prefer to learn to type on a free operating system I can recommend Tuxtype on GNU/Linux.

I installed it and for my brother and for a period it actually was his favourite game.

regards,
Maarten

csatterlee's picture
Submitted by csatterlee on

Thanks for offering this link. My daughter LOVES Tuxpaint. I'm sure she'll love this too!

pnavarrc's picture
Submitted by pnavarrc on

I learn to type with ktouch, a KDE typing tutor. It's easy, in one month (30 minutes each day), I improve my typing skills. However, i don't know a similar software in Linux.

Great article, best regards,

Pablo.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

... as KDE is (mostly) a Linux window manager.

Just to clarify

K<o>
Chief screencast producer at Plan-B for OpenOffice.org

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

Not really.

KDE is a complete set of applications, it includes an office suite, browser, even specialized development tools like UML creator,
http://www.kde.org/info/

Amit

csatterlee's picture
Submitted by csatterlee on

Thanks so much for directing me to this game! I am a teacher and students frequently ask me for ways to improve their typing. This gives me an excellent (FREE) resources to offer them.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

OK, it's windows only. How about going one step further and reporting how well it works with Wine? Listing other alternatives would be great to. Commenters have noted TuxTyping & KTouch

Cheers!

Anonymous man's picture
Submitted by Anonymous man (not verified) on

Its always good to see our youth learning about the benefits of improving efficiency; yet, OTOH, its sad to see them continuing to be trapped in the most inefficient keyboard map imaginable!

Now if this game included an optional Dvorak keymap, their efficiency could be increased a minimum of apprx. 25%, & possibly AMA 50-60%!

At least there's still Zijian Huang's KP Typing Tutor, intended for kids, although it was written for Win95/NT.

Possibly still the best available for the Dvorak-mapped keyboard.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

In the current version of TypeFaster, you do need to enable the Dvorak keyboard on your system, but Dvorak is an available map.

Once you enable Dvorak on your system: (Win NT + only)

Go to Typefaster, then:
Go to Edit Settings, then Change Layouts Enabled, check US-Dvorak.
Then, go to Layout: and select Dvorak.
If Dvorak is enabled on your system, press ctrl + shift.
To be honest, I'm typing on Dvorak right now, slow but sure.

Problem solved.

Author information

Nelson Berg's picture

Biography

Nelson Berg is an intelligent and aggressive game player and seven days a week ten-year-old son of Alan Berg In his spare time he performs brain surgery and works for a secret organization that protects the world and sometimes the Universe.