9 Fun Typing Facts - From Qwerty Keyboard History to Typing Speed

29/07/22

Keyboards - most of us use them every day but may take them for granted. From the design to advances in the layout, keyboards are essential to our use and speed of computing. Many advancements in typewriter history have led to the design that we all know today.

What’s more, keyboarding is one of a few skills necessary for success in today’s workforce. Here, we share some interesting facts about qwerty keyboard history, fastest typing speeds, and more. We’ll also discuss other key skills employees need to succeed. Including digital skills, communication, leadership, and adaptability.

If you want to improve your typing and other critical work skills, Pitman Training programmes and courses will set you up for success! Without further ado, here are 9 fun typing and keyboard facts.

man using a qwerty keyboard

Keyboard - An Everyday Object with Significant History

1. Who Invented the Keyboard?

The Qwerty keyboard that we use today is attributed to Christoper Latham Sholes. He was an American inventor and first showed off the keyboard on July 1, 1874, according to CNET. Sholes organised the original layout alphabetically. This allowed for typing common letter combinations too quickly and led to jammed keys. So, Sholes created the new Qwerty design to prevent commonly used letters from sticking together.

2. Evolution of the Keyboard as We Know It

In the Qwerty keyboard history, there were many attempts to rival the Qwerty model, including the Dvorak keyboard. Augustus Dvorak designed his model in 1936, which he said would put less stress on the typists’ hands. However, most people were already trained to use the Qwerty keyboard layout by that time. So, the Dvorak keyboard didn’t become the norm.

Throughout Qwerty keyboard history, the machines we use our keyboards with have changed. From typewriters to computers to smartphones - yet, the Qwerty keyboard has stood the test of time.

3. British vs. American Keyboards

US qwerty keyboard layout

Although the UK Qwerty keyboard layout is the same style keyboard used in the U.S., some minor differences in symbol placement could be confusing for typists. Most notable, the @ symbol on a British keyboard is to the left of the enter key, whereas in the U.S, it is above the 2. The British keyboard also has a pound sign to represent the U.K. currency. And, the British keyboard has a key for the Euro currency symbol. Because of these factors, the UK layout has 1 more key than its U.S. counterpart.

A Modern Necessity - All About Typing

4. Typing in the Workplace

In the 1870s, typewriters came onto the scene and revolutionised the workplace. Prior to the machines, scribes had to prepare correspondence by hand. It was time-consuming, and the typewriter became known as a time-saving invention. It also opened the door for women in the office, as companies hired and trained them as typists.

typist using qwerty keyboard

5. What is touch typing?

Touch typing is a specific method of typing where the typist is able to use the keyboard without looking at the keys. Using this method, professional typists gain speed and accuracy. The training involves working on muscle memory so the brain can automatically tell the fingers which keys to type.

6. Other Typing Styles

As typewriters became more common in the workplace, different typing styles developed. While many typists use the touch typing methods, there are other approaches, such as:

Hunt and peck

Also known as the two-finger typing method, the typist searches for the keys and types them out. With this typing style, the accuracy rate is low because the typist is watching the keyboard, not the screen.

Buffering

This style of typing requires the typist to read and memorise small sections of the text and then type it. However, it’s not the best approach to improve your typing speed.

Hybrid

Combining touch typing and hunt and peck, a typist using the hybrid style will memorise the keyboard and focus on the screen. The difference is they don’t use all their fingers to type on the keyboard. Some may use two, while others may use five or six.

Woman uses qwerty keyboard

Speedy Keys - Typing Speeds

7.Average Typing Speed

As more and more people become accustomed to using computers and keyboards on a daily basis, average typing speeds have improved. The average speed is about 40 words per minute (wpm). However, some studies have noted that women average 37 wpm and men 44 wpm. It’s also important to note that mistakes happen, and they can slow down typing speed. The average typist will make eight mistakes for every 100 words.

8. Who is the Fastest Typist in the World?

Officially, the fastest typist in the world is Barbara Blackburn, who has reached top speeds of 212 wpm on a Dvorak keyboard. She was able to maintain a speed of 150 wpm for 50 minutes. Barbara has held this record since 2005. There are also many competitions every year that aim to find out who is the fastest typer in the world. Xeogran (his username) from Poland claims the unofficial title with a speed of 217 wpm with 99.16% accuracy

9. How to Improve your Typing Speed

If you’re looking to get better and faster at typing, there are some ways you can improve your speed.

The first step is to get to know your Qwerty keyboard layout. Being familiar with where the keys are can help you become a faster typist as you won’t be looking down at your fingers or the keyboard. One of the best ways to learn proper technique for typing is to take one of our touch typing courses

students learn with qwerty keyboard

As you get to know your keyboard, you’ll also want to use the proper typing position so you don’t get tired or sore. The best position for fast typing speeds is to sit straight up with your feet on the floor and your elbows at a 90-degree angle. This can prevent any strain on your hands or wrists while you type.

If you’re already skilled at touch typing but want to improve your typing speed and accuracy, you can also study in Typaz speed training or a Typaz professional training programme. These programmes can help you develop your speed and accuracy, making you more productive at work.

Wherever you are with your typing skills, there is always room for advancement. Keep practising and hone your skills with typing training, and maybe you’ll be able to make the fastest typist list.

Other Key Skills Needed in the Workplace

Typing is not the only key skill needed in the workplace. A few other skills are becoming increasingly important to today’s workforce. You should train to make sure you have the necessary skills for your current or future career. Regardless of industry, these skills are also necessary for the modern workplace:

man uses digital skills at work

1. Digital Skills

Digital skills include data analysis, cybersecurity, and IT skills. All these skills are key in today’s workplace, yet many employees feel they are lacking them. In a WEF survey, just 37% of employees say they are confident in their technology use. This lack demonstrates the need for employees to train, so they can confidently navigate tasks at work.

2. Communication

Without proper communication in a career, some of your other key skills could become overlooked. Communication gives you the ability to properly get your ideas across, and speak with other coworkers on the job. When you are able to communicate clearly, you avoid miscommunication and workplace conflict.

3. Leadership

Closely related to communication skills is leadership. Employers today are looking for employees to show leadership qualities and motivate other employees. Employees can then drive businesses by leading the completion of projects, tasks, and coming up with new ideas.

using leadership skills

4. Adaptability

There are new changes and developments in technology every day! With necessary business skills changing, employees need to be able to learn and adapt. The WEF predicts that 50% of the workforce will need reskilling by 2025.

This means employees need to train to keep their CV and skills up to date. Employers can also use staff training programmes to make sure staff have the necessary skills.

Speedy Keys Challenge

We hope you enjoyed our in-depth look at typing. Plus, a few other skills that are necessary for the current workforce. Think you have what it takes to be the fastest typist in the world? We want to see just how good your typing skills are! Join us in our search for the fastest typist in the UK with our Speedy Keys competition. Submit as many entries as you’d like, and see if your skills are at the head of the pack!

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