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Touch typing finger placement

Fingers start position

The most important thing is to place your forefingers in the middle of horizontal row. For QWERTY keyboards that would be keys "F" and "J". The rest of fingers (except for the thumb) should be placed along the "home" row. During touch typing you reach other keys starting from the base position. You do not need necessarily come back to the base position, after a key has been pressed, although, your forefingers should keep their base position whenever possible.

It is also important that your arms and hands are arranged in a natural way. Do not try to stretch them for typing! You should not lay your hands in a "rabbit fashion". If you feel somehow uncomfortable during typing, change your position so that you do not feel any inconvenience.

Finger-key mappings

The correct finger-key mapping resembles a "broken cascade". It is "broken" because numeric keys (the first upper row on the keyboard) are an exception. If you have a typical keyboard e.g. QWERTY, you can try that it is further for your forefinger to reach from key "J" to key "6", than from key "F" to key "6". The "finger-key" mappings should look, therefore, like this:




Most of resources in the Internet show that fingers belong to a given key in the form of "full cascade". This approach does not work as it should in practice, although, it looks very nice in theory - in the picture:




Although the correct approach is not obvious and seems less popular, we want to teach you it. It is just more comfortable for your hands.

Keyboard's top row of keys

Typing keys of the keyboard's top row is controversial. Some people claim that it is more comfortable for them to type using a "full cascade" pattern. How can one argue with such a statement? If someone has typed for years in one way, it is hard to convince them to do it differently now.

Let's make some measurements to check if it is actually closer to get from the keys with bumps to the center of the top row. How the top row keys are positioned in relation to the center of the keyboard? The key that interests us is key with the number "6". Below there are various of QWERTY keyboards with English US layout.

First let's have a look at a keyboard of a Dell business laptop:

Now let's have a look at the Apple's Macbook Air keyboard:

Raspberry Pi keyboard shouldn't differ much regarding the top row of keys:

Maybe it is different for CoolerMaster mechanical keyboard?

Apparently not.


And finally, let's have a look at the Chicony ergonomic keyboard:

In all cases, key with the number "6" lies mostly on the left side of the keyboard. It means it should be clicked by the left hand's pointing finger.

There are examples of keyboards that do exist and that would contradict the thesis I am trying to prove here. However, you usually don't see such keyboards in mainstream retail stores or even more popular online stores. These keyboards are destined for professionals who know what they are doing when using a substandard keyboard layout for their language. That is why AgileFingers enables you to remap the virtual keyboard in options. Yet, there will be types of keyboards e.g. ergonomic that break that pattern and it is something that AgileFingers does not support.

So why is that it is closer to get to the top row keys using the style of touch typing presented in AgileFingers, but it is more comfortable to use the full cascade typing pattern? The most obvious answer is that if somebody has typed for so many years using this pattern it is harder to get used to another way of typing. Yet, one may say that this is not the case because he or she has not used any typing pattern. In this case, it is probable that such a person is right-handed and it is easier to reach even more distant keys with the right hand than the left one. Another cause may be that handling the top keyboard row presented in AgileFingers just seems unnatural and it is hard to discuss with feelings.

Keyboard layout learning curve

It will take time before you get used to typing using the schema presented in AgileFingers. It is worth investing in learning to type faster, without looking at the keyboard. You may, however, disagree so strongly with the top row mapping that you decide not to use AgileFingers. Well, first of all, we do not force anybody to use the cascade with shifted first row of keys. AgileFingers presents on a virtual keyboard how fingers map to keys, but regarding the top row of your keyboard, you can use the full cascade pattern. It is as simple as that. On the other hand, it is always worth investing in doing something right once and then taking advantage of such investment.

start typing!