Learn

From Colemak

Contents

Recommended fingering diagram

Colemak_fingers.png

Typing tutors

Notes: Repeat the lessons until you reach at least 97% accuracy without hesitating. The lessons build on to one another so it is important to be comfortable with all the keys in a lesson before moving onto the next lesson. Theres no need to overpractice lessons because everything you learn will also reviewed in later lessons. I recommend using the typing tests or the games below to advance to higher speeds once youve completed the beginner lessons as indicated. Read also the tips below.

Typing tests

Results of typing tests in one system are not comparable to results in other systems. Do not use the beginner lessons to measure typing speed.

Games

Note: Under Mac OS X, some flash games might not work correctly. More information

Tips for learning

  • Print the layout image and stick it on the monitor. Alternatively, you can use an on-screen keyboard display utility. The KeyboardDisplay.exe utility is included in the Windows installation archive. You can also use the layout images as a tiled desktop background. For Mac OS X, you can use "Stickies" (located in the Applications folder), and put a picture of the layout.
  • Keep your eyes on the screen or the layout image, and never look at the keyboard when typing on Colemak.
  • Do look at the keyboard if youre typing on QWERTY, it helps to avoid mixing up the layouts in your brain.
  • Dont relabel or rearrange the keyboard keys. This will slow down learning as youll be tempted to look at the keyboard instead of the monitor. While youre touch typing many keys will be hidden by your fingers, so youll have to lift them every time to see the letter below. It will also make it more difficult to adapt to working on other peoples computer, whether typing in QWERTY or Colemak. I dont recommend physically moving the key caps because it will move the bumps on the keys below the index finger ("F" and "J" keys on QWERTY). If choose to do it anyway, I recommend that you tape the labels on the keys and dont replace them when the labels start falling off.
  • Dedicate 2 hours per day during the first 5 days for learning the layout. Accommodate into your schedule the extra time needed to complete tasks due to the slower typing speed while learning the layout. Its usually a waste of effort to practice more than 2 hours per day.
  • The "cold turkey" approach: this approach is the most difficult, and it isnt always practical, but it will speed up significantly the learning process.
  • The "QWERTY by day, Colemak by night" approach: another approach that is more practical, and makes the transition easier.
  • To maintain your QWERTY skills type during the first 5-10 minutes of every day in QWERTY.
  • Use the typing tutorials straight away. Immediately after making the switch to Colemak complete at least the first three beginner lessons. Trying to type anything at this stage without doing any lessons first will be a very frustrating experience, and an inefficient use of your time.
  • Dont give up early. The first 10 days are going to be difficult, especially if you choose the "cold turkey" approach, but it will be worthwhile in the end.
  • After completing the beginner lessons, you might still want to practice QWERTY a few minutes each day so you wont lose your QWERTY typing skills.
  • If your right hand feels strained, try hitting the space bar with the left hand. Strain in the right hand is frequently caused by using the mouse. Learn to use the extra backspace on the Caps Lock key instead of the normal backspace.
  • If you experience a sudden drop in accuracy, you should take a short break before continuing.
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