Type Fu is an online, touch typing learning tool. It requires no downloads and no account. I already type at around 60 wpm, but I do not touch type: like a lot of people today, I have developed a hybrid typing style built up from pattern recognition, flicking my eyes between keyboard and screen and proofreading. So I tried out Type Fu in a few different ways.
Sticking to the rules
I started out with good intentions. As the picture shows, what appears on screen is a series of words for you to type and a picture of which finger you should be using to type each letter. Because my typing style is built more around remembering the relationship between different letters, starting out with all the keys that are on the same line of the keyboard was actually really hard for me, but it was easy to follow the instructions, and I can see that with practice I would improve.
When you complete a line of text, Type Fu gives you the results. Press enter and the next line comes along: the tool is remembering your scores and problem areas and delivering lines of text that target your weaknesses – rather clever really.
But seeing such a low score brought out my competitive nature. Knowing I could type faster if I cheated, I did!
Learning some lessons
Whilst this tool is built to teach you to touch type, and with such a simple design I think it would do so very well, it can also help you identify weaknesses in your own typing style. I switched to my normal (cheating) stye of typing to see how I shaped up, and it turns out there are certain letters or combinations that throw me.
I also realised how hard it was to get back into the rhythm of typing when I made a mistake. This makes me think, despite doing quite well with my current style, that learning to touch type properly might be worth the effort. And arguably, if you can type without looking down, it can improve your posture.
As I mentioned, Type Fu will track your progress and history, tailoring each line of text to your weaknesses and gradually increasing their difficulty. You have the option to review your speed, accuracy, most typed and most mistyped keys, which is helpful to track your progression if you decide to genuinely study and practice.
This is a lovely, clean and simple touch typing tool, but it lacks one thing: excitement. As virtuous as it would be to learn to touch type, there is nothing on this site that encourages me to keep going back and practice.
If you want some fun while you learn I recommend you get a PC and the retro game The Typing of the Dead. Typing accurately to save yourself from zombies is definitely more exciting and motivating!