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Minimizing Travel Distance

Minimizing finger travel distance is essential to maximizing your speed.

Finger travel distance is how far your fingers move from resting position to the keypress.  The benefit of using more fingers when typing, as well as using home row technique, is to reduce this travel distance as much as possible.

This is readily apparent with horizontal travel distance, but what’s not readily apparent is the importance of vertical travel distance.

Keeping fingers low to the keys will increase typing fluidity and speed.

Try typing something right now!  Keep your fingers as low to the keys as possible.  Go slowly and watch your finger positioning.  I’m assuming here that you’re typing on a mechanical keyboard or a laptop keyboard.  In either case, note that the key does not require immense pressure to actuate.  You don’t need to punch the key with your fingers, which means you don’t need to raise your fingers up high to generate energy.  Focus on typing with a motion of ‘flitting’ from key to key, keeping the vertical distance as low as possible, typing with only as much energy as required to actuate the key.

I made two videos to demonstrate the difference.

In this video, I demonstrate typical typing technique that doesn’t stay low to the keys.  Notice how high my fingers are from the keys, and how far they have to travel from their resting position to hit the keys.  Note in particular how the right thumb hovers high above the spacebar.

In this video, I demonstrate how I normally type, resting my fingers close to the keys, and minimizing travel distance to required keystrokes.  Notice how the right thumb stays close to the spacebar.

Try it out and let me know how it works for you!

Keyboard: Canoe with Holy Pandas.