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I have a friend of mine who wants to learn to type. Yet he is still young and can't afford to buy any software.

Are there some free (offline) typing learning programs out there?

Thanks for all help!

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closed as not constructive by Mokubai, Canadian Luke, Renan, 8088, Daniel Beck Aug 11 '12 at 5:59

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for what operating system? – John T Nov 15 '09 at 0:08
It's for Windows! :-) – Shaharyar Nov 15 '09 at 1:50
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You should really specify what OS your young friend will be using, to help responders. Given the remark about lack of funds, I assume your young friend will use free software instead of paying M$ for a proprietary system.

Under gnu/linux there is a plethora of such software. Just three examples amongst the many others:

EDIT: as you specified you are looking for something for windows, here you can download a truly 100% free (i.e.: free-as-in-speech) typing tutor. Of course there are many more that are "free of charge for personal use", some of them are pretty good but you will find some of them is crippleware.

No preaching here: there is nothing wrong IMO in choosing to use a free-as-in-beer program, if you wish so. I think it is just important to distinguish between free software and freeware software, that's all.

As underlined by some other users, it is also important that you know what you are looking for in terms of functionality. The classical method for learning how to touch-type is by copying lines of text with words that are composed of letters whose position on the keyboard is increasingly further away from the 'neutral hand position' on the keyboard. In other words, given that the natural position of the hands on the keyboard is the one with the index fingers on the F and J keys, an easy word to type will be "LAD" (no finger moves from the 'neutral' keys) while a difficult one will be "ZINC" (as all the fingers need to shift).

The two parameters that a good tutor need to monitor are speed (normally expressed in Words Per Minutes / WPM) and accuracy (normally expressed as a percentage).

Any tutor that will monitor those two parameters and will increase the difficulty of the words to copy by progressively adding more difficult keys will do. The rest is just eye candy (again: nothing against it, I love fancy stuff myself... but I think it is important to know what is important and what is just a plus).

Hope this helps!

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thanks a lot! great answer :-) – Shaharyar Nov 16 '09 at 14:52
My pleasure! :) – mac Nov 16 '09 at 16:54

For Windows, Touch Typing Tutor is excellent. It is freeware and fully compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2003 & Windows 2000. They also have online typing tests.

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Of course it depends for what you mean by "free". The link you posted is free-as-in-beer (i.e.: free of charge for personal use). Nothing wrong with it, but I definitively would not call that "100% free"! ;) – mac Nov 15 '09 at 11:24
True, fixed for correctness. – John T Nov 15 '09 at 20:29

Whilst there are a few packages out there for touch typing, I honestly find them awful!

Real touch typing involves putting your index fingers on F and J and the rest of the hand on the same line, (also, it is rather bad for programming, as it often takes longer "thinking" about symbols").

The best thing you can do is not force yourself to a methodology of typing, but simply do it over and over again, copy a book if you want and you should learn your own style.

I would also recommend Type Racer, a fun online game to test your speed of typing against others.

That being said, your question was to recommend a free one - here is one for flash that does not require you to install anything (If you have flash installed!). Its interface sort of sucks, but you click on the lesson then click play - seems to work!

And, found a free one for Windows

alt text

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Typespeed is really basic, but super awesome.

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I have found typeonline useful.

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While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. – user3463 Aug 14 '12 at 7:23

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