Sunday, June 7, 2015

Proper Typing

Before you read any more, go watch these video:

Typing Technique and Typewriter Design

Olympia SM3 Typewriter Introduction-skip to about 2:30 and watch until he's done talking about the touch regulator

I stumbled upon this while looking for something else. My only typing class was in 7th grade, and it was geared towards computer keyboards. I didn't learn how to type using all five fingers until I started writing fiction and realized I could be more productive.

When I started collecting typewriters, I had to fumble my way through proper technique and position with a lot of Google searches. There are no more typing classes available, to my knowledge (Richard Polt lives too far away for me to attend Xavier).

Whenever I evaluate a typewriter that I might want to rotate out of the collection, feel and function is very important. I've been experimenting with these techniques on my Olivetti 21 and have plans to do the same on the Royal FP and Olympia SM3. They have the heaviest touch of any other machines in my collection. It's too early to make much of a conclusion, but I'll say this much: pecking saves your hand strength. I've been using my 21 on the second-lightest setting, whereas I previously kept it on the absolute lightest setting.

I'm curious to see what you readers think about this, and what methods have helped you achieve a productive technique while maintaining comfort. Perhaps we can save it from becoming a lost art.

And now, a sad commentary on our modern society.

I snapped these pics at a local Walmart a few days ago.

Worth the risk? Please. They're not even doing it to feed their families. You're going to risk going to jail for a shirt made in a Chinese sweat-shop or another gimmicky smart phone that'll be out of style in a year?

Some people...


  1. I get that the 21 has a fairly heavy touch, but the fact that your FP and SM3 are both heavy surprises me. Olympia SMs are supposed to be incredibly light on the fingers. When I use mine it feels like I'm typing on a cushion of air. I also used to own an FP, and while it was not as light as an Olympia SM it was still far from heavy.

    I've never taught myself to use proper technique on a typewriter, unfortunately, and I've formed some bad habits that are proving impossible to break. At this point I've just given up and succumbed to my unnatural way of typing :(

    1. Well, I guess I should clarify. The FP is heavy-set compared to my KMM. The SM3 has a heavy shift, but the touch regulator is wonderful. My form isn't perfect either, but pecking the keys has made a noticeable difference. I just can't use those darn pinkies...