Home > Keyboarding Theory, Keyboards > New Keyboard Layout Project: Fast Typing Combinations

New Keyboard Layout Project: Fast Typing Combinations

It’s been a while since I posted anything about the New Keyboard Layout Project. But I recently downloaded Amphetype and have been analyzing my typing patterns, using MTGAP 2.0. So I now have some results, and will probably get more in the future.

The fastest trigraphs to type almost all are either a type of one key on one hand followed by two keys on the other hand, or they are a roll on one hand in one direction. Most of the slowest trigraphs alternate hands every time, and a good number of them are all on one hand in awkward combinations. The fastest words have easy rolls on both hands: what is currently the fastest word, “should” with an average of 176 WPM (hint: my average typing speed is about 85 WPM), uses a combination of hand alternations and easy rolls. In QWERTY, “should” would be typed as “jeaior”. The “ul”/”io” combination is very fast; also, “od”/”ar” is very fast, and the difference between the finger strokes to type “o” and “d” are very brief because the two letters in between are typed too fast. (Does that make sense?)

I will report more fast combinations after the program gets enough data for some better results.

  1. January 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I probably haven’t given as much thought you have to keyboard typing and layouts, but I just had this thought: maybe, instead of coming up with new layouts, we should came up with new ways to use the fingers in the layouts we’re already accustomed to.

    For example, after learning touch-typing in QWERTY, then one could learn to mix other fingers for easier combinations.
    For instance, typing “ce” using the index finger followed by the middle, as opposed to only the middle finger of the Left Hand.
    Or the word “numb” could be typed using index-middle-ring-index of the Right Hand, as opposed to the RH index-RH index-RH index-LH index that a common touch-typist would do.

    Maybe an approach like this, more similar to how a pianist learns the piano keyboard, and a guitarist learns the fretboard, would bring better results over the time. This way, the same word in different texts would have different fingering, just like the same chord have a different fingering in a different tune.

    What do you think?

    • January 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      That’s what the world’s fastest typist does: http://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?id=1309

      I think that sort of typing pattern can evolve naturally, but learning a series of new patterns is probably harder than learning a new layout. More importantly, a bad layout with different finger movements will never be as good as a good layout with normal finger movements, because standard touch typing is pretty much the fastest way to type, and any deviation from standard form will slow you down a little bit.

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