Why Use Mac Typing Software?
The top performers in our review are Typing Instructor Platinum 21, the Gold Award winner; CueType, the Silver Award winner; and UltraKey, the Bronze Award winner. Here's more on choosing Mac typing software to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 products.
Our everyday lives increasingly rely on computers and the internet. You can shop, communicate, learn, create and share online, but you won't be able to do much if you spend hours hunt-and-pecking away at your keyboard. Mac typing software helps you learn how to touch-type with speed and accuracy on your Mac computer, making you more productive and focused to save time for more important tasks. This handy software makes it easy to learn the skill at work, at school or from the comfort of your own home.
What Are the Perks of Learning How to Touch-Type?
Touch typing is a technique that allows you to read and type simultaneously without looking at the keyboard. It cultivates more accurate and rapid typing, which saves time, boosts your productivity and improves your efficiency, whether you're on the job or communicating on social media during your free time. This critical skill can boost your value as a worker and potentially help you earn more money. As is the case with learning to play a musical instrument, learning to touch-type with proper posture and technique reduces the chance of incurring an injury, such as repetitive strain injury.
Typing software is designed to help you gradually learn how to type letters, numbers, symbols and words using this proven method. If you are a beginner, this type of software can teach you the basics and much more at your own pace and on your own schedule. Typing software lets you set goals, provides progressive typing exercises that build upon the skills you've already learned, and tracks your progress as you improve over time.
Anyone can learn how to type, including kids, if they use typing for kids software. When kids learn to type at a young age, they learn a skill they'll likely use for the rest of their lives. For more on learning how to type or improving your typing skills on your Mac computer, whether you're a teenager or an adult, check out our articles on Mac typing software.
Mac Typing Software: What We Evaluated, What We Found
As we tested the software, we checked out what kinds of lessons, games and tests it included. We looked for customization options, hints and coaching options. We also tested the reporting functions, various keyboard layout options and each company's technical support. As we worked with and evaluated the software on this lineup, we found some vital criteria to consider before you make your decision.
Feature Set: Enjoy Customization & Detailed Reports
Typing software should be easy for you to use on your Mac, letting you customize text and adjust settings as needed. Nothing makes learning more difficult than a lack of customization to suit your personal needs. Many of the programs on our lineup let you customize font sizes or train on different keyboard layouts, like AZERTY, QWERTZ or Dvorak. Some include a separate program for learning to type on the 10-key number pad found on large keyboards. A few of them even have a built-in audio dictation function, which allows the program to read instructions or typing prompts aloud, making it easier to use.
Your typing software should be targeted toward your specific age group and allow multiple users to access and train with it. The best Mac typing programs track your progress and keep you informed of your strengths and weaknesses in accuracy and speed. To better aid you as you train, good software has sounds signifying correct or incorrect buttons pressed. Some programs offer video instructions before each section, alerting you of what to expect in the upcoming lessons.
Games, Lessons & Tests: Learn All the Things
The best typing software provides you with lessons that suit your skill level, whether you're a complete beginner or just want to brush up on your skills. Consider a program that makes you take an initial skill assessment, as this can help you begin your course in just the right spot. The software should also have an adaptive learning capacity that monitors your progress and even prompts you to repeat any lesson in which you do not pass certain benchmark skills. This concept makes it easier to track what you struggle with and motivates you to keep practicing and improving.
You can expect any of these programs to offer guided lessons and timed typing tests to record your progress. A few have a virtual keyboard and hands on the screen so you can see exactly where you need to place your hands and fingers.
A great program also includes typing games to relieve some of the stress of learning while still acting as an educational tool. Look for software that has a variety of games, as well as typing test prompts with emphasis on certain letters, numbers, symbols, words and phrases in case you have specific weak spots on the keyboard. Also, ensure that the one you choose monitors and regularly alerts you of your speed and accuracy levels. Some of the software is ideal for children, while the majority is aimed at teenagers and adults.
Ease of Use: It's All About Smart Design
An application that is difficult to navigate creates stress and hinders your learning process. You should be able to easily understand how to install and maneuver the software. Additionally, the application should automatically save your progress and test results so you can enjoy learning without the stress of having to save your work every few minutes.
Help & Support: Tutorials Rule
Anytime you're learning something new, it's a sure thing you'll have questions along the way. In case you do run into problems, whether with installing or using the typing tutor software, both the application and developer should provide a wide variety of support resources. Make sure that updates are available for download and that you can access help via email, online forms, message boards, user manuals, FAQs or other resources.
Top Ten Reviews seeks, whenever possible, to evaluate all products and services in hands-on tests that simulate as closely as possible the experiences of a typical consumer. We obtained the software in our comparison through retail purchase. The manufacturers had no input or influence over our test methodology, nor was the methodology provided to any of them in more detail than is available through reading our reviews. The results of our evaluations were not provided to software manufacturers in advance of publication.
Mac Typing Software: Our Verdict and Recommendations
Three Mac typing software applications – Typing Instructor Platinum 21, CueType and UltraKey – rose above the rest in our comparison, mostly because of their expansive and helpful feature sets, how easy they are to use, and the quantity and efficacy of their lessons, games and tests. The Mac typing software you choose should be appropriate for your age and experience level, introduce new concepts to you at just the right pace, and keep you motivated with games, tests and thorough progress reports. These are the factors we weighed as the most important in our rankings.
Typing Instructor Platinum offers effective teaching tools and balances them out well with a variety of tests and games. The software has an intuitive interface with some customization options, a great reporting function, and generous customer support options for any problem or concern.
CueType has a large selection of lessons and tests that focus on speed and accuracy, all while gradually introducing you to the various keys across your keyboard. If you have any questions or concerns about installation or using the software in general, you can email the developer or check out its online resources. The software offers some customization options and simple reporting functions to keep you informed of your progress.
UltraKey has a large number of exercises for students of any level to work with. The quantity of exercises and variety of lessons let you tailor the program to your learning style and speed. You can easily keep an eye on your progress, as the detailed reports show your speed and accuracy, and take a break from learning to practice what you've learned with its games.
To help you be more efficient while using your Mac computer, whether you're at work or home, Mac typing software can teach you how to type quickly and accurately. You can learn new skills in lessons, practice them while playing games and take tests to ensure you've retained the lesson material. Learning to touch-type helps you communicate more effectively in our digital world and can boost your chances of being hired at a variety of jobs. The software we've reviewed here is optimized for computers running Mac OS X, but many of the typing applications are also available for Windows.