PROS / UltraKey's skills assessments differentiate between typing errors for truly accurate progress tracking.
CONS / This program has no numeric keypad instruction.
VERDICT / UltraKey's exceptional usability, reporting functionality and training module make it the go-to typing tutor for home users, corporations and schools.
UltraKey 6 is powerful typing software that is nearly three decades in the making. Developed by educators with years of experience, this application employs an effective success-based methodology. Instead of adhering to an essentially game-based platform, as some typing applications do, UltraKey 6 uses a goal-oriented approach to motivate and reward people looking to develop their touch-typing skills.
The program charts a clear and attainable course to becoming an expert typist, with an accumulative curriculum, easy-to-understand lesson objectives and personalized performance goals. This effective and proven approach to typing instruction, in conjunction with rich functionality and simple usability, earns UltraKey our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award as the best typing software.
This typing test software is engineered for schools and other community or business enterprises, but is also great for home use. With the ability to add up to eight users, each member of the family can learn to type at his or her own pace.
With logical instruction, each lesson builds on skills learned in previous lessons, creating a cumulative learning experience. The software is composed of hundreds of comprehensive lessons, skills checks and tests and typing exercises. The lessons are designed to help you evolve from making conscious, isolated keystrokes to fluid, habitual typing. UltraKey accomplishes this by first introducing single letters at the beginning of a lesson and then progressing to letter combinations and sentences that use those letters.
Each exercise begins with a clear set of instructions and objectives. This is important because you begin each application understanding how it will help you develop as a typist. UltraKey adapts to each individual typist for more effective training and allows you to progress at your own pace. The software recommends lessons and performance goals based on an initial skills assessment. You can also repeat any lesson or typing exercise for additional practice.
Other critical training tools include warm-up exercises to mentally and physically prepare you for lessons, and timed typing tests that last up to five minutes. The software also teaches proper typing posture and positioning in its first lesson. In fact, it places such a strong emphasis on proper typing technique that it reminds you of proper positioning at the beginning of each exercise and frequently prompts you to take stretching breaks between exercises to prevent fatigue and poor posture.
UltraKey supplements its training with instructional video tutorials. These videos outline and explain essential keyboarding concepts. The software also provides audio instruction: you can have any of the application's content read aloud. The audio instruction is not necessarily intended for dictation purposes, but it can be used that way. Unfortunately, this software does not include 10-key instruction. If entering numeric data is an important part of your skill development, this program won’t help you with that.
While UltraKey's primary focus is on its core typing curriculum, the application delivers all of the supplementary features that are essential in top-notch typing software. For example, it utilizes an interactive virtual keyboard. When you make typing errors, the hands on the keyboard show you the proper sequence of typing for that particular exercise. A virtual keyboard in typing software helps you learn and develop accurate typing reflexes.
A standout feature of the software is its intuitive interface. The polished graphics give the application a modern look and feel that will appeal to people of all ages. There are also exceptional personalization options. The typing software comes with 12 different interface themes. The interfaces are about more than mere aesthetics – they are designed to adapt to a wide range of user preferences and learning styles. There are even themes and options designed for typists with disabilities or special needs, such as the visually impaired. For optimal visual comfort, you can also customize the font as well as adjust the brightness and contrast on the interface.
An additional noteworthy feature is this application's cross-platform functionality. You can install UltraKey on up to three computers, and if you have a mix of Mac and Windows computers in your home this program will accommodate both. The virtual keyboard mirrors the type of machine you use.
Progress reporting is another area in which UltraKey excels. The typing software provides progress charts whenever you complete a lesson, skill check or typing test. You can also view a progress report at any time to assess your overall progression through the application.
Most typing software tracks both typing accuracy and speed, and UltraKey is no exception. However, this application's skill assessments are more precise and in-depth than what is found in most typing software on the market. To attain an accurate words-per-minute rate, the typing software presents typing tests that last up to five minutes.
In terms of accuracy, the application doesn't just give you an approximate accuracy percentage; the software analyzes the nature of your typing errors and correctly pinpoints missed keys, wrong keys, incorrectly inserted keys and your total number of errors. Such comprehensive assessments are a great way to provide accurate tracking and correctly diagnosis typing errors. The software even suggests lessons and exercises based on your typing patterns and the types of errors you make.
Beyond its progress tracking, UltraKey recommends performance goals based on your current typing capabilities. You can also set your own goals, whether you want to attain a specific speed target or eliminate typing errors.
The typing software provides versatile management controls for administrative users, such as teachers, employers and even parents. Managers have complete control over user tracking, reporting and customized options for their group of users. UltraKey offers cloud-enabled data management for its multi-user clients. This means that user records are conveniently stored in the cloud and can be accessed from the UltraKey desktop client.
Help & Support
Given UltraKey's notable usability, it is not likely that you will run into many issues while using the software. However, there are additional support resources that can help you use the application more effectively.
In addition to the videos, you can access a user guide and help links directly from the software's interface. There is also a manager's guide that details how to manage and track multiple users. For direct technical support, you can contact the manufacturer via telephone or email.
UltraKey 6 makes it easy to learn how to type with its unique, success-based training and accurate, in-depth progress tracking. The software's intuitive and customizable interface ensures an educational typing experience that is fine-tuned for your personal preferences and learning style. Whether you are looking to improve your keyboarding skills or searching for effective typing applications to use at an enterprise level, UltraKey 6 is exceptional typing software that will help you achieve your typing goals.