Best Typing Software 2019 - Free, Paid Programs for Student & Adults
We spent 25 hours testing and researching typing software until our fingers were sore. Based on its thorough instruction and wide variety of lessons and games, Typesy is our pick for the best program overall. This software teaches you through touch-typing exercises and video instruction, something that stood out among other programs. You can create up to five users on one product license and save your progress using cloud storage. This means you can use it on your laptop while traveling, save your work, and continue on your desktop at home later.
With hundreds of lessons and activities and compelling learning strategies including video training, Typesy is the best software available.
This free online typing program is a perfect refresher if you already know how to type and just want to practice. It gets straight to the point without making you log in or create an account.
UltraKey 6 can take someone who isn’t familiar with using a keyboard and teach them how to type accurately and quickly.
With hundreds of lessons and an easy-to-use interface, Typesy is the best typing software out there. It puts an emphasis on lessons and achievement-based learning (rather than games), so you really feel like you’re progressing quickly. This application can be used by up to five users, and since it is cloud-based, you can use it on any computer.
In our testing, we found Typesy’s lessons, games and exercises helped us type faster and more efficiently. The program also includes detailed video instruction that clearly explains the correct way to place your hands and hit every key with speed and accuracy. Every video is followed by exercises so you can get better at that particular skill before moving on to another.
This program lets you know how you're progressing with progress reports noting your words per minute and adjusted words per minute, which factors in how many errors you make. This kind of feedback is crucial in figuring out weak spots and addressing them through repeated exercises. With some typing software costing upward of $40, Typesy has a reasonable price point, making it ideal for your household.
Typesy recently released an updated version of its typing software, which we know includes additional lessons and exercises. Our links go to the new version, and we will update this page with additional information once we fully test it. We’re confident it will remain one of the best typing programs you can choose.
We tested free typing programs to find out if any no-cost options have enough features to compete with the for-pay software, and Typing.com does just that. You can select from a 1-minute, 3-minute or 5-minute typing test and start working on your speed and accuracy right away.
The site has 45 courses ranging from easy to difficult, with 10 to 20 short lessons in each course that take about a minute to complete. While there aren’t as many lessons as there are with some of the more expensive programs we tested, they’re just as comprehensive. There are also eight games if you need to take a break for some fun. Teachers and students can even create accounts for use in the classroom.
We found that free typing software including Typing.com did not offer as many lessons and tests as some of the best for-pay applications. However, if you just need a short refresher course or to take a timed typing test to apply for a job, you may not need to invest money in an application. Worst-case scenario, if you run out of lessons and feel like you need more instruction you can invest in another software title without feeling like you wasted your money.
Best for Beginners
UltraKey 6 shows you how to do absolutely everything when it comes to typing, making it perfect for someone who isn’t familiar with a keyboard at all. Lessons cover topics including correct posture, hand placement and individual finger training.
A lot of typing software for adults operates under the assumption that users already know typing basics. This isn't the case for UltraKey 6, which walks you through every step until you're typing with speed and accuracy.
First, you start off with a skill assessment. Based on your ability, the software assigns you a goal to shoot for as you work. Don’t worry, though; if you’re struggling you can adjust your goal manually within the software. You can also turn on an audio dictation option if you find it makes typing easier.
This program gives you access to more than 700 typing exercises for up to eight different users. Your progress is saved on a cloud management system, giving you access to your lessons from different computers. The interface, while a little dated, is easy to use and streamlined so you're not distracted by a bunch of unnecessary graphics or a storyline.
Typing Instructor Platinum has a playful travel theme and moves you through time and around the world during its lessons.
It also includes more games than any other software we tested, making it a suitable program for learners of all ages. After you pass each lesson, you get a stamp in your passport. You set goals, and the software’s ample reporting features help you carefully curate a learning path to reach them. Its reports include details like which hand, fingers and keys you need to work on. Each of Typing Instructor Platinum’s 35 destinations focuses on different keys, and the software includes speed building and accuracy drills. With its good feedback and engaging activities, Typing Instructor Platinum can keep you entertained as you increase your WPM speed.
Best for Professionals
While KeyBlaze includes plenty of games and lessons, many of its 161 activities use documents with real-world applications.
For example, during the lessons you type office and legal documents as well as poetry and prose. As such, KeyBlaze is best for adults. It also has lessons that walk you through 10-keypad use and includes activities to help you practice taking dictation. KeyBlaze doesn’t populate information about your skill level or create customized lessons automatically, but you can create your own lessons. The software provides enough reporting information for you to identify where you need to improve so you can design lessons that target those areas. Each license you buy can have multiple accounts and profiles, but the software can only be downloaded onto one computer.
Why Trust Us
When we’re not testing the products we review, we’re typing about them. This page, for example, has over 1,600 words, and I typed every single one. Then my editor took a stab at it, which meant more even more typing. Basically, it’s a miracle our fingers haven’t all fallen off yet. We know the value of learning to type quickly and accurately. We’ve also been reviewing typing software since 2005, so we’ve watched the lessons, graphics and learning methods change over the years, becoming much more effective.
Each time we update our typing software recommendations, we gather the most popular and highly rated options to test. We check out the functionality, evaluate the effectiveness of the lessons and keep track of how each program tracks progress. We know learning styles differ – some of our reviewers think games and success-based training are fun and while others prefer a straight-forward approach to improve efficiency at work. We call on a wide range of typists to help test typing software so our recommendations are well-rounded and accurate.
How Much Does Typing Software Cost?
Some of the best typing programs are free, though their reporting features are usually limited unless you create an account. Still, their activities can help you improve your speed with practice. You can also purchase and download programs, usually for less than $50. These for-pay applications usually provide more specific recommendations for improvement in their reports. Nowadays, many programs are offered as subscriptions. We recommend choosing a subscription software because you only need to pay for it as long as you need it, which keeps costs low.
How We Tested
We spent 25 hours tested typing applications, taking note of the number and types of lessons each has. We found that the most effective typing software uses a variety of teaching methods, including timed exercises that promote quick typing and dictation practices that teach the skills you need to transcribe. The more exercises there are, the more useful the software, and having lots lessons to choose from keeps you from getting bored. Some programs allow you to create custom lessons so the software can grow with you as your typing improves.
We also evaluated how intuitive each program’s interface is. The best typing software makes content easy to find so you can customize your learning path to suit your needs. A well-organized user interface also allows you to spend more time polishing your typing skills and less time learning how to use the software.
Feedback is crucial when learning how to type, and the best programs let you know which specific keys and fingers you struggle with. Detailed reporting provides insight into which lessons you need to revisit and can identify lessons you may not need to complete to advance your skills.
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What Is Important When Shopping for Typing Software?
Ease of Use
It can be stressful mastering a new skill. While you’re learning, you don’t need the added stress of dealing with a less-than-intuitive interface, so it’s crucial to find a typing program with a simple, clear-cut layout. We found that the best programs have a clean, modern interface that is well organized, with tabs, buttons and other functions clearly labeled. You should be able to find lessons, quizzes, games and reports quickly, and mid-lesson instructions should be clear and easy to follow.
Being able to type quickly and accurately makes you more valuable in the workforce and looks great on your resume. Knowing how to use all parts of the keyboard, including the number and symbol keys, can help you type more efficiently while you’re at work. It also makes search engine and social media use go a little more smoothly, as well.
Most beginner and intermediate courses don’t let you practice with the types of content the average adult would encounter in a professional setting, but Typesy and KeyBlaze both have exercises that can teach you how to type materials such as legal documents and marketing content, and they even have 10-key exercises to improve your data entry skills.
The vast majority of people learn to type on the standard English QWERTY keyboard. However, there are a few alternatives out there that claim to be more ergonomic or efficient. Type Fu and Master Key both include lessons for the Dvorak keyboard layout, which is the second most popular type of English keyboard.
Licensing & Installs
If you plan to use your typing software on a single computer, there’s no need to stress over licences and installs. However, if you think you may need to use it on multiple computers, double check that the program you want to purchase allows for that. Some offer two or three installs with a single license, while others lock it down to one. A few have no limitations, allowing you to access the program as you please. Bulk licenses for schools or businesses may also be available at a discount if you talk with the manufacturer.
Help & Support
Learning to type is relatively straightforward, but sometimes the program you are using may not be. And should you have a question or concern, it’s nice to know that there are tutorials, FAQs and other helpful resources available to you whenever you need them. All of the programs we tested supply email and phone support, and most of them have informational resources right on their websites.