For some people, typing is something they pick up as they travel through life. For others, it’s an essential skill to be worked at, which is where the best typing software comes in. Whether you’ve never touched a keyboard before or want to bring your skills, and speeds, up to a new level, there’s something for everyone in our curated tally of typing tutelage.
If you’re unsure about how you want to proceed, there are some free trials, and completely free options, on offer that you can use to appraise your skills and identify any problems with your technique that need to be worked on. You’ll find touch-typing training, advice on hand positioning, and even important keyboard shortcuts you can use to make your experience in word processing apps a faster and more efficient one.
Children aren’t forgotten – instilling the basics of typing early in life can be an essential skill when we look at how much computers have come to dominate the modern workplace – but we’ve hived off that list as the best typing software for kids. There, you’ll find games and exercises that make learning to type fun. Perhaps it’s not just for kids after all?
Once you’ve mastered typing, you’ll want to put those skills into action, so check out our list of the best resume-writing apps, and maybe take things further with the best desktop publishing software too. Once you can type proficiently, there’s nothing to stop you busting out and using those skills creatively.
1. Typesy: Best typing software overall
We’ve listed Typesy as our best overall typing software 2021, and it’s not difficult to see why. Typesy has one of the largest range of lessons you’ll find on this list - there are hundreds of activities, videos and games available - and they cover a range of topics from touch typing, to management skills. You’ll be able to truly diversify your computer skills with Typesy’s help. The interface is clean, kid friendly, and created by experts, so if you’re teaching you can feel safe that the information has been collected by those in the know. All the typing progress is saved, and suggests your next class by how well you’re doing, tailoring your experience.
Starting at under $10 a month the subscription costs won’t break the bank, and as each download can be shared by up to five people, you’re getting a great rate for a comprehensive, and sharable platform.
Users on the program consistently praise its ease of use, along with the ability to access the platform from any internet-connected computer. A few users cite small problems with customer service marring their overall experience.
2. Typing.com: Best free typing software
Typing.com is by far the best free resource out there for typing software. The platform has a wonderful range of free pages that are perfect for adults and kids. As the name suggests Typing.com is a website so there’s no need to download any software onto your device. It also means that your lessons are available anywhere at any time, simply login and you’re learning again. All you need to use Typing.com is a Google account, so you can access Google Classroom, but don’t worry Google accounts are free too, and easy to set up.
Typing.com does have a paid for section to the site, which is mostly aimed at teachers. This gives you an ad-free experience, along with a wider range of games and activities for your students to enjoy. If you don’t want to sign up right away then the free account won’t end, and it has enough tools that you’ll get a great typing education anyway.
User reviews mostly focus on this paid-for experience, with teachers praising the ability to tweak and create classes for pupils.
3. KeyBlaze Typing Tutor: Best for adults
KeyBlaze isn’t for everyone: it’s definitely a package aimed at professionals, even if it looks very dated. The interface has a distinct 90’s look to the click and point dialogue boxes, but it makes sure that you’re practicing the best skills for the workplace. KayBlaze offers a little something extra than other typing software on this list – with 10 key support you’ll also learn how to integrate the numbered side of a larger keyboard into your touch type skills.
KeyBlaze is free to download, and should you decide to go premium then you’ll have access to loads more content, as well as the business-friendly version coming with a commercial licence. The company that has made KeyBlaze also offers a range of other software that you can add to your package. For a range of prices, you can also download image and video software. If you’re a professional looking for a solid choice of software, then look no further.
User reviews were mostly positive, with customers praising the effectiveness of the program - although there were also a few negative comments left by users who found the platform to be a little dated.
4. Typing Instructor Platinum: Most entertaining software
The world of typing software isn’t always the most fun filled. Typing Instructor Platinum changes all of that by giving users a huge range of diverse games and activities to engage with. You’ll find yourself taken all over the world with country specific games, that you’ll have online access to 24/7/365! TIP describes all of the games on offer as its arcade, and like an arcade you’ll be rushing from place to place, as their interface is easy to navigate.
With multiple typing plans on offer TIP caters to loads of different skill sets, and if you’re using the programme as a beginner then you’ll be able to follow it through until you’re a verified expert. Each game has multiple levels and as you complete and progress across the site, you’ll be given your own certificates to show off just how far you’ve come. With no software to download onto your PC the site is completely online, saving you previous memory. Just like Typing.com this online website means that you can login on the go, without needed to drag a device around with you. The site will save your progress and you can pick up where you left off.
It's not a completely free option, but it does have a very tempting 7-day package that costs just $3.99. User reviews are mostly positive, with customers saying that it massively improved their typing ability. However, a handful of complaints outline issues with installing the package.
5. Ultrakey: Best for beginners
Ultrakey claims that it can help you to become a master typist in just two weeks. The software has a broad range and hopes to be of use for beginners and experts alike. The company recognises the important for computer literacy and type skills in the modern workplace and has created a software that caters to people building these skillsets. The programme is compatible with most versions of windows and is currently available to purchase both on their website and through Amazon, although there is also a pared-back free version available.
Put in the skill level you want to achieve and Ultrakey will create a learning path to get yourself to that goal. Reviews of UIltakey show a huge range of users who are happy with the product. Ranging from parents who bought the software for their children (under 10), to college students, and even administrative professionals who have improved their work skills through Ultrakey.
Whilst the interface is colorful and interesting, it’s very dated and relies on a clunky hand animation to show where to place your fingers on the keyboard. Given that the programme is for beginners the animation style fits. If you’re already familiar with some type skills, then there are more inclusive options out there for you. Most user reviews on this product are fairly dated, but they're all very positive.
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 $20. 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.
Can you learn to type at any age?
Thankfully, yes. Although kids might pick up typing skills at an impressively quick rate, it's definitely still possible to learn this skill later in life as an adult. It's likely that you will need to put in some concerted effort here though, if you haven't picked up the skill passively.
How long does it take to learn to touch type?
This is largely dependent on how you approach learning, but most services report that students can accurately touch type with just 10 hours of practice. However, it's likely that the word rate will still be very low at this level, so it may take up to 40 hours before you are hitting the higher rates of something like 40 words per minute.
In theory, this means that you could learn to type within a few months, if you were putting in something like 30 minutes per day. But in reality, as students learn at different speeds – and people have life commitments that interfere with practice time – it could take several months before you're at this level.
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.