people type by looking at the keyboard and tapping the keys
with only a few fingers. This method is called the "hunt-and-peck"
method because the typist needs to visually locate each key
before tapping it.
People who use the hunt-and-peck method generally use only
a few fingers, usually two or three, whereas an expert typist
uses all ten fingers. A hunt-and-peck typist is therefore
much slower than an expert typist. Moreover, since the hunt-and-peck
typist must look at the keyboard, the typist is unable to
focus on the work and this affects the quality of the output.
In addition, some doctors believe that the hunt-and-peck method
can increase wear and tear on the fingers, which over long
periods of time can cause osteoarthritis.
typists use all ten fingers and they do not look at the keyboard.
This method of typing is called "touch-typing" (a
recent definition of the skill of using the keyboard without
looking at the keys is "touch keyboarding").
Typing Speed and Productivity
Handwriting has a speed of approximately 20 words per minute
(WPM). This can increase to 80-100WPM for a skilled touch-typist
thus almost reaching the speed of speech (120WPM). The hunt-and-peck
typist on the other hand can type as slowly as 10WPM, especially
if the typist needs to look at a source document.
Therefore the gains in efficiency that can be derived from
learning to touch-type are considerable. It has been calculated
that a computer operator, who uses the computer 4 hours per
day, would save 29 working days per year if he could touch-type!