Typing speed improvements over time

@dabigkahuna, I’ve found that @wmertens is correct. While reading your post and what Wout said about F11 through F15, I decided to try. I went to the app, enabled functions in Settings, tapped Apply, then ‘jumped’ onto my iMac to test those particular functions. While holding down what are labeled the “L” and apostrophe keys to make F11 through F20 “functional” (but not while this website with its open reply window which I’m composing in is in the foreground) the four function keys behaved exactly as Wout described. Another eureka moment–thank you, @wmertens.

I was looking at my settings and functions was on, but “apply” was an option so I went through that. Now my tests (with the preferences keyboard function option unmarked) the same for the first 10. F11 also did the same thing as before, but nothing for the rest. I wonder why our results are different?

Curiouser and curiouser…I opened my iMac’s System Preferences and clicked Keyboard. Then chose the Shortcuts tab. Just as we’ve heard tell, there are only two Display shortcuts; F14 & F15, and both are checked. In Mission Control, Show Desktop and Show Dashboard are F11 & F12, respectively, and those (among a bunch more, but not all) are checked. Out of necessity, Dvorak requires that we set the Input Source to U.S., but not from the Keyboard Input Source tab, but from the menu bar, ensuring that the “Show Input menu in menu bar” box is checked for Keyboard. If I understand what you’ve written, check the boxes that I’ve prattled on about here, and have another go. I tend to dismiss the Apple wireless keyboard numbered function keys because, a) they confuse me, and b) I trust Wout and the keyboard shortcut numbers. Oh, and c) because unlike some other things I have tried, these happened to work.

Still confused and getting the same results, but it may have to do with understanding the above quote.

When I looked at the various shortcuts, there was a warning icon on both mission control and keyboard. When I opened Mission Control, it had that icon next to “switch to desktop 1” (also 2 so I guess they alternate). They were marked as ^F8. In the keyboard section of shortcuts, the same combo was marked and said Move focus to status menus.

So I unchecked the switching desktop option. Didn’t change my results though.

Which brings us back to the quote. When I looked at the input source, it had both Dvorak and U.S. showing with Dvorak selected. You say NOT to select the U.S. from that tab so I should have it right. I have U.S. chosen from the menu bar.

But I tried changing the input source item to U.S. but it didn’t change anything.

May have figured something out. First, I went back to the input source to go back to Dvorak but it had already done that. Don’t understand that.

But then I took my old Apple keyboard and removed the batteries. Normally I’ll occasionally go back to it from time to time. I just wondered if there was some interference. After disconnecting it, most F keys still didn’t do anything but these did:

F9 - whatever it is called when it displays all open windows at once.
F10 - whatever it is called when it displays all open windows just for the active app.
F11 - show desktop
F14 - dim screen
F15 - brighten screen

Nothing for F12

Apparently the volume change my Apple keyboard allows using F10 through 12 can’t be done with F keys but requires the media key options. Not always the most convenient unless the firmware later allows multiple keyboards you can switch to quickly - preferably without even taking the Jump approach. Then, in situations where I might want to affect the volume without using both hands, I could switch the layout before setting the keyboard aside, but if I need a volume change I could just reach out and hit one key that I had programmed.

Apple keyboards do not have stand alone function keys. The F1-F12 are secondary assignments to the keys and must be preceded by the fn key when used as if they were function keys.
For example F1 is the secondary function of the display dim key, F2 is the secondary function of the display brighten key, etc. To call the function assigned to F1 you must press both the fn and the F1 key.


@brotherlea, @dabigkahuna: I went into the OS X keyboard settings, and moved the mission control shortcuts around so I can do app expose etc with F11-F13. I put switching desktops on F16-F17 and moved the dashboard to F18.

If you want to move vol up/down elsewhere you’ll have to use Karabiner.

There is an option to use the fn key either way. One as you describe or the opposite.

Correct you can make the keys as standard F keys from the setting area of OS X but then you would have to precede the dim key with fn in order to dim the display. Pressing the same key without pressing fn would then give you whatever you have assigned to f1.

1 Like

I did some more tests April 3rd and all ranged6rom 49 to 62. But I’ll be slowing down for awhile as I take another approach in my training. Primarily I’m going to focus on how I use the shift key with the sticky trick. Instead of holding shift an the letter, I’m going to try to always just tap it and then hit the letter I want capitalized. Mark mentioned the world’s fastest types basically does this - in his case, using caps lock and then releasing it rather than holding the Caps key. With the TB, this should work even better and it eliminates the hassle of getting a capital A, for example, since I am not used to even using the right hand shift key. Using this approach for all capitals will take some effort. I expect along the way I’ll start to focus on other items I’m particularly bad at, like the hyphen, colon, and parenthesis that I use a lot.

A idea for something WayTools might want to add to their app would be a typing test where you can enter particular letters and symbols you want to focus on and the app would create test material that includes more of them, but without bogging you down with lots of them. Letter combinations could be listed too.

April 4th typing speed. A couple of points first. As I mentioned before, I’m trying to adjust how I do capitals and, while I like this new approach, it also messes me up sometimes and so it slows me down for now. But I also found a quirk in the website I use to testing: speedtypingonline.com

If you correct errors, no matter how far back you go, you’ll get an inaccurate high speed. For example, just now I typed a handful of words at 64 wpm with no mistakes and then I just typed gibberish on purpose over another handful of words. My average speed went down to nothing. then I deleted back to the first mistake and resumed typing. It showed my speed at near 40. I repeated this process twice more during the 1 minute test and ended at 38 wpm (raw speed was 39 wpm). It said 75% accuracy. I don’t know what formula it is using, but if you look where it tells you the actual number of words I typed, it was only 22. Now, those were words rather than the old 5 letters per word average, but still, it was way off.

I tried it again, typing about 14 words well and then deleting back to the first two. After the 1 minute test, it said I had averaged 19 wpm at almost 99% accuracy, but the actual word number was just two.

So, I now try NOT to correct mistakes, which I guess is what you would have done with old typewriters on speed tests since stopping to fix those errors would take a song time!

But since I’m usually not correcting them, except occasionally out of habit) that actually means the same quality of work gives lower scores which is probably why I only have one below that is over 60 even though I’m getting better.

wpm… accuracy… raw speed April 4th
41… … 94.9… … …51
54… … 96.6… … …65
53… … 97.4… … …61
48… … 96.0… … …66
44… … 96.3… … …54
51… … 95.9… … …64
47… … 96.2… … …58
58… … 97.3… … …67
54… … 97.4… … …61
56… … 99.3… … …58
62… … 98.8… … …66

wpm… accuracy… raw speed April 5th
55… … 97.6… … …59
53… … 95.8… … …67
57… … 98.1… … …63
56… … 98.7… … …60
57… … 98.7… … …61
57… … 98.7… … …61
66… … 98.3… … …72

Graph? Key hero would have created one automatically

Mine is depressing :blush:

Not sure what’s happening, today seems to be going badly type-wise - I’m mostly making mistakes against the Colemak layout but there are some wrong key hits as well due to the TB.

On the internal keyboard I’m scoring even worse :smile:

I’ve been messing with key hero. Certainly like some things about it, but not how it handles some other things. For example, you can’t see where you are in word until the word is done. Worse, when you make an error, it is harder to figure out exactly where to go back to. Which means any error really slows me down a lot just trying to figure it out!

But, I’m working on it and just now I managed 67.03 wpm and 100% accuracy! Of course, the quote I was given was only 2.5 lines long, but I’ll take it!

1 Like

67 WPM, nice! My record is 62, the one I made the video of, was first take and I wasn’t logged in so it didn’t store it. I should perhaps make videos all the time :sweat_smile: .

Today seems to be going better with making mistakes vs Colemak, I’m chalking it down to not getting enough sleep lately. Went to bed early and tests improved. I felt fine but the keyboard tests don’t lie! Sleep is important…


I just tried keyhero for the first time today. Realized I needed to turn off auto-correct in system settings otherwise weird things would happen. Here are my results.

My very best was 104 WPM. Average, 71.

Typed on TextBlade QWERTY.


Nice scores, something to aspire to :slight_smile: I just hit 68wpm on https://www.keyhero.com/online-typing-test/2021/

at the very least you prove that the TB is absolutely usable as your main keyboard.

Yep, as I started the typing test I had a moment of worry that perhaps TextBlade would result in a permanent performance decrease, but I’m glad that it seems totally possible to meet or even exceed my speed on a traditional keyboard. I think I’m going to start referring to that as a legacy keyboard now. :wink:


I don’t usually do typing tests, but thought I would get a baseline on my MacBook Pro keyboard before starting on a TextBlade. I am not a competition typist by any stretch. Using keyhero.com: