RapidTyping is a mature touch type tutoring tool that supports users who need to learn how to use the correct fingers to type keys using a variety of keyboard layouts. Supported keyboard layouts include QWERTY, QWERTZ, AZERTY, ABNT2, and Dvorak for the left and right-handed.
The program supports novice and expert users who wish to improve on their typing skills. It is appealing to children, through its use of a game-like series of lessons with underwater themes. It is also appealing to the adult learner through the feedback given of speed (in characters per second), accuracy, highlights of errors in text typed and an analysis of each error by letter.
As each lesson is completed, the progress of the user is captured in the form of progress statistic for viewing at any time in the form of charts. The program then increments to the next lesson in sequence. Through this mechanism, the user is motivated to move to the next lesson. Another encouragement to continue with lessons as you become more proficient is to press the “Record” button to upload your score to the RapidType web site’s champion of the year hall of fame and the best of the month list. The web site also supports an online typing test to complement the package lessons.
One problem with the package is that, from installation, the lessons structure assumes a novice user who is starting from scratch with simple letter combinations. However, this can be quickly resolved either by selecting the “show lessons editor” button to the left of the main screen, and selecting word combinations for words starting with a prefixed letter, or the “text” option which supports full sentences with punctuation. Also, the web site provides an add-on of additional lessons which, when installed, appear at the end of the course listed as “Additions”.
The keyboard graphic which appears at the bottom of the active lesson screen also provides hints to the user on which fingers would be used on which keys to type the current character. Although not as polished as some of the commercial programs on the market, it nevertheless supports both novice and experienced users to assist them in becoming proficient typists. For those who prefer not to spend money on a commercial product, this program is worth trying.
- Increasingly more difficult exercises
- Supports personal exercises creation as well as downloadable additions from developer's site
- Selection of statistics displayed to encourage user to progress further
- It lacks of an initial lesson on how to position your fingers
- Could do with preconfiguration at startup for experienced users to move to more challenging lessons