Though there isn't a magic formula to teach people how to type, learn to type with these four basic steps: find typing lessons, practice lessons, practice away from lessons and improve speed.
Step 1: Find Typing Lessons
Several websites offer free typing lessons for several different types of keyboard layouts including QWERTY, AZTERY and Dvorack. There are lessons to help learn keyboard layouts, to practice "home row" keys and lessons to test typing speed. Look around through various sources, trying different lessons from each place. This is the best way to find comfortable typing lessons to help improve typing skills.
If online typing lessons aren't the ideal option, there are several software options available from local retail stores to help improve typing skills. Many of the typing lessons online are free, whereas most of the software will require an investment. Other options include taking typing courses with the local community college and inquiring with community centers about where typing classes are held. Many communties offer typing classes for those who want to learn how to type or brush up their skills.
Step 2: Practice Typing Lessons
Practice is essential to learn how to type. Set aside time each day to practice typing lessons. Focus less on speed at first, placing more emphasis on accuracy and looking at the computer screen while typing. Looking at the keyboard while typing is a speed killer and will harm productivity even when typing becomes proficient. Don't expect to develop proficiency overnight, as typing skills take time to develop. Follow proper technique to increase accuracy and speed, while reducing the risk of injury. If you are tempted to look down at your fingers, use a light piece of fabric or paper as a cover over your fingers.
Step 3: Practice Typing Away from Lessons
Many people find they type much faster when they "know" what they want to type, rather than having to duplicate words on a screen or on a piece of paper. Practice each day using email, instant message or social networking to communicate with others online. This will likely be more enjoyable than simply regurgitating online lessons. If online socialization isn't ideal, try typing a letter to a friend in a word processor. Turn off the auto correct feature so typos can be seen. Focus on where the mistakes are made, and learn to fix them.
Step 4: Work on Speed
Once a person is comfortable with typing (in terms of knowing the keyboard layout and how to hold her hands on they desk to avoid carpal tunnel and repetitive stress injuries), one should begin to shift focus to typing speed. Many word processing jobs require a certain typing speed to be achieved, and the faster a person types, the more she will be able to get done in a certain period of time. There are many places available online for typing speed tests, which also focus on accuracy. Typing certifications are also available to prove typing skills to potential clients and employers.
Improving typing skills (accuracy and speed) is a wonderful way to add a bit more productivity into the workday. Be patient, and focus on getting it right before getting it done quickly. The less a person relies on spell check and auto correct features in a word processing program, the better their computer capabilities will become.