Frequently Asked Questions
   
 

Tool Factory Keyboarding - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions - Table of Contents

Do you have a Tool Factory Keyboarding version for Mac?

What are the requirements to run Tool Factory Keyboarding Skills and Tool Factory Keyboarding Adventure?

All our training is through e-Learning. Can we use Tool Factory Keyboarding?

Why should students learn to type?

What is the difference between keyboarding and touch typing?

What is the home row and why is it important?

Dvorak keyboard - what is it?

What about typing and Repetitive Strain Injury or RSI ?

Voice input - is it for me?

How long does it take students to learn to use all ten fingers?

Posture - is this important?

Can I change from few finger typing to 10 fingers?

Is mental rehearsal and creative visualisation an important part of learning?

Can students learn at their own pace with Tool Factory Keyboarding?

Music while learning - does it improve the learning rate?

What is the difference between Tool Factory Keyboarding Adventure and Tool Factory Keyboarding Skills?

Does Tool Factory Keyboarding use a structured, recognized teaching method?

Do your courses teach posture and correct finger positioning?

What awards does Tool Factory Keyboarding have?

I failed with another typing program so maybe it is too difficult to learn?

What guarantee does Tool Factory Keyboarding offer?

How many people have claimed on your money back guarantee?

I have completed the Tool Factory Keyboarding course and want a certificate?

How do I create and import custom course content?

 

Q. Do you have a Tool Factory Keyboarding version for Mac?
A. Yes. Tool Factory Keyboarding Skills and Tool Factory Keyboarding Adventure are available for Windows and Mac. You must have OS X v10.2 installed and the Java 1.4.2 updates made.

Q. What are the requirements to run Tool Factory Keyboarding Skills and Tool Factory Keyboarding Adventure?
A. Win XP or higher 500 MHz;
Mac system OSX or higher; 128 MB RAM or higher.

Q. All our training is through e-Learning. Can we use Tool Factory Keyboarding?
A. Yes. Tool Factory Keyboarding Skills and Tool Factory Keyboarding Adventure will run as a browser application across your intranet. If you have specific questions please contact our technical department at Tool Factory.

Q. Why should students learn to type?
A. Students will hand in dozens of assignments amounting to hundreds of typed pages before they leave school, college or university.

Students can:

  • Save hours in each day if they can type using all ten fingers.
  • Enter their thoughts and ideas straight into the computer, when they can type as fast as they think .
  • Use the computer for non-game applications with confidence.
  • Learn other PC applications in 40% less time, do more in less time on the PC, giving others a chance to use the scarce computer resources.
  • Improve their job prospects - even casual work is better paid with a firm grasp of keyboarding skill.
  • Business managers recognize that two-finger poking is not a valid keyboarding method in the Information Age - they want efficient computer users who can touch type.
  • Fully utilize word processing tools.
  • A recent survey of families with PCs showed that 77% of parents say it is important for their children to touch-type properly.

Q.What is the difference between keyboarding and touch typing?
A. There is no difference between these two terms. "Keyboarding" specifically refers to typing on a computer.

Q. What is the home row and why is it important?
A. The Home Row keys are "asdf jkl;" keys on the computer's keyboard. You rest your fingers here after each keystroke. Once you get the hang of your fingers on these keys you will learn how far to move each finger to strike its group of keys. The Home Row is a reference point so that you don't need to keep looking at the keyboard.

Q. Dvorak keyboard - what is it?
A. It is a different layout of keys developed about 80 years ago by Dvorak. Its keys are laid out in alphabetical order. Dvorak's keyboard design is occasionally used, but not considered standard in the information age.

Q. What about typing and Repetitive Strain Injury or RSI ?
A. RSI is known under a number of different names in different countries. It might be called "Occupational Overuse Syndrome" (OOS), "Work Related Upper Limb Disorder" (WRULD, ULD), "Cumulative Trauma Disorder" (CTD), "Carpel Tunnel Syndrome" (CTS), "Occupational Cervico-Brachial Disorder", "Muscle-Tendon Syndrome", "Musculo-skeletal Injury" (MSI) or even "Mouse-Arm". It is a medical complaint usually involving pains in the hands and wrists felt by a small minority of keyboard users. Good posture, good keyboarding techniques, removal of stress, regular breaks from the keyboard, appropriate regular exercises are some of the factors that can reduce the incidence of RSI. Seek expert medical advice if you are in any doubt for your particular circumstances.

Q. Voice input - is it for me?
A. Very few people are able to dictate continuously. The flow of ideas is frequently interrupted by the requirement to put in punctuation, choose better English phrases and correct mistakes. Most people like to "feel" the flow of ideas.

Q. How long does it take students to learn to use all ten fingers?
A. It takes less than 10 hours to learn to type with 10 fingers at about 15 words per minute, and another 5 hours to reach hand written speed. A lesson a day over 10 days, and an additional 5 days of practice typing is recommended. If you have the energy we have a 2 day plan which is included in your Tool Factory Keyboarding User Guide. It is not for the faint hearted, but it will build your skill quickly!

Q. Posture - is this important?
A. One of the most important messages to come from ergonomic studies is that POSTURE IS IMPORTANT. The positioning of the keyboard, screen and chair can dramatically affect your typing speed and comfort when sitting in front of a computer for any length of time. The Tool Factory Keyboarding course contains a complete lesson that outlines correct posture while typing. This lesson is incorporated in all Tool Factory Keyboarding courses.

Q. Can I change from few finger typing to 10 fingers?
A. Yes. Hunt-and-peck is not a "skill" so you have nothing to unlearn. Comparing typing with a few fingers, to ten finger typing is like comparing crawling and walking. Most people who have learned with Tool Factory Keyboarding used a few fingers and decided to "get up and walk". Success depends on your determination to stick with 10 fingers after you have finished the course. It may feel a little awkward and slow at first, but it improves every time you type with 10 fingers until one day it just feels natural. Imagine yourself as this relaxed keyboard user who can produce text on the screen without conscious effort and your dream will come true
!

Q. Is mental rehearsal and creative visualization an important part of learning?
A.
Most definitely! Mental rehearsal means imagining yourself as a proficient typist. Ron Lawrence of Sydney, Australia has re-developed and refined these concepts in relation to learning to touch type. The help file in each Tool Factory Keyboarding course contains information on creative visualization and other tips. We also provide a mental rehearsal keyboard layout card for you.

Q. Can students learn at their own pace with Tool Factory Keyboarding?
A. Yes!
Every course will automatically adapt to the level of the learner so that typing skill are grasped in the shortest possible time period. Everyone learns at different speeds according to their abilities. Tool Factory Keyboarding recognizes this and guides students on the shortest path determined by intelligent analysis of their individual performance - without taking learning control away. It has short lessons and easy paragraphs of text so that students enjoy themselves as they learn. It provides silent remediation to remove weak keys to keep the feedback positive.

Q. Music while learning - does it improve the learning rate?
A. Many experts have researched and concluded that people are more receptive when they are listening to Mozart's music or any other Baroque music. However, we suggest you decide! We have not put any music on our CD as everyone has different tastes in music.

Q. What is the difference between Tool Factory Keyboarding Adventure and Tool Factory Keyboarding Skills?
A. Tool Factory Keyboarding Adventure has an animated adventure built into the structured course. Students set off on an interactive adventure with Kewala around Australia visiting new places and meeting new characters as they learn the keys of the keyboard and master new typing skills. It's full of interesting challenges, bonuses, adventures, animation, music and fun. Kids improve their reading skills while learning to type. Tool Factory Keyboarding Skills is a more formal course. It has audio feedback and some animation to simulate correct finger usage, but it does not center around an adventure nor does the text build into a story. Both courses contain the same proven learning techniques, adaptive learning, effective remediation, and instant feedback. Both courses contain a "Learning the keyboard" course, speed and accuracy courses, keypad course and punctuation course. Both courses can be used by people aged 6 and up. Our users tell us that many students in middle and high school prefer the animated adventure!

Q. Does Tool Factory Keyboarding use a structured, recognized, teaching method?
A. The student is guided thought the logically planned and structured course. The course is used by over four million people in 11 countries. It is internationally acclaimed and used by teachers and professionals in over 3,000 schools, colleges and universities.

Q. Do your courses teach posture and correct finger positioning?
A. Yes, as we believe it is essential. The first lesson tells them all about it. A section in the online help also teaches health and typing posture.

Q. What awards has Tool Factory Keyboarding received?
A. Tool Factory Keyboarding has received many awards and reviews since the very first version in 1982. In 1986 Australian PC World readers voted our Learn to Type course the most popular keyboard trainer. In 1987 it was placed on Japanese best sellers list. In 1990 and 1991 Learn to Type won the PC World Class Award, Best Australian Package. In 1991 it won a Codie at the US Software Publishers Association awards. In 1996 Australian MACWORLD readers voted Learn to Type their 1996 Education Software Choice. Tool Factory Keyboarding Adventure has carried on the tradition winning favourable reviews and awards since its launch in December 1996. In 1997 it was a finalist in the Best Of PC 97 Show awards. In 1997 Tool Factory Keyboarding Adventure won the Japanese SOFTIC for Education 1997 award, Top Education Course. In 1997 it was deemed one of the Best (Educational) products of 1997 by PC User. In 1998 Tool Factory Keyboarding Adventure was a Codies finalist for Best Home Education Product for Teenagers and Adults. In 2003 it was awarded Australian PC User Magazine as Top Buy.

Q. I failed with another typing program so maybe it is too difficult to learn?
A. Tool Factory Keyboarding is designed to have the most interesting and effective lessons possible. The intuitive lesson path helps to guide the user to a level of speed and accuracy unmatched for the amount of time invested.

Q. What guarantee does Tool Factory Keyboarding offer?
A. If within 30 days of purchase, and after completing all Tool Factory Keyboarding lessons, you have not improved your keyboard skills, then simply return the Tool Factory Keyboarding materials, a printed proficiency statement, your purchase receipt and the reasons for your dissatisfaction to Tool Factory for a full refund.

Q. How many people have claimed on your money back guarantee?
A. We guarantee to teach you to touch type. More than 99.999% of our clients have been completely satisfied and learned to type in the specified period. Fewer than fifty people from the four million+ users have asked for their money back.

Q. I have completed the Tool Factory Keyboarding course and want a certificate?
A. There is a Tool Factory certificate of progress available for download and printing at Worksheet Station. An official certification course is different, and will be offered shortly.

Q. How do I create and import custom course content?
A.
You can add your own curriculum-based text, right into Tool Factory Keyboarding, and create a custom speed or accuracy course. Refer to the Help file for a full and clear description.

In summary -

Create a txt file (not .DOC, etc.).

Name the txt file in the following format - Speed(or Accuracy)-Lesson Name - Lesson Number.txt

Examples:

  • Speed-Radio Broadcasting-02.txt
  • Accuracy-Radio Broadcasting-03.txt

The number endings can go from 01-99, each number can only be used once within a course, regardless of whether it is a speed or accuracy lesson.

Open Admin and go to Actions>Custom Course. This will open the "Add and Remove Courses" program. The lesson needs to be saved in a specific format.

Generate the course.

In installations where the Tool Factory keyboarding server is running on a separate machine to the client programs, the new course will not be available until either the server is stopped and restarted, or, the Admin program is used to make the server pick up the new course through the "Add Resources" entry in the "Actions" menu.

Additional questions? Contact support@toolfactory.com