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
Q. Dvorak keyboard - what is
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
Q. Voice input - is it for
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
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? 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
Q. Can students learn at their
own pace with Tool Factory Keyboarding? 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
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
Q. What awards has Tool Factory
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
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?
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
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.