How To Type With One Hand

This article contains a video
Curated by
Whitney Bailey
Content via Ellie Erbs
Ellie Erbs
Curated by
Whitney Bailey

Ellie Smith lives with Brachial Plexus Paralysis (Erbs Palsy). She shares her own personal stories as well as tips and tricks on her blog (Ellie Erbs) to be a resource for those living a ‘one-able-handed’ life.

Ellie shares the following one-handed typing methods:

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a speech recognition software. Ellie says that to begin using the software you have a forty-five-minute piece to read and from then on speak into a microphone and watch the words you speak appear on your computer screen. “If you struggle writing with two hands and find typing with one hand causes aching than it might be worth a try,” she says.

Touchscreen And/Or On-Screen Keyboards

“Touchscreen keyboards can allow you to use your ‘erbs’ hand as you don’t need to press down keys,” says Ellie. An on-screen keyboard can be accessed on your computer by searching your program list. On-screen keyboards can be slower to operate but Ellie says this option can be beneficial if you prefer to use the mouse as opposed to the keyboard.

Memorizing Keyboard

The last method of typing is one that she prefers herself and that is memorizing the layout of the keyboard. She suggests trying to memorize your most used keys because being able to look at the computer screen proves for faster typing.

Ellie recommends avoiding the ‘hunting and pecking’ style of typing where only the index finger is used. Only using the index finger can potentially hurt your wrist. Using your thumb and four fingers eveningly can make typing quick and easy.

Ellie also suggests using a standard keyboard for typing with one hand. If you are right-handed Ellie states to place your index finger on the ‘F’ key and your pinky finger on the ‘:’ key. If you are left handed place your index finger on the ‘J’ key and your pinky finger on the ‘A’ key. Ellie says, “This (position) should allow you to use all the keyboard and to type fluently with ease, and aches should be less likely too as the typing is being evenly divided between your hand.”

As Ellie says, “Remember, practice really does make perfect!”

Do you use a specific method to type? Share your story with us at!

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