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The Numbers Pad

numbers keypad

Knowing how to type numbers is a gratifying and advantageous typing ability, especially if you work with numbers. Most of the time, our usage of numbers when writing documents will be limited to such entries as a date, a quantity, a price or some short-lived reference in your text. So it is not surprising that many people overlook learning the top row numbers of a keyboard fully and can get by with their adhoc usuage quite comfortably.

But what if your work or study involves dealing with figures and numbers on a daily basis? Then you may find not learning how to type numbers can be a real hinderance to your overall typing speed. In fact it would slow you back down, as any break from a natural typing rhythm can cause more errors than necessary as you find your key positions again.

As mentioned above there are two sets of numbers on a typical keyboard layout.

  • The numbers row along the top of the keyboard
  • The numbers pad to the right of the keyboard
The top row numbers are not well layed out for speed typing as the distance between key movements are far apart. For continuous number work, this would be an inefficient approach and tedious way to type. This is when you want to move to the next level of your typing expertise - the numbers pad (num pad).

Number Pad - Take Me Home

keypad finger positions Like the character keys on the main keyboard, there is also a Home position and fingering positions for the number keypad. In this case, the Home key is the number 5 key (which also has a raised dimple on it). This key would correspond to your middle finger (R3).

So the Home row for the number pad are: 4, 5, 6 corresponding to fingers R2, R3, R4. The little finger (R5) would control the Enter/Return key and the thumb (R1) would be positioned over the 0 key.

NOTE: If you have a left-handed keyboard where the the number keypad is on the left, then the finger positions would be reversed with the key sequences remaining the same.

As the numbers are laid out in straight columns, the movements of the fingers are now more intuitive.

  • The Thumb (R1) types the 0 key
  • The Index finger (R2) types key 1 4 7
  • The Middle finger (R3) types key 2 5 8 / [*]
  • The Fourth finger (R4) types key . 3 6 9 [* - +]
  • The Little finger (R5) types the Enter/Return
Finally, what we are left with are the Operator keys (/ * - +). If we follow the same pattern, then the middle finger (R3) should control the divide key (/) and the fourth finger controls the others (* - +). But some people prefer to use the Middle finger to control the multiply key (*) as it's easier to reach with that finger. At this point, i would just say, go with what you feel more comfortable and easier to use!