5 Great Mac Apps For Learning To Type

In this great age of computers, typing is an absolutely necessary skill. Only being able to peck away at keys greatly inhibits any efficiency you might have, whether you’re typing a document for work, a term paper or even just an email. Luckily, there are a number of apps out there to improve your typing skills, from lessons for beginners or games that work with advanced typers to continue improving your WPM.

These programs encompass a wide range of functions. Some of the programs are very full-featured, including lessons from the very basics, games, tests and drills. Other apps come at a much lower price, and they tend to focus on only one type of exercise, whether it’s lessons or a typing game. Read on to check out some  great Mac apps dedicated to improving your typing skills.

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing

Easily the most full-featured and well known of these applications, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing has been a leader in this area for years for a reason: it works. Mavis Beacon offers a multitude of lessons, great for beginners and advanced users. Each lesson offers a number of drills as well as corresponding games and video lessons.

The newest version of Mavis Beacon features 17 action typing games and also allows you type news feeds, classic novels and song lyrics for fun ways to practice typing. You are able to practice dictation skills, create lessons, learn about posture and more. There are also Mavis Beacon programs for kids, so if you want a full-featured typing app, look no further than Mavis Beacon.

Price: $39.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Software Mackiev

Mavis Beacon

Spongebob SquarePants Typing

If you need an app that teaches children typing skills, Spongebob Squarepants Typing is great for them (or any other “grown-up” Spongebob fans). Spongebob’s typing program teaches touch-typing skills from the most basic level using 17 lessons and five different challenge levels. There is a story mode, drills, games and more.

Children are able to type out stories from the Spongebob show, compete in a tournament and pick up some great undersea facts. This program also offers a great statistics and tracking component.

Price: $19.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6
Developer: Encore Software

Spongebob Squarepants Typing

Typing Tournament v2

Typing Tournament is suitable for beginners and experienced typists of all ages. This app features a medieval story mode to progress through as you learn to type. In the end you battle the Dark Typist in a final challenge. Each lesson features drills, games and videos.

The app is fairly entertaining for being a typing app, and at the current sale price it’s definitely worth it. I wouldn’t recommend paying the full price for the app, however, as it doesn’t really have enough features or a nice enough interface to merit the price tag.

Price: $7.99 current sale price, normally $39.95
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: EdAlive

Typing Tournament v2

Typist

Typist is a no-frills, free typing tutor application. Typist offers a series of lessons and drills covering the basic keyboard and a number of drills to help increase your speed.

The program offers a great number of lessons, particularly for being a free app. There are a few annoyances that lack the option to turn them off, but for being a completely free app it’s well worth the hassle.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Takeshi Ogihara

Typist

Tooyan

Last but not least, there are a number of games available that are simple ways to practice typing in a fun environment. These games are typically fairly cheap and are great for more experienced typists.

Tooyan is a cute little game where you must pop the balloons that foxes are holding so that they can’t eat your pigs. It’s simple, cheap and a good way to practice typing every day.

Price: $1.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Dream Design Entertainment

Tooyan

Conclusion

These are just a few of the apps out there, but they encompass a broad range of the types of applications you’ll find in this arena. If you are a brand new typist, I would recommend the Mavis Beacon program as it provides the greatest feature set and teaches well for any level of typing skill. Advanced typists would be more suited to the less pricey alternatives, whether it is a game like Tooyan or the speed drills in the Typist app.

These are some of my top choices, but I’d love to hear yours. What apps do you use to learn basic typing skills, or what kinds do you like to help increase WPM?


  • http://www.thebestecommercesoftware.com Renan

    I really love this for my kids. Thanks for the great idea and information.

  • http://Esensareviews.com Paul

    Very good timing. I just told my wife, after watching our son type an email to his grandma, that we need to find some good typing software.

    I think that the Spongebob one might be the way to go!

  • Tom

    I own the Mavis Beacon Application and I consider it bloatware, heavily overpriced. The UI and the general presentation is a showcase of Windows-like ugliness and hardly bearable for a Mac user. The teacher’s comments are dumb and highly repetitive, after one hour or training it turns into pure annoyance. The large section about the right posture is bloat at its finest, as you can easily find those informations for free in the web. The “17 action typing games” are all very similar (due to the nature of the goal, of course) and therefore can be considered a mere marketing gag.

    However the major flaw of this app is the fact that it’s impossible to train eight-bit characters. This includes such common things like quotes “” and many chars used in common western languages (é, à, ç, ä, ü, ñ, etc.). These chars are easily accessible on the US-Extended keyboard layout on every Mac, but if you import your own training text that contains such characters they are simply omitted by the program. In times of UTF-8 this is just a no-go and hard to understand.

    The only positive points of this application are the dictation feature and the iTunes integration. All in all: This buy was a comlete waste of money.

    I settled with a nice little application called “Master Key” from MacinMind Software. It’s a full featured typing training app, including statistics and error analysis, a variety of pre-installed training texts, a really nice and usefull typing interface, a typing game (yes, just one!), support for Qwerty, Dvorak, Colemak (!) and other layouts, network features for schools, and, most important, it accepts all kind of characters in your own training texts. Ah, and it’s just $12.

    Master Key should definitively be included in your comparison.

  • Sascha

    Personally, I’m a big fan of “Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor” (http://www.tenthumbstypingtutor.com). It supports Windows, Linux AND Mac, many languages and keyboard layouts which is very important because, let’s face it, not everyone speaks english and writes on a QWERTY keyboard.

  • Peter

    Tipp10 is excellent, yet not aimed at children but free.

  • Avi

    I used aTypeTrainer4Mac(http://web.me.com/typetrainer4mac/aTypeTrainer4Mac/home.html). It’s free and it’s awesome.

  • Pingback: That Looks Like a Good Place to Work « Medical Transcription World

  • Pingback: Typing Fun for Kids |

  • SOMETHING!

    you people got it all wrong…. TTL4, Type to learn 4 is the best typing thing… for EVERYONE! you peeps got it all wrong……

  • Ransford Kwakye

    I like this

  • http://typingforkids.net Typing For Kids

    I agree with your recommendation of Mavis Beacon. Definitely a good choice for new typists.

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow