Ainsworth invented keyboarding and interval timing with our original Typing Tutor programs for Microsoft and IBM.

Today, Ainsworth gives you the only computer-based keyboarding software that's designed to help students write easily and well. Our focus on writing and computer skills gives you effective software tools to meet today's needs. Teach the keyboard by touch instead of by pictures. Provide drills that detect and eliminate weak keys automatically. Evaluate keyboarding skills using your own documents. Give your students the advantage of true computer keyboarding skills.

Personalized lessons - adapt to each student's needs
Hands-ON! Monitoring - assure correct fingering with all keys
Prescription Drills - eliminate weak keys automatically
Typing Tester - evaluate and document keyboarding skills
Printed and on-screen reports - document individual results
Type-OH! Games - push the limits with fun and games
Auto-Help - provides on-screen instructions
Enrichment software included - composition and word processing
Report Management - read and save both class and individual reports
Easy installation - install automatically on all Windows networks or individual computers

Personalized lessons

All lessons and drills are self-adjusting and automatically match any grade level. Our software is successfully used by anyone who can read the on-screen instructions. This includes people with disabilities, children with special needs, Senior Citizens with a touch of arthritis, and executives with no time to waste.

Four separate courses are included. The lessons advance automatically at a pace that's matched to each student. Practice sessions may be of any length. Separate history files are maintained automatically for any number of students.

Exclusive Hands-ON! monitoring system

The exclusive system monitors the lessons and drills to detect and automatically
correct the six most common keyboarding problems.

Home Row - one or both hands are not on the home row keys
Off-By-One - typing is out of position with the text
Enter Key - carriage return used instead of word wrap
Backspace - error correction not used in current session
Shift Key - shift used incorrectly while typing capital letters
Caps Lock - key pressed by accident while typing capital letters

Hands-ON! monitoringOne of the most common problems is placement of the hands on the keyboard. The Home Row monitor automatically detects this and quickly shows what's wrong and how to correct it. In the example shown here, the left hand is out of position on the keyboard. Fixing this is easy, once the problem is shown clearly and quickly.

  • Remove student's frustrations if the hands are not positioned correctly
  • Assure that the correct fingering is used in all the lessons and drills
  • Eliminate dependence on visual clues to show correct fingering
  • Automatically correct the major reason students look at the keyboard

For more about our exclusive monitoring system, see Ainsworth Features...

Performace GraphPrescription Drills

It's true that practice makes perfect, but only if the practice makes sense! Just typing a lot will increase overall speed, but it won't keep students from visualizing certain keys and glancing down at the keyboard or their hands while typing.


Prescription Drills are the answer to keyboard mastery. First, we detect hesitations and weak keys. Then we adjust each drill to emphasize specific key combinations. This focused learning breaks the pattern of looking at the hands or the keys while typing. Each drill is individually created to strengthen the weaker keys. As soon as a person stops looking at a specific key, the software detects this change and adjusts the next drills to focus on the remaining slower keys. This process is automatic and continuous.

Prescription Drills may be used at any time for a custom practice session that's focused and efficient, a special drill to automatically detect and eliminate any keyboarding problems, or a personalized warm-up exercise.

We developed the exclusive software techniques that allow our programs to detect and eliminate visual blocks to keyboarding and creative expression. Prescription Drills provide the only instructional system specifically created to produce this level of mastery.

Standard Speed TestTyping Tester

You can select tests created from standard word processing documents or choose from an endless series of basic skills tests that are generated by the computer. All are automatically presented and scored. Test results are shown on screen and included on the printed reports which are always available.

  • Timed writings are included with all tests. The student can select a total time for the test, select a test length based on the number of words, or select and type the complete document.

  • Word wrap and correct paragraphing with the Enter key are essential in teaching people to type on a computer keyboard. Lines that would normally wrap down when typing in a word processor will also wrap automatically when taking these tests.

  • Backspace is always active, just as it is in all word processors. We monitor this key carefully in the lessons and drills, and use this information in looking for possible problem keys that need special attention.

  • Instant Replay option shows keyboard efficiency in accelerated animation. This illustrates clearly the time penalty for correcting errors. The replay is also fun to watch.

  • Review Test option allows the student to return to the test and see the corrected result. Any errors that were left on the screen are highlighted. Standard editing keys including page and line moves, Home, and End may be used to review the entire test, and are a convenient way to illustrate these features.

  • Print Test Results option at the conclusion of each test provides complete documentation of each test with both test statistics and a graded report of the test as typed. This printout of the actual test must be selected immediately after the test is taken.

Word Processing TestEight Word Processing Tests

These tests are created from word processing files and support the writing functions of a word processor, including word wrap, backspace correction, scrolling, and correct paragraphing. In duplicating the word processing functions carefully, we create a testing system that accurately determines how well a student can use a computer for composing text with everything from reports and letters to email.

Standard word processing documents are used by the program to create these tests. Each test document is evaluated by the program so that it will scroll down at the proper places in the document and duplicate the word wrap functions exactly, including correct paragraphing with the Enter key.

Eight word processing tests are included with the program. These tests cover a variety of applications from warm-up drills to standard test documents and letters. These tests can be easily replaced with your custom tests at any time.

Basic Skill TestFour Basic Skill Tests

An endless supply of test and practice sessions that never repeat is available in four categories. These tests are created by the computer and then presented and scored automatically.

  • Alphabet Keys creates unique tests made up of lower-case words. These words are selected to include all alphabet keys.

  • Punctuation and Sentences creates tests made up of upper-case words, abbreviations, phrases, and short sentences.

  • Keyboard Numbers provides a mix of numbers to be typed with the keys on the top row of the keyboard along with short words.

  • Symbols and Full Keyboard creates a mix of these symbols in combinations that are often used in a variety of applications.

Custom Tests

Custom tests and practice sessions are easily added to Typing Tester. Just create your test in any word processor, save the file in ASCII format, and use it to replace any one of the eight word processing tests that come with the program. The first line in your test file will be used as the title. This title will appear automatically on the program menu and may be selected by any student. Your test will then be presented and scored automatically.

You can use this customizing feature to automatically present and score any standardized test, or to easily and quickly create your own special series of tests based on special needs or interests.

Personnel and training departments often use this customizing feature to create tests from documents that mirror actual job situations, such as names and addresses, business letters, or even medical and legal reports. For details, see Create custom tests for the keyboard.

Performance Verification

A complete, graded copy of each test may be printed immediately after each test has been completed and the Print Test Results option is shown. This printout includes the statistics as shown in the test report, as well as a complete copy of the text as typed. Any errors left on screen while typing the test will be individually marked in the printed report. The Instant Replay and Review Test options may be viewed before the report is printed. If another test is selected, or if another section of the program is selected from the menu, the Print Test Results option is no longer available for the test just completed.

In repeat testing situations it may be helpful to allow each person to sign in, take a specific test, and print the results without creating a permanent history file. If so, the Ainsworth Keyboard Options program may be used to select this option.

Best Performance IndexBest Performance Index

There is something definitely lacking in test scores that only show you the average typing speed and how many errors were made.

A better idea is to also show how well someone did during a test, and this is what we monitor using the Best Performance Index.

After the test is finished, our program scans the entire test and calculates where this person was typing the fastest, with the lowest error rate. This score shows how well this person actually did on this test -- at least part of the time. Now the challenge becomes to type this well always, without stopping to use the Backspace key, to trip over the Spacebar, or to do whatever caused the overall performance to be less than the best work.

As it turns out, our industrial clients love the Best Performance Index because it more accurately shows what a person will do on the job. Students like it because tests are friendlier when Best Performance is highlighted. And we think it's neat to give the computer something that's more complicated than just adding up errors.

Printed and on-screen reports

Printed documentation that summarizes all aspects of a student's progress may be printed at any time. Since individual students may be learning the keyboard at very different rates, printing this report at specific stages in their training will help track progress.

Progress ReportProgress Report
summarizes the total picture at a glance and shows progress in all four areas of instruction: Alphabet, Punctuation, Numbers, and Symbols. The number of lessons, the number of drills completed, and the best speed achieved to date with no errors are also recorded for each area.

Word Processing Tests show complete scores for the eight tests. The titles and results will refer to the last tests taken. Both the scores and the test titles will be updated with each new test. Standard information for each test includes the number of words typed, average speed in words per minute, errors left on the screen, and total time. Average speed and accuracy for each test are calculated and displayed. The Best Performance Index is also calculated and shown for each test completed.

Basic Skill Tests show similar statistics for the computer-generated tests. Since these tests may be of any length, it is important to note the number of words typed for each test.

Progress GraphProgress Graph
compares percentile scores with expert typists in all four areas. The height of each bar in the graph reflects both accuracy and speed. Uneven bars indicate that some keys have been learned and some have not. Horizontal coverage shows at a glance how far the student has progressed in the lessons.

Type-OH! game report shows both the record high scores and scores for the last game played in all five categories. These totals are a good index of overall keyboard efficiency when operating at maximum speed.

Type-OH! GameType-OH! Games

We created the Type-OH! games with two objectives in mind. We wanted interesting and challenging typing games that look and act like a word processor screen. We also wanted to create a totally different learning environment that matches the way people actually use computer keyboards.

There are two distinct typing speeds: zero when you are paused and deciding what to do or say, and fast when you have made a decision and are expressing an idea or taking action.

  • Burst typing is our name for ultra-fast typing alternated with periods of rest. We create this on-and-off typing mode intentionally in our games. This game environment pushes people beyond what they think are limits of speed and accuracy. They discover that they can express words and even ideas as a single action, without thinking of the keys or the individual letters. This form of typing is often exactly what is needed to break students away from the notion that they must type with extreme care at a constant pace.

  • Computer games gave us three popular themes that we combined to create Type-OH! The game alternates between quickly typing falling words before they reach the bottom of the screen and then typing a string of words fast enough to stay ahead of the creature that is munching along behind. Finally, if you have selected all the alphabet keys, a third game appears as a bonus. In this game, the objective is to type and remove words before they fill the screen.

  • Four categories are available in the game: alphabet, punctuation, keyboard numbers, and symbols. The game may be played with all the keys in the category or limited to the keys that have been learned so far in the lessons. This choice allows people to use the games for practice, even though all the keys in a particular category have not been learned. For some students, this break from the lessons is just what is required to maintain interest or to build speed and accuracy before continuing to learn new keys.

  • The scorecard is often used in classes as a kind of competition, with the top students listed on the board, along with their best scores. For students who like computer games and competition in general, Type-OH! can be both challenging and fun.

  • Game Sound Effects may be selected or changed from the main menu. The variety of sound effects is intended to add interest to the games. If the resulting racket is too tempting for some students, the option to select additional sound effects may be turned off. To limit the range of possible sounds in the games, the Ainsworth Keyboard Options program may be used to allow only the Default sounds to be selected.


Help is always just a click away. Pressing the help key at any time shows a special help screen that describes what is happening and explains what to do next. The first time a person ventures into a new section of the program, the Auto-Help function automatically provides this additional information and support. Thereafter, help is displayed only on request. This gentle but thorough electronic documentation system eliminates the need for manuals and printed text.

Enrichment software included

Two additional software products are included with the Ainsworth Keyboard Trainer. After students master the basic skills, these two programs allow you to expand your keyboarding class to include composing at the keyboard and creating original documents.

Ainsworth Conversation Piece

Ainsworth Conversation PieceWe invented the Conversation Piece to help students learn to compose and type at the same time. Similar to a chat line, this software allows each student to converse with the computer, using on-screen text. These conversations are highly individual and can range from the purely silly to the occasionally serious. But the practice gained in typing ideas rather than copying words is a valuable bridge to using the computer as an effective communication tool.

Ainsworth Writer

Ainsworth WriterWe created the Ainsworth Writer with only the most essential functions for writing, editing, and printing text. Consequently, it doesn't take extended instruction for a student to be able to use this self-teaching program and create letters, reports, and similar documents. A brief writing course is also included to give beginning writers a few valuable pointers to make their writing easier and more effective.

Report Management

The Ainsworth Keyboard Manager is included in our network systems so that history files may be examined and printed from a remote location anywhere on the network. Class reports may also be created and printed or saved as text files, providing a convenient method for archiving both individual and class records.

Easy installation

Installation couldn't be easier with our CDs that include both network and stand-alone options. We support all Windows networks, including terminal server installations and distance learning applications. Several methods for storing history files and other options are available. In a network environment, you can select server-centered or client-centered installations. For details, see Installation and Setup. For specific answers to your installation questions, contact, 1.608.924.9234.

See also...

Instructor's Guide - our suggestions for using Ainsworth software in the classroom.

Ainsworth Keypad Trainer - our companion software program for ten-key, spreadsheet, and data entry applications.© 2014 Ainsworth & Partners,