25 February 2008

How to format your typing correctly

I guess the post title is straight forward enough to speak what this post will be about.

This post is all about how to format your typing correctly and properly. This guideline has nothing to do with spellings or the styles of writing. The guideline can be used universally by users of Mechanical Desktop Typewriter and Word processing softwares in your Computer.

Spell-check tools are useful but it won’t help you when you are typing in another language that is unknown to your Word-processor. As to my personal liking, I am used to typing first in Notepad, and then copy-paste it either in MS Word or OpenOffice Writer.

I wanted to write this guideline several years back but I would always forget to do so. Once in a while I would recall the pending work, and it is only now that it could actually materialize with this post. But please note that I am not a Pro Typist or a real Editor myself.

You might opine that this post is silly and useless, but it is not so. To me, and many others who are used to retyping and editing other individuals’ work, it is compulsory for the typists to be aware that they need not waste the time of their Editors by type-formatting their works weirdly. Many of us, as we are not used to typing properly, use uneven formatting in our typing that reformatting becomes a tedious and tiring work.

The guideline is short and easy to remember. The guideline is based on my observation of the common errors writers/typists made in their typing. Once you get used to the methods mentioned, its guaranteed that the editor of your article/news (soft-copy) will be smiling wide. So here it goes:

1. There should be a single space after a punctuation mark such as colon ( : ), comma ( , ), ellipsis ( ... ), exclamation mark ( ! ), full stop/period ( . ), hyphen ( -, ‐ ), question mark ( ? ), semicolon ( ; ), dashes ( ‒, –, —, ― ).
2. Do not put a space before the punctuation marks mentioned above.
3. Avoid putting a space at the opening and closing of quotations ( “”, ‘’).
4. Avoid putting a space at the opening and closing of brackets ( (), {}, [] ).
5. If you use Tab (single) for a Paragraph, use the same formatting for all the other paragraphs. Do not use spaces.
6. If you do not apply Tab at the first line of a paragraph, be sure to put a one-line break between the above and preceding paragraph.
7. Never use double-space in your sentences.
8. Do not put a full stop/period ( . ) after punctuation marks mentioned in 1.

Did I miss out any other? I have a new urgent project coming up, so part of the thinking is over that. I will try to edit and update the post later if there are any other that I missed out.

BTW, here is my latest Typing Test Certificate.

I am not actually a blind typist (where you don't need to look at the Keyboard for the right key) and I don't use all my 10 fingers (I use 3*2=6 fingers). Even with that handicap, I think I did extra-ordinarily well. :-D

I did the Test with TypingMaster Pro. Though I have the software, I never practise to improve. Sad.


Joseph said...


hmanah khan typewriter ah khan kan type nasa thei lutuk a, computer keyboard ah khan han type chiah kha chu, a thawm dim a har duh thin ngei mai..

for me i use ring, middle and fore finger on the left, thumb fore and middle finger on the right... thats how I do it and im satisfied with my typing speed. as of the format, will try to follow your points...

Lal said...

As you experienced, the first time I shifted from the normal 'Typewriter' to Computer 'keyboard', it was quite hilarious. You tend to key it more stronger than necessary. :-))

As for myself, I never keep track on what fingers I use to type.

I tried finding the 'guidelines/manual for correct typing format' but Google could not help me much. Maybe I tried with the wrong search keywords.