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Linear vs. Non-Linear Typing: Pros and Cons

by sophiajames


In our increasingly digital world, typing has become an essential skill for communication and productivity. When it comes to typing, there are two primary methods: linear typing and non-linear typing. Each method has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of linear and non-linear typing to help you make an informed choice about which approach suits your needs best.

Linear Typing

Linear switches typing, also known as touch typing, involves typing without looking at the keyboard. The fingers are trained to hit specific keys without needing visual guidance. Here are some pros and cons of linear typing:

Pros of Linear Typing:

  • Speed: One of the biggest advantages of linear typing is speed. Touch typists can type faster than those who rely on the hunt-and-peck method because they don’t need to search for keys visually. This can significantly increase your efficiency, especially for tasks that require a lot of typing.
  • Reduced Errors: Linear typing reduces the likelihood of typographical errors because your fingers become more adept at hitting the right keys consistently.
  • Ergonomics: Touch typing promotes better posture and ergonomic keyboard use, as your hands stay in a more natural position on the keyboard, reducing the risk of repetitive strain injuries.
  • Multitasking: Since touch typists don’t have to look at the keyboard while typing, they can focus on the content they are typing, making it easier to multitask and switch between different tasks seamlessly.

Cons of Linear Typing:

  • Learning Curve: Learning touch typing can be challenging and time-consuming, especially for individuals who are used to the hunt-and-peck method. It requires practice and patience to become proficient.
  • Initial Slowdown: While learning, your typing speed may temporarily decrease as you adapt to the new method, which can be frustrating.

Non-Linear Typing

Non-linear typing, often referred to as the hunt-and-peck method, involves visually searching for keys on the keyboard while typing. Here are the pros and cons of non-linear typing:

Pros of Non-Linear Typing:

  • Accessibility: Non-linear typing is accessible to almost everyone, including those with little or no prior typing experience. It doesn’t require extensive training to get started.
  • Quick Start: You can start typing immediately with the hunt-and-peck method, making it suitable for those who need to type occasionally or for casual use.
  • Flexibility: Some individuals find that they develop their own efficient typing style with non-linear typing, allowing them to adapt to different keyboards and typing situations.

Cons of Non-Linear Typing:

  • Slower Speed: Non-linear typing is generally slower than touch typing. Searching for keys visually can significantly hinder your typing speed and efficiency.
  • Increased Errors: Because you are not relying on muscle memory, non-linear typists are more prone to making typing errors and may need to spend extra time proofreading and editing.
  • Ergonomic Issues: The hunt-and-peck method can lead to poor posture and increase the risk of repetitive strain injuries because your fingers may not be positioned optimally on the keyboard.


The choice between linear and non-linear typing ultimately depends on your specific needs and circumstances. If you prioritize speed, accuracy, and efficient typing, investing time in learning touch typing is a wise decision. On the other hand, if you only need to type occasionally or don’t have the time to learn touch typing, the hunt-and-peck method can suffice for basic tasks.

In many cases, it’s beneficial to strike a balance. Learning touch typing for extended typing sessions and using non-linear typing for quick, casual tasks can provide the best of both worlds. Whichever method you choose, remember that practice is key to improving your typing skills and becoming a more efficient typist.


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