A windows based course to practice typing skills
GS Typing Tutor by TypingStar is a software course for Windows that will teach you essential touch typing techniques with a focus on both speed and accuracy. The program is suited for people of all ages and with varying skill levels.
The tutor can also help you gain one hand typing skills. This skill you can use on the standard QWERTY keyboard or on the Dvorak Left and Dvorak Right keyboards. The comprehensive lessons and onscreen keyboard are particularly suitable for beginners to learn and master the keyboard layout. There are also typing games and exercises to spice lessons up and make them applicable. Typing tests on the other side will help identify your problem areas and to keep track of your improvement.
General – Compared to other typing tutor courses on the market, GS Typing provides a rather non-technical interface, is quite user-friendly and also fairly customizable. You can change the fonts, sounds and colors to suit your preferences. You can also customize tests in order to focus more on your weaker points.
Keyboard – Another customizable area is the keyboard itself. The GS Tutor supports more than 28 different keyboards, hence students can practice typing according to their own language and culture specifications. The international layouts include the previously mentioned keyboards, Arabic 101 and 102, Finnish and many more.
Courses – The three courses on offer are based according to keyboard usage. In the Beginner course, you will learn and focus on the keyboard base keys. The Special Marks course is more for fluent typing. The Numeric Keyboard course is for people who work intensely with numeric keys, for example accountants and cashiers.
Own files – Learners can test their skills with three professional typing speed tests. Add your own text files for a customized test. The tests are the General Typing Test, the Original Copy Test and the Type At Will Test.
Games – The five typing based games will make your practicing more interesting and fun. Hence, learners are encouraged to type and learn without the boredom of repeated lessons. The outcome of your lessons and test are then indicated on your reports. Those reports are based on your input from your activities and will show you in which areas you experience more difficulty. They also point out where to improve and prepare for upcoming tests.
Multi-Users – GS works on a multi-user setup. This means you install it on one computer and create accounts for each user. Each user can then log in with their own account and access all the information and preferences on their profile.
Extras – GS offers various downloadable programs. Apart from GS Typing, you can also download the Typing Test and the Macro Expert. The macro helps you to complete simple tasks automatically. Or download the Advanced Key and Mouse Recorder that replays mouse and keyboard activities.
Versions – There are two other tutor versions available, namely Network and LT. Network is great for a setup where a large amount of computers has access to a network. This is ideal for a school setup. LT is a Lite version of the GS TT.
Manuals – The online manuals are very comprehensive. It is also available in the program. It offers an introduction manual to get you familiar with the program. The Step-by-Step Guide helps you to understand and use the software. There is also a guide that will show you how to customize your account.
Setup – Installation is very straight-forward and easy. Upon opening the program, you will be asked a username. Here you either enter an existing user, or create a new user. The new user setup wizard will also allow you to set your target speed. You can choose one of three existing targets or customize your target according to your skill. During the setup you will also indicate your keyboard and hand preferences as well as choose your practice size for the lessons. These settings are not final and you can change it at a later stage.
License – The program requires a license key after the download and installation. If you do not have a license key, you can proceed to the trial version. The trial allows you to log in and use the program 30 times. Prices are calculated according to the version you acquire and the amount of users you require. Upgrades and support are included in the license fee.
Advantages and Disadvantages
As with any other product, GS Typing may have positive and negative attributes that may influence your decision.
- Proven success rate
- Active testing and progress tracking
- User information stored for multiple users in separate files
- The interface is very user friendly and easy to use
- Help is available online and in-program
- Software available online to download
- Free trial available
- License fee may be a setback
- No Linux or Mac OS version available
- May feel too simple and uninteresting after a certain time
- User files are computer based and stored information cannot be accessed from any computer
GS Typing Tutor Review – The Verdict
The GS Typing Tutor certainly gets favorable reviews from several websites. Due the simplicity of the program, personal choice will play a large role in purchasing it. I enjoyed the trial version and the option to extend the trial, but was disappointed when I installed it on a different computer and it did not work. The websites allows you to report bugs. Due to the lack of support for Mac OS or Linux and a somewhat outdated interface we recommend to trial it first before considering a purchase.
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