GS Typing – A Windows based course to practice typing skills
GS Typing Tutor by Grass Software is a Windows based application to teach you essential typing concepts with a focus on speed and accuracy. The program is suited for people of all ages and for all skill levels.
This app can help you gain one hand typing skills. You can use this skill either on the standard QWERTY keyboard or on the Dvorak Left and Dvorak Right keyboards. The lessons and onscreen keyboard are suitable for beginners to learn and master the keyboard layout. There are games and exercises to spice lessons up and make them applicable. Assessment tests will help identify your problem areas and to keep track of your overall improvement.
Price: Free trial recommended. Licenses start from $29.95.
GS Typing – Main Features
General – Compared to other typing tutors 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 be introduced to essential touch typing techniques and also 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 to create a personlized test. By category, tests include 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 tests will be 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 future assessments.
Multi-Users – GS Typing 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 Typing offers various downloadable programs. Apart from the tutor itself, you can also download the Typing Test and the Macro Expert. Macro will help you complete simple tasks automatically. Alternatively, 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 accessible from the program’s internal navigation and offers an introduction manual to get you familiar with the layout, concept and features. A Step-by-Step Guide helps you 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 need to create a username or use an existing user account. During setup you can set your speed goals. You can choose one of three existing targets or customize your target according to your skill. Furthermore, you will be able to 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 them again at any time.
Pros and Cons
As with any other product, GS Typing may have positive and negative attributes that may influence your decision. However, the main issue we have here is that according to the developer’s website, the tool has not been updated over the last few years. On the other side, other companies in the market have not been inactive meanwhile and introduced cloud technology and other innovative eLearning features to their products.
Alternatives – If you want to look at other solutions then we can recommend to read our in-depth reviews of the Typesy Tutor as well as UltraKey Online or KAZ Typing. These programs have been on the market for a long time and offer competitive prices and features. They certainly all differ from each other in regard to features and specs.
The most comprehensive tool is Typesy offering video tutorials, a huge number of lessons and exercises as well as unlimited user accounts and customized lesson plans. It could be that KAZ might rather stand out in your perspective with their “Teaching the Keyboard in 90 Minutes” concept.
- Proven success rate
- Active testing and progress tracking
- User information stored for multiple users in separate files
- The interface is user friendly and easy to use.
- Help is available online and in-program
- Software available online to download
- Free trial available
- Outdated program and interface
- No current support for Windows 10
- Expensive license fees
- Standard license is single-user only
- 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
Licenses – 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. Compared to other products on the market, the fees a rather expensive given the fact this is a rather outdated looking program.
GS Typing Tutor – Review Verdict
The GS Typing Tutor certainly gets favorable reviews from several websites. Due to 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 developer’s website allows you to report bugs.
The bottom line is clear, while it has its pros, we cannot see it surviving against competition that is getting better and better each year. Even freeware has now caught up by introducing intuitive user interfaces and features that are usually a quality of premium tools.
Due to the lack of support for Windows 10, Mac OS or Linux and a somewhat outdated interface we recommend to trial it first before considering a purchase.
Standard – You will get a singer user license for $29.95. This is rather expensive compared to some products that offer multi-user accounts and the latest cloud technology at this price.
LT edition – The light edition offers less features than the standard one and allows to create one user account. Due to the fact this program is rather outdated, the LT version currently isn’t worth to consider, in our opinion.
Network – A license plan to cater for schools and institutions. You will get extensive administrative features and multiple workstations. We think this is rather expensive and suggest to research the EDU plans of Typesy, KAZ and Ultrakey offering more competitive conditions.
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