Master Key – Typing training for beginners and intermediates
Master Key by MacInMind is typing training strictly designed to help improve the speed and accuracy of your typing skills on various computer keyboard layouts such as Dvorak, Qwerty or Colemark.
It is suitable for anyone who would like to get up to speed quickly without spending much time and money. Read our Master Key review to learn more about its features, benefits, pros and cons.
Master Key – Overview
The software uses drills and challenges to get you up and running and allows you to set speed and accuracy goals and then work towards achieving them. With its support for many languages and typing games, it has a wide range of features to make your mastery process easy. Let’s run over a couple of such features quickly to give you a glimpse of what to expect or compare this typing program against its competitors.
Price: Single License Mac/Windows $12. Schools: $8 per work station.
Master Key – Features
Drill Editor – Master Key allows you to create drills yourself based on the key vocabulary preferences you require. Personalized drills are particularly useful because it allows the user to (in some manners) set the tone of their practice, and the learning curve adapts to you, making for better learning experience. You can use txt files to upload own content.
Native OS interface – The Native OS interface is a more cultural take from MacInMind, the creators of the Master Key tutor. The interface of both Mac OS and Windows versions come designed to suit the design styling of the respective operating systems, making users feel at home on their native computer platform.
Paratyper game – Paratyper is a fun, interactive way of practicing that simulates a parachute game, with your typing speed and accuracy being your best weapon to save the day. Paratyper is aimed at providing a high level of engagement and commitment to the process and is ultimately rewarding.
Drill control – Drill control is just a somewhat technical way of saying you can simply pause a drill to attend to a couple of activities and resume at a more convenient time. Master Key seeks to offer complete control of the learning experience and offer a window for your other activities with this feature.
Drill types – MasterKey offers both text-length and time drills, giving you accuracy test in both a limited time scenario and in the setting of a larger workload, these are essential to learn to type faster.
Unlimited trial – You are allowed to try the software as an anonymous user for as long as you want. Well, as long as you are ok with the basic features you have, though.
Track your performance – The software provides basic statistics showing your current performance levels, and tracks your progress at a glance. This is handy to plan further improvements as you get to see your development patterns and change tactics or focus on the areas that will matter the most.
Certificate – Set mastery goals for speed and accuracy, work towards it and earn a certificate upon completing your target at the expected level. It is a reward system that seeks to appeal to users to stick through the process of practice, and your earned certificate is proof of your proficiency at a particular level.
Voice feedback – Voice feedback is an optional feature that lets the program return an audio feedback for the keys pressed. It acts as a hint tool and a typewriter assistant, and is helpful in many learning situations.
Teacher interface – The tutor allows teachers to leverage MasterKey as a tool for enhancing the learning of their pupils. It provides teachers with the administrative features to train and track the performance of students across drills and challenges. This will hopefully account for an easier tutoring experience and ensuring faster mastery on the part of the student.
Pagination – Pagination allows you to work with much larger text files while also providing you with the formatting of a professional editor. In a move named (Project Gutenberg), Master Key gives you the tool to take your formatting skills to the next level.
- Type in 12 or 24 point type
- Allows correction to a previous line
Master Key for Schools
Extension – There is an extension available that allows the software to be deployed in school networks for the use of students as part of the learning process. Teachers in schools can leverage this as a tool for mass training.
License – You will need to buy a Master Key license to get access, however, there is no need to repurchase or renew it in order to get feature or maintenance updates. Teachers can test the Network Mode before choosing a suitable plan. There is eMail support for any type of technical inquiries.
Network – Once up and running, it is possible to share any network data be it by Mac or Windows operating systems. Administrative features include a class editor to set up new courses, assign students or create, export and print user reports. There is also the option to restrict certain activities bases on age or goal.
Alternatives to Master Key
The market for tutorials that will teach you typing is massive, and you can choose between a wide range of free and premium solutions. Which option might be the best for you is up to your goals, expectations and system requirements.
KAZ Type (read review ) is absolutely worth a look if you do not have a lot of time but need a smart approach to learning the keyboard quickly. They will teach you the essential skills within 90 minutes. To become fluent in your skills you will only need to schedule regular practicing.
Typesy (read review) will teach you all the skills through videos and offers hundreds of drills and activities. You can also create them based on your own preferences and goals. This is suitable choice if you like step-by-step guidance combined with a great user experience and excellent progress tracking.
Mavis Beacon (read review) is another option that has been around for a long time and taught thousand of people to become better typists. Ultrakey is another cloud based option suitable for individual learning and school classes.
Free options include 10-Fast Fingers, Tipp10, Ktouch or Klavaro. For ids we suggest to look into KidzType a platform offering lots of games and children friendly activities.
Pros and Cons
- Goes with any typing skill level, from beginner to an expert typing skill
- Allows user control over learning scenario
- Over 400 exercises and activities
- Create own exercises and drills
- Unlimited trial with basic features
- Lightweight software size and simple user interface
- The software has Limited support options
- Outdated interface and graphics
- No video tutorials
- Limited numeric keypad exercises
- No support for Windows 10
- No recent updates of the software
Master Key Review – Verdict
Master Key offers a variety of teaching styles with the goal of appealing to both young and older users. However, this positioning, coupled with the emphasis on direct practice methods might get the younger audience bored in the long run. Although, it makes up for it with a sizeable range of features and integrations making it useful in both training other users and personal mastery.
Even though you might argue that an unlimited trial period is a fantastic feature, it still is a trial with limited features and tracking statistics. If you want to take typing serious we rather recommend to check out one of the alternatives mentioned above. The last 3 years have brought a lot of advancement regarding usability, technology and teaching methods, hence, it is worth to look around for those options that will suit you most.
OS X 10.9 or higher for 64-bit Mac version 6.0
Mac OS X 10.4 or higher for Mac version 5.6.5
Windows 8/7/Vista/XP/ 2000 for version 5.5.2
Have you tried the Master Key tutor? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below or provide more information on what should be included in this review.