HEALTH WARNING: If
you experience symptoms such as persistent or recurring
discomfort, pain, throbbing, aching, tingling, numbness,
burning sensations or stiffness in your hands, arms,
shoulders, neck, or other parts of your body when using a
computer, DO NOT IGNORE THESE WARNING SIGNS! PROMPTLY CONSULT
YOUR DOCTOR OR PHYSICAL THERAPIST. Ask them for guidance
BEFORE trying any new input devices! Remember that pain is
likely to increase during the first few days of trying a new
device because your body tends to tense up as it is learning
new motions and postures. You may also be more susceptible to
further injury during this learning period. For this reason,
your doctor may tell you to restrict use of new devices to
short periods of a few minutes a day for the first few days or
weeks while your body adjusts.
- General Typing:
Tap each key's
symbol lightly but crisply with one finger at a time. Do NOT
bang on the keys. Try using the minimum force possible.
Relax between words by resting all ten fingers on surface
and resting palms on gel pads.
- Hand Resting:
To rest a hand
without activating keys, drop ALL FIVE fingers
SIMULTANEOUSLY anywhere on the surface. Palms are ignored by
MultiTouch so if there is space they can rest on the touch
- Hunt & Peck Typing:
key's symbol lightly but crisply with one finger at a time,
taking care not to accidentally tap unintended keys. (It may
be easiest to float your hands above the surface while
typing, but rest them during pauses).
'typematic' or auto-repeat, lift all fingers of a hand off
the surface, then touch and hold one finger on the desired
symbol. Once that key starts repeating, you can drop the
other fingers back onto the surface. To stop typematic, lift
any finger off the surface.
Reaching for the Shift keys
can be even more awkward on a touch surface than on a normal
keyboard. Therefore we invented a much more comfortable,
zero-reach alternative called Modifier
Chords that you'll probably want to learn:
The timing is really the same as a regular
Shift keys. You're just holding 4 fingertips down
instead of reaching with your pinky. Modifier chords are
also just as flexible as modifier keys:
- When ready to capitalize a letter, just
drop and hold 4 fingertips from one hand (excluding the
thumb) on home row. This is the Shift
- Type the letter to be capitalized with
the opposite hand.
- OR: Lift one of the 4 fingertips from
the Shift chord and use it to tap the letter
(while the others stay on surface).
- Lift all 4 of the fingertips off home
row. This turns off Shift.
- The 4 fingertips don't actually
have to drop on home row. Just drop them in a row
fairly close together anywhere on the surface.
- Spreading the 4 fingertips wide as you
drop them on the surface activates the Ctrl chord,
which works similarly. On Macs this will be the Open
Apple/Cmd modifier. Alt, AltGr and
Win/Meta chords are also available if you enable Enhanced
- To type whole words uppercase with a
single Shift chord, just make sure at least 1 of
the 4 fingertips remains on the surface as you type
desired letters. (Lift one or two of the 4 fingertips at a
time to reach for keys, and leave them down as they drop
on target keys).
- Shift-click can be done with
modifier chords by holding the Shift chord with one
hand and tapping 2 fingertips with the other hand.
- OR: Shift-click within one hand
by dropping 4 fingertips, then lifting and tapping 2 of
the 4 simultaneously.
- Be careful not to roll the 4 fingertips
as the Shift chord begins or you will get scrolling
- When you want to rest a hand, make sure
to drop all 5 fingers (including thumb) simultaneously.
Resting just 4 fingers may be interpreted as a
- Regular modifier keys are still needed
for multi-modifier hotkeys like Ctrl-Alt-Delete. Make sure
the fingers come down on the Ctrl and Alt keys one at a
time--if they strike simultaneously they could be
misinterpreted as a two-finger
- Touch typing- For most of us:
highly recommend that you follow these steps when you are
just starting out. We've found through experience that most
people reach a satisfactory level of accuracy and speed in
the shortest training time by following these five
- 1. Curl your fingers so there is
roughly a 90 degree bend at the knuckles. Now rest the
fingertips of each hand on their corresponding home row
keys using the raised dot at the center of each home row
key as a guide. Don't look at the keyboard. Just
slide your fingers around until they find the home row
dimples. Next drop your palms on the gel pads. Your
fingers below the knuckles should now be roughly
perpendicular to the surface with the left hand fingertips
resting on ASDF & Backspace while the right hand
fingertips rest on Space & JKL;
- 2. Now, slightly lift your fingers
off the surface but leave your palms resting where it was.
Reach for and lightly touch the desired symbols one at a
time. You don't have to hit the exact center of each
key--just try to use the proper reach between keys.
- 3. For keys
distant from home row, reach with a whole arm motion,
keeping your wrist straight while your palms slide across
the pads. Then try to exactly reverse this arm motion so
your hands "spring" back to home row, and your palms slide
back to center on their pads. This is healthier than
leaving palms firmly planted and reaching solely via large
finger/wrist stretches! Frequent finger stretching and
wrist bending during typing may contribute to carpal
- 4. Be careful
not to let stray fingers accidentally tap keys.
- 5. When pausing or resting between
words or sentences, drop your fingers back to the surface
and use the raised dots to realign them with home row.
Again, don't look at the keyboard when you do this.
- Touch Typing- For the
Resting your palms reduces hand drift and
arm fatigue, but fully floating them above the pads allows
faster typing by increasing freedom of movement. After some
practice you may be able to type long sequences of words at
high speed without significant hand drift. From time to time
you may find it necessary to realign your fingers with the
home row keys to compensate for excessive hand drift.
- Touch typing- For those in serious
For people with serious, long-standing
repetitive strain injuries, every little typing motion, or
just briefly suspending the hands above the surface can be
painful. The TouchStream supports a minimal effort, but
slow, typing method for such people:
- From the ten-fingers resting position,
lift one finger at a time, drop and leave the finger on
desired key, and repeat for each letter. This way the
hands are always fully supported by the surface, and
motion is minimized.
Since only one finger moves at a time,
speeds are limited to 10-20wpm. This method works best on
the DVORAK key layout, where the most frequently typed keys
are on home row, so you're just lifting and dropping in
place most of the time. On QWERTY layouts, it can feel a bit
like 'twister' for the fingers, as half the fingers tend to
end up resting on upper row keys and must slide back towards
home row to proceed.
- Touch typing- Minimizing
Take advantage of our Zero-Force keys to
reduce harmful stress. Always use the lightest touch when
typing. Banging on the keys is unnecessary and is not
good for your joints and tendons.
For faraway keys,
lifting your palms and reaching with your arm while keeping
the wrist as straight as possible helps avoid carpal tunnel
Relax and rest