Where should fingers be placed on the keyboard?

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope

Your left-hand fingers should be placed over the A, S, D, and F keys and the right-hand fingers should be placed over the J, K, L, and ; keys. These keys are considered the home row keys. Your thumbs should either be in the air or very lightly touching the spacebar key.

Computer keyboard finger placement

What fingers press each key on the keyboard?

The table below lists the home row keys in the top blue bar and each key that finger presses, and the keys the thumb (spacebar) presses. As seen in this table, both pinkies, especially the right pinky, are responsible for the most keys on the keyboard.

A S D F J K L ; Spacebar
~ `
! 1
Tab
Q
Caps
A
Left Shift
Left Ctrl
Z
Fn key
@ 2
W
S
X
# 3
E
D
C
$ 4
% 5
R
T
F
G
V
B
^ 6
& 7
Y
U
H
J
N
M
* 8
I
K
< ,
( 9
O
L
> .
) 0
P
; :
? /
- _
[ {
" '
Right Shift
+ =
] }
Delete
\ |
Enter
Right Ctrl
Alt keys
Windows key
Option key

The remaining keyboard keys not listed above are not necessarily assigned to a specific finger for pressing them. Instead, you can use whichever finger is easiest or most comfortable for reaching and pressing those keys.

Note

For keys with two or more characters, you may need to use two hands and two fingers to create the character. For example, with the bracket and brace keys ( [ { and ] } ), to type the curly bracket, first you must press the left Shift key with your left pinky. Then, press the open or close bracket key with your right pinky.

How many fingers should be on the home row?

With the four fingers of both hands on the home row there should be a total of eight fingers on the home row.

Should my palms be resting or should they be raised?

When typing, your palms should be raised and not resting on any surface, including a wrist pad, and held at a 10 to 30-degree angle. Raising or lowering your wrists too much in either direction or resting them while typing can cause stress and may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Other keyboard safety tips

While keeping your palms raised while typing, there are also other tips you can follow to help prevent carpal tunnel and pain while you type. Keep the following suggestions in mind every time you type.

  • Keep your keyboard home row height as close to elbow level as possible.
  • Center the spacebar with your body.
  • Do not angle or bend your wrists. While typing keep your wrists elevated and as straight as possible.
  • Avoid hunt-and-peck typing as it causes strain on the neck from having to look down at the keyboard often.
  • Don't use more force than needed to press the keys.
  • When you are not typing make sure to rest your arms and hands. However, never rest your arms, hands or wrist on a sharp edge.
  • Take a break from typing every 20 to 30 minutes. If you have a hard time remembering when to take a break, set a timer or drink lots of water, forcing you to go to the bathroom more often.

Additional information