Where should fingers be placed on the keyboard?

Updated: 04/12/2021 by Computer Hope

The information below shows you where your hands should be positioned, and the proper way to place your fingers to type letters, numbers, and special characters efficiently.

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?

Below is a list of the home row keys, the finger used, and the keys the thumb (spacebar) presses.

A key

The left pinky (little) finger is placed over the "A" key and is also responsible for the second most keys on the keyboard, including the following keys.

S key

The left ring finger is placed over the "S" key and is also responsible for the following keys.

D key

The left middle finger is placed over the "D" key and is also responsible for the following keys.

  • 3 and when pressing Shift, the "#" (hash)
  • E
  • D
  • C

F key

The left index finger is placed over the "F" key and is also responsible for the following keys.

J key

The right index finger is placed over the "J" key and is also responsible for the following keys.

  • 6 and when pressing Shift, the "^" (caret)
  • 7 and when pressing Shift, the "&" (ampersand)
  • Y
  • U
  • H
  • J
  • N
  • M

K key

The right ring middle finger is placed over the "K" key and is also responsible for the following keys.

L key

The right ring finger is placed over the "L" key and is also responsible for the following keys.

; (semicolon) key

The right pinky (little) finger is placed over the ";" key and is also responsible for the most keys on the keyboard, including the following keys.

Spacebar

Both thumbs are placed over the spacebar and may also be used for the following keys.

Note

Most people find it awkward to not lift their hands away from the home row to press these keys.

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.

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 positioned over the home row.

Note

Most don't consider the thumbs "fingers." However, both thumbs should also be hovering over the spacebar.

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 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; you don't want to hit the keys, as it could lead to keyboard damage.
  • When you're 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