Is It Faster To Write Or Type?

Typing has quickly become the most common form of putting information down on paper, but writing by hand is still an important part of daily life and is often preferred as a note-taking or list-making method by many people. This often leads to the debate of which method is faster – typing or writing?

It is faster to type than to write by hand. Writing by hand requires multiple strokes to form one letter, while typing only requires pushing one button. Good technique and practice achieve significantly faster typing speeds for most people than can ever be achieved by writing by hand.

Writing and typing are both effective forms of notation, but they both come with significant pros and cons. The speed at which a person can write or type is dependent on many factors, and which is best for each person is relative. However, notating quickly is vital in today’s fast-paced world, so is writing or typing faster?

Is Writing Or Typing Faster?

In the modern world, most people find themselves tying far more than writing. Typing on a computer or on a smartphone has become far more commonplace than actually writing by hand, but this is simply a product o the world we live in. however, the need to do things quickly often leads us to lean on our preferred notation medium, so the answer to which is faster between typing and writing is a little more complicated than we may think.

A general statistic is that typing is, on average faster than writing by hand. This is a true statement for almost everyone who works with a computer, but there are some instances where typing may be slower and more cumbersome for some people.

It is true that typing has a higher possible top speed than writing by hand, as with proper technique, practice, and the right keyboard, typing is far more efficient than writing by hand with a pen or pencil.

However, some people are much faster writers than they are typists simply because they are not required to work with computers every day and have not developed the skill. Most people know how to write, and everyone has the need to write something down almost daily, so they become better at writing than typing.

However, it is a fact that typing is faster as a notation medium than writing by hand. With the right technique, some practice, and a good keyboard, anyone can become much faster at typing than they will ever be at writing by hand.

Why Is Typing Faster Than Writing?

Several studies have been conducted on this particular topic, especially in the 70s, 80s, and 90s when tying was a requirement for many jobs, and many workplaces had minimum typing speed requirements. There have been fewer studies conducted in more recent years, but even decades ago, with less advanced techniques and equipment, typing was faster than writing by hand.

Typing is faster than writing by hand simply because all that is required to form a letter is pressing one button. Writing a letter often requires a series of strokes to form one letter, and so constructing a word onto a sentence and then filling a page with handwritten words requires significantly more time than typing the letters and words on a keyboard.

The skill of typing is made more efficient with the correct techniques that allow the typist to minimize the distance that the fingers must travel to reach a letter on the keyboard, and so further reduce the time required for writing.

Fast Typists are able to sustain average word per minute typing speeds of well over 200 words per minute for extended periods with very levels of accuracy. The average person can comfortably type at and sustain a typing speed of around 40 words per minute on average.

Many regular people exceed this typing speed, but many do not; thus, the average is 40 words per minute for regular keyboard-using people. 

What Makes Writing Slower?

Typing on a modern keyboard has been proven to be significantly faster than writing by hand by many studies conducted independently, but what is it about writing by hand that makes it so slow when compared to typing on a keyboard?

Writing b hand is so much slower than typing due to various reasons. Forming a word by hand with a series of pen or pencil strokes takes more time than simply pressing a button, but there is more to it than that.

Writing with a pencil or pen requires the writer to hold their writing implement well, they must decide on handwriting to use, they must change the size of letters according to the grammar of the language that they are writing in, they must move their hand down the page to accommodate for writing within the lines of a ruled page, and they must write legibly and consistently a well.

The speed of writing by hand is affected by even minute factors such as friction, writing point size, paper smoothness, and even the muscle control in the hand of the person writing. All of these factors contribute to the speed at which a person is able to write by hand, which is typically significantly slower than typing in most instances.

Is Tying Always Faster Than Writing?

Typing is well proven to be the faster notation method compared with writing, but is this always the case? Is writing by hand ever faster than typing?

Most people are able to type much faster than they can write by hand, but there are some people who have not learned to type properly or who cannot type at all. These people tend to write better by hand compared to typing and often prefer writing over typing.

Most people can write faster than they can type, but there are a few exceptions. The fastest writers in the world, those who focus on speed writing, are able to write by hand at remarkable and shocking speeds, with incredible accuracy as well.

The fastest writers in the world are able to reach speeds in excess of 300 words per minute, writing by hand, with an accuracy of more than 97%.

These figures are unattainable for most people, but this proves that writing by hand can be much quicker and more efficient than most of us care to admit, and few of us will practice our handwriting to faster speeds when typing seems to be far simpler and more practical in the world in which we live nowadays.


Writing by hand is slower than tying in most instances. Typing is proven to be a better, more efficient, and faster means of notation, and most people type significantly faster than they can write by hand.

Writing is still a beautiful notation method that everyone should practice and master, as it is a necessary and useful skill, but for those who need to put things on paper quickly, typing is the fastest way to do it. 

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