Typing error

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Reversal of letters on an information display in Vienna

A typing error is an unrecognized misspelling in typed texts , which is not caused by ignorance of the correct spelling, but by a lack of concentration when entering text using the keyboard .


The contact surface of a finger consists of the roll , pitch and yaw angles , which do not always exactly hit the surface of a keyboard or a touchscreen . At high labor intensity , it can then be operating errors occur, the case of lack of self-control or concentration to data released erroneous input lead. The frequency of typing errors is a criterion when measuring typing behavior .

Most typing errors are caused by incorrect, additional or missing letters or numbers or by interchanging successive rows of letters or numbers ( number rotations ). Often a letter or number is entered whose key on the keyboard is adjacent to the desired correct key. An example of a typical typo is "Beispeil" (reversed letters in the word " Example "). In contrast, “Standart” (instead of “ Standard ”) is an example of a spelling error that is usually not a typo.

In finance , typing errors as fat fingers can lead to significant financial damage .


About 80% of all typos account for the four types of errors typos (z. B. "child r r" instead of "children"), Vertauscher ( "child re ") inserter ( "Kin d of") and Auslasser ( "Kin dr " ). These types of errors are also called elementary errors, with typos and swappers occurring more often than omissions and inserters, the latter in turn being less common than omissions. The use of the ten-finger system can also lead to incorrect synchronization of the left and right hands, resulting in an interchange due to transposition (“Ki dn er”). Often it is not possible to tell whether there is a typo or spelling error , because "Ferd" (instead of "Horse") can also be an omission.


Typing errors often represented a serious problem with typewriters without erasing tape, as had been used in offices for decades. In business transactions, the entire page had to be retyped without errors if a typing error occurred. Thus, typos had a clearly noticeable impact on the efficiency of a secretary . A time-saving stopgap measure when a flawless typeface was not required was the use of correction film or liquid correction media ( Tipp-Ex ) to touch up typed letters, pasting over incorrect sections and the later erased tape (a ribbon with white color).


With technical progress and the switch from the typewriter to PCs and printers , the typing error problem was clearly overcome, because it was now possible to proofread before a text was finally printed out. Today, many contain word processing also programs an automatic spell checker , with some of the misspellings and most typos can be found quickly in a text. Some text editors or word processing programs correct typical typing errors automatically as you type. However, this function can also have a disruptive effect if it mistakenly regards certain correct spellings as typing errors and automatically changes them to a spelling that the user does not want at all.


In programming , too, there are often typing errors ( syntax errors ) that lead to an error in the program. A spell check cannot be used here because the source text contains a large number of newly defined words (e.g. variable and function names). However, in text editors for program development, syntax highlighting and autocomplete help to identify certain types of typing errors as the program is being written. A syntax check is carried out e.g. B. in the compiler .

URLs / websites

There are website operators who try to take advantage of typographical errors made by Internet users when entering a URL into a browser to direct them to their own sites. To do this , they register domains that are very similar to those of well-known websites (example: “wikpedia.org” instead of “ wikipedia.org ”). This practice is known as typosquatting .

Individual evidence

  1. Thomas Schlegel (Ed.), Multi-Touch: Interaktion durch Zeiten , 2013, p. 370 limited preview in the Google book search
  2. Istvan S. Batori / Udo Hahn / Manfred Pinkal / Wolfgang Wahlster (eds.), Computational Linguistics and Their Theoretical Foundations , 1988, p. 138
  3. Bertrand Lisbach, Linguistic Identity Matching , 2011, p. 72 f.