How to Press Control Key (Palm-Control)

By Xah Lee. Date: .

Lots keyboard shortcuts require holding down control. It creates Repetitive Strain Injury if done too often. Here's some tips on pressing the control key.

Do not use your pinky to press the Control key.

Palm Hit Control

palm control key youngstabber 2013-08-20
palm pressing control key from youngstabber 2013-08-20 Palm pressing Control key. [photo by lanyueniao http://www.weibo.com/lanyueniao ]
palm pressing control key
Palm pressing Control key. (Photo by http://about.me/danielarber superuser.com)

Fist-Sit on Control

For some keyboards, it's not easy to use palm. Instead, you can curl in your fingers into a semi-fist, then sit your fist on the control key.

Pinky Knuckle Knock Control

Alternative is to knock the key with your pinky's knuckle.

pressing control key by pinky knuckle 2015-06-23
Pressing control key by pinky knuckle 2015-06-23. [image source reddit ]

Note, i don't recommend pressing the control key using knuckle all the time. You'll get a different type of pinky problem.

Palm Keycap

Use Both Hands

Do not use just one hand to type a Control+key combo.

Use one hand to press Ctrl, use the other hand to press the letter key. This is the same principle for pressing the Shift key in touch-typing.

When the key you want to press is on the left side of the keyboard, use the right side of Ctrl. For example, to press Ctrl+a, hold down the right Ctrl with your right palm edge, and use your left hand to press a. Make this into a habit. Using a single hand to press Ctrl+key combo means your hand is shaped into spider legs, thus putting stress on it when done repeatedly.

This is also why it is important to chose a keyboard with large Ctrl keys positioned on both sides of the keyboard.

Typing Habits, Repetitive Strain Injury

Typing
Habit, Injury

Mouse Pain

emacs, vi, RSI

Xah Keyboard Guide