Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 12 Deluxe: Win9X review: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 12 Deluxe: Win9X

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
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The Good Helps you type faster and more accurately.

The Bad Subjects you to cheesy video clips.

The Bottom Line For students and novice typists who let their fingers do the working, Mavis Beacon is your lady, especially if you need to churn out papers faster.

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Mavis Beacon is the Betty Crocker of keyboards. Her best-selling learn-to-type CD, now in its 12th edition, defines the genre of typing-instruction software. If you're strictly a hunt-and-peck typist but need to start churning out papers by the ream, Mavis is a must. It'll teach you proper typing technique and help break you of all those bad habits you've acquired over the years. And even if you already know your way around a spacebar, Mavis can still teach you a thing or two about speed and accuracy. Mavis Beacon is the Betty Crocker of keyboards. Her best-selling learn-to-type CD, now in its 12th edition, defines the genre of typing-instruction software. If you're strictly a hunt-and-peck typist but need to start churning out papers by the ream, Mavis is a must. It'll teach you proper typing technique and help break you of all those bad habits you've acquired over the years. And even if you already know your way around a spacebar, Mavis can still teach you a thing or two about speed and accuracy.

A drill a minute
Mavis may be a whiz with her fingers, but she could use a lesson in installation routines. Version 12 doesn't delete previous versions when it installs, so you could end up with two Mavis icons side by side in your system tray. Fortunately, using Mavis is a snap. When you load the program, it gives you the option of running it in Spanish. Click Yes or No, then sign in at the Registration screen and answer questions about your age, keyboard layout (for example, whether it's a standard 101 key model or a Microsoft Natural keyboard), and speed goals. You then move to the Classroom, where you encounter a virtual Mavis standing next to a video screen. Click the slick-looking PC on Mavis's right to begin your lessons, which start, naturally enough, with a typing test. How well you do on that first test determines which drills you need. After each drill, Mavis tells you your rate of words per minute and says things such as, "Look out world, here comes a great typist."

Once you've completed a few drills, Mavis suggests you take a break to play a typing game such as Chameleon Picnic, where letters march across the screen on the backs of ants. When you type one correctly, a chameleon slurps them up with its tongue. Or play Shark Attack, where you must correctly type words such as electroencephalograph or risk being eaten by Jaws.

Put me in, Coach
Brøderbund has improved Mavis's Personal Coach applet, which lets you refine your typing while you work on other projects in a word processor or other apps. Whenever you want to use Coach, just right-click the Mavis icon in the Windows system tray to call up a thermometerlike gauge that measures your speed in words per minute. Or you can display a replica of the keyboard with transparent hands that type along with you, showing you the correct finger positions (which is, frankly, a little unnerving). You can also use the coach to schedule daily typing lessons, load templates of book reports and other common documents into your word processor, or insert emoticons or clip art into your docs.

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Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 12 Deluxe: Win9X

Part Number: 380857
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Category computer based training
  • Compatibility PC