Typewriter Fonts, Sounds and Simulators

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This article is for those of you who want to make your computer or laptop sound and/or feel like a typewriter. There are multiple ways to make this happen. There are fonts that resemble printed typewriter text. There are writing apps that make your computer act more like a typewriter. There are also mechanical keyboards which can provide both a typewriter feel and sound.

Typewriters Fonts

The Courier line of fonts resemble typed text. There is probably already a Courier font on your word processor. Courier is a monospaced font. According to the Wikipedia entry it was commissioned by IBM and later became a standard typewriter industry font.

Typewriter text written with Courier New font

Any monospaced font will look like it could have been typed. Monospace means "having characters with uniform width." Here are some sites that offer typewriter font downloads.

Mechanical Keyboards

Mechanical keyboards provide the sound and feel of a typewriter. Pressing the keys also has more of a typewriter feel. A regular keyboard uses a cheap rubberized membrane but a mechanical keyboard has a physical switch under each key. The keys are also changeable and removable and on some keyboards some of them are programmable. They are a big deal in the gaming world. This video from Techradar will give you a better idea of mechanical keyboards. You can hear what they sound like as well. Some keys are louder than others. If you are using loud keys in an office environment it might upset your coworkers. There are lot of options with mechanical keyboards. You should try a mechanical keyboard if you really miss the typewriter typing sensation. Take a look:

For more on mechanical keyboards, read the "Should You Switch?" article from PC World.

Apps and Other Resources

There are many apps and extensions designed to work with your browser or word processor that can generate typewriter sounds. Some of these apps provide a typewriter noise when you are typing. Here are three good writing apps that include typewriter sound effects.

Hanx Writer

The Hanx Writer app from Tom Hanks was designed to give you the typewriter feel. Tom Hanks says, "I write without caring about typeovers, XXXX’d out words, goofy syntax, & bad spelling because the feel & sound of a typewriter is satisfying in ways that couldn’t be matched. — Until now!"

Here's a video showing Hanx Writer in action. The video is by Type-Writer.org. Take a look:

Calmly Writer

The Calmly Writer app was designed to offer a clean distraction free workspace so you can focus on your writing. It also has a typewriter sound you can toggle on and off. It can also be used online in the browser by going directly here. Then open the menu on the upper left side and click preferences and turn on the typing sound.

Writer from Bighugelabs

The Bighugelabs Writer App calls itself the Internet typewriter. It can produce a manual typewriter sound or an electric typewriter sound. The sound can be turned on or off. They also have different fonts, including typewriter style fonts.

Return to the tools section for more writing tools.