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126 of 129 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice enough product - but set up for a US market
This is a well-structured product. It's clear and simple to set up and use (installed on my Vista-based laptop within 3 minutes) and provides a good range of exercises, assessments, skill levels, games and rewards - in the form of print-off certificates - to help users feel that their efforts are taking themselves somewhere. The instructions are clear and concise and it...
Published on 24 Oct 2008 by Seren Ade

versus
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great simple software but has a few bugs...
I haven't realy used many of these typing software packages, to be honest maybe only once before, so the whole program was pretty new to me.

From the start its very simple to setup and run, getting around the menus are a doddle and digging deep into the exercises are easy. It features a ton of exercises and fun games to help you through the learning experience...
Published on 15 Nov 2008 by A R Hartley


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126 of 129 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice enough product - but set up for a US market, 24 Oct 2008
By 
Seren Ade (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a well-structured product. It's clear and simple to set up and use (installed on my Vista-based laptop within 3 minutes) and provides a good range of exercises, assessments, skill levels, games and rewards - in the form of print-off certificates - to help users feel that their efforts are taking themselves somewhere. The instructions are clear and concise and it is easy enough to edit out unwanted features (such as the disappointing BLAH muzak that plays as a default to accompany exercises).

Users should be aware, however, that the program is clearly designed for a US market. This does have some impact on the content of the product: the American English spellings of several words used make it particularly necessary for UK users to ensure that they pay careful attention to typing out what appears on screen in front of them... rather than relying on knowledge of how a word is spelt in British English. This probably should make no odds to an experienced touch-typist, however as someone who was not typing trained, but is trying to improve their keyboard skills, I have been finding this quite hard to master... especially since, in some exercises, the difference between a UK and US spelling can result in a whole section of text being marked as mistyped.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and effective!, 10 Dec 2008
By 
Kevin O'Keefe (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a lifelong `two-index-finger-tapper' I thought it was about time I learnt how to type properly. I have in fact tried a similar CD touch typing course in the past but found it boring and quickly lost patience with it. Mavis Beacon's `Teaches Typing Platinum' is a considerable improvement on this and I was surprised to find how effective it was.

To begin with the disc loads up no problem. You are then presented with a colourful and graphically pleasing interface that simply guides you through the preliminaries and after a couple of tests the programme then assesses your current ability. You are then given increasingly difficult routines to copy and are tested at various intervals to gauge your progress. Depending on your progress further letter keys will be added (or taken away) and new exercises introduced. If you are not particularly happy with a certain routine you can repeat it as many times as you wish till you feel up to speed (and there is an indicator that shows your current words-per-minute-speed). After every few exercise the tutor invites you to play a simple videogame-style exercise that tests your familiarity with the newly learnt keys. The learning curve can, at times, be steep but the programme never leaves you behind and will suggest going over some of the previous exercises before moving on.

Anyway, what you really want to know is `does it work?' Well, having used it for an hour or so a day for the past few days I am pleased to find that it is indeed very effective. In fact even within the first couple of hours I was finding myself typing simple words and phrases without looking at the keyboard. I was then able to concentrate on increasing the speed. I have still a long way to go before I could claim to be a proficient touch-typer but, I genuinely believe if you are reasonably dedicated to following the programme, you should expect great results before too long. Sure, the syrupy, American over-the-top remarks of encouragement (Good Job! You're doing amazing - keep it up! etc) can get on your wick at times but that's a small quibble in what is otherwise a great little package.

Recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but for the dated grapics, 9 Nov 2008
By 
Benjamin (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have been typing for many years, and have know the basics of tough typing, although I have not been able to apply them; so I have been unable to type without looking at the keyboard. One obvious problem with this being that I would not notice mistakes until long after they were made. So I finally decided to do something about it; Mavis Beacon to the rescue!

Once loaded the programmes is very easy to use; and it starts with some quite basic lessons using just a few keys. As the lessons progress so more keys are introduced. Every so often the routine of exercises is broken with a typing "game" of one form or another. There are also tests which assess whether or not you are ready to pass on the next level.

The lessons are tailored to the user's ability based on an initial typing test. The programme also allows the user to dictate to a certain extent, with the choice of taking a lesson, going to the practice area, playing a game, or customising the lessons. There are also various charts which show, for example, ones progress, or which keys one knows well and which ones need more practice. While one is typing an on-screen keyboard shows the correct finger to use for the key required.

How does it work in practice? With spending only about 15 minutes a day and without too much effort, after a week I noticed a marked improvement in my typing. After two weeks I had more that doubled my speed and considerably improved my accuracy. Obviously giving more time daily would mean even faster progress, but one of the attractions of such a programme is that one can dictate for oneself how much time is devoted to it.

While the lessons are not exactly all fun, they are not tedious either and offer plenty of variety. My biggest criticism is the graphics; they are very dated and rather basic, and it's not a familiar Windows format. The on screen font used could have been better chosen; I had difficulty distinguishing between a capital and lower-case "L". Another niggle, this being an American product, the keyboard is set to the American keyboard layout, so the position of the " and @ characters is switched. So on these points as far as I am concerned it looses one star; but otherwise it is an excellent way to improve ones typing skills.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for getting your typing speed up to scratch, 4 Nov 2008
By 
mr_ska (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm very impressed with Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20. I learned how to type more years ago than I care to remember on an old manual typewriter, and that was no fun and it was often very painful! Using the Mavis Beacon software to brush up my skills is very enjoyable and certainly not painful though. :D

Since I already know how to type I can't really comment on how good the software is for learning from scratch, but I suspect that it would be very good indeed. It's certainly good for people like me who just fancy a bit of a refresher or to work on overall speed and accuracy.

The software came in a nice cardboard sleeve, which makes a change from the ubiquitous DVD cases, and it installed easily and quickly for me on a system running Windows XP. Once installed it was very easily configured to suit me. From installation to being up and running on one of the typing exercises was a matter of a few minutes. The minimum requirements are very low, so if you have a machine that can run Vista, or even anything that can run XP without wheezing you'll have no problem running this.

The lessons and exercises are quite fun, and the games are enjoyable. I must comment on the background music as well, the default music that came up for me was some nice gentle jazz, which brought a smile to my face. There's other music to choose from if that's not to your tastes, and you can even use your own music if you fancy it.

So overall I'm definitely very happy with Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20. It's pleasant and fun to use, and it genuinely does improve your typing speed and accuracy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 18 Dec 2008
By 
Lilly Penhaligon (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having bought several similar products over the years, I have to honestly say that this has been the best so far. In spite of uninspiring packaging and the usual mediocre musical accompaniments to exercises, the rest of the programme is really very good. Well organised and easy to set up and use (especially for those who are not so technically au fait) this package was everything I was looking for in a learning to type programme. I actually got this to help another member of my family who is the classic technophobic one-finger typist. He took to the programme straight away despite giving up with countless others and has branched out from one finger typing to using both hands. I would agree with other reviewers that there is a need for a specialist product for the UK market (US spelling is just never going to look right) but in the meantime I would recommend this to anyone who wants to improve their typing skills in an interactive, motivating and most of all, simple and straightforward way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 20 May 2011
This review is from: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
I think this product is brilliant and so do my 14 year old and 10 year old. In some reviews I had read that there is a problem with different keys because it is American. I just pressed the correct English key for it and it works. Easy to follow, understand and to find your way around.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Upgrade of Mavis... Well Done, 26 Oct 2008
By 
shaz17 (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love this new version. I first bought Mavis Beacon over 7 years ago and what a change for the better.

There a lot more games to play too, 12 in total and as I am learning Spanish this was a tremendous help as I could type Spanish too. It would have been even better if it had French & German in there too. It does a French passage though.

I like the progress tracking report better too, and I could check on mine and my daughters and she is fast becoming more than a one finger typist. She thinks this is a fun program and while they are having fun they are learning.

It has 3 keyboard options, which is good if you have one of those split keyboards or one of those little notebook types with the small keyboards.

The interface and layout is absolutely fantastic and I cant find fault with this program in any way (Well except that it could have had more languages, as this is a brilliant concept, that I haven't seen in any other program of this nature)

And my 12 year old loves the fact that she could listen to her music while typing with this program. I like the fact she is reading some classics along the way, while she is learning her typing.
All my children have learnt to type with Mavis, and so this modern up to date version is a plus for me and my family.

Well worth the money any day.

A Fantastic Upgrade of Mavis... Well Done
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great., 17 Nov 2008
This review is from: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
To begin with I wasn't to sure if I would find this
product enjoyable or not, as I have never used anything
similar before.

I have now used this product for a couple of weeks,
and I must say I have found it fun to use, and I have
definately improved my typing skills.

I Highly recommend it.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great simple software but has a few bugs..., 15 Nov 2008
By 
A R Hartley "Monkey" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I haven't realy used many of these typing software packages, to be honest maybe only once before, so the whole program was pretty new to me.

From the start its very simple to setup and run, getting around the menus are a doddle and digging deep into the exercises are easy. It features a ton of exercises and fun games to help you through the learning experience. It features a great tracking feature to watch your progress over the courses and can help give you an idea on what your failing or excelling at.

I have used it a few times now and have found it pretty helpfull, but my biggest annoyance are the freezes, i aint entirely sure why its happening although there are reports online in forums of several freezes, this for me is a bit of a low are hindered the whole experience...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should Greatly Improve Your Typing, 24 Nov 2008
By 
A. Rose (Devon & Menorca) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20 (Mac/PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I would describe my typing as intermediate but a little rusty from not working for six years. If you already have good keyboard skills - by good you ought to be typing with all fingers and looking at the screen - then this program will improve your speed and accuracy. If you are a two finger typist and tend to be looking at the keyboard whilst you type then you will probably get fairly irritated by Mrs Beacon and start off with much slower results than you normally would type. You have to be disciplined in that you keep your fingers on the `home' keys and start off with the `Lesson Area' of the program so that you really familiarise yourself with the keyboard without looking at it. The temptation is to quickly move on to the typing games, which is fine if you are just trying to improve speed and accuracy if you can already type, but all the games require your eyes to be on the screen otherwise you die or crash, so you really need to bottom the basics in the `Lesson Area'

The CD was very easy to load onto the computer - it more or less does it itself - and the program itself is very user friendly and easy to understand. The graphics are bright and brash, if a little childish, and of the sixteen different typing games there's bound to be at least half a dozen that become your favourites.
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Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20 (Mac/PC)
Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Platinum V20 (Mac/PC) by Avanquest Software (Mac OS X Intel, Windows Vista / XP)
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