Gboard — the de facto keyboard for Android — is one of the easiest and smartest keyboards on the planet. It offers quick search, quick translate, emoji packs, and more features. Still, many of us don’t harness the full potential of Gboard by not knowing how to.
So in this post, I’ll be showing you the best of Gboard by highlighting its superb features and the plethora of customization option. Once you know all its tips and tricks, you will start enjoying Gboard to the full. Let’s get started.
Note: I’ll be configuring Gboard’s settings in many of the tricks below. You can access them on your device as easily as opening your Android’s Settings > choosing “Languages & input” > “Virtual keyboard” > Gboard.
Read Also: Search Emojis in Gboard Using Doodles
1. Translate text quickly
One of my favorite features, Gboard allows to quickly translate a text which, I find, is especially useful while writing in a different language. It will help you while chatting with a foreign friend or client.
You can click the rightward arrow on the suggestion strip and select the icon for Google Translate to access this feature. Then just select the language, type in the text you want to write and it will type in its translated text.
2. Delete suggested words
If you are unhappy with a suggested word, then you can delete the suggestion and opt not to see it again using this trick. You can long-press a suggested word and drag it to the trash icon to delete it from the suggestions.
3. Add quick punctuations
Gboard adds few options to help you type faster, and avoiding or quick-typing punctuations is one of the tricks to achieve the speed. You can enable multiple punctuation tricks in the Gboard’s Settings > “Text correction“. The options are named “Auto-space after punctuation” and “Double-space full stop“.
As you may have guessed, these allow you to add a full-stop by pressing the spacebar two times and auto-adds space after any punctuation. Additionally, there is another trick to quickly add punctuations. You can long-press the full stop key and swipe to or tap a punctuation key from the shown list.
4. Use text editing mode
If you ever tried to edit text in Android, especially if that text is very long, you would know it is not an easy task. Gboard features a text editing mode to solve this very problem.
Whenever you need to use the text editing mode, just press the right arrow in the suggestion strip, and press the cursor icon. In this mode, you can easily traverse between words or sentences using the arrow keys.
5. Change case of a word
Gboard has a nifty feature to change the case of a word. You just need to select a word and press the shift key on the keyboard to switch its case. It lets you select from two cases quickly and effectively — title case and uppercase. The former capitalizes the first letter and the latter capitalize the whole word.
6. Use one-handed mode
If you use a big screen smartphone, which are usually popular these days, you may have a problem while typing by using one hand. In such a case, you can enable the one-handed mode of Gboard. In this mode, the keyboard is less in width and is aligned towards the left or the right of the screen per your choice.
You can enable it in Gboard’s Settings > Preferences > “One-handed mode“.
7. Search inside the Gboard
Google, being a search engine, has implemented a simple yet quite effective search functionality right into Gboard. This makes the distance between you and your searches just a click away.
You can enable this feature by opening Gboard’s Settings > Search and toggling on the options named “Predictive Search” and “Show ‘Search and more’ button“.
Finally, you can click the right arrow on the suggestions strip and click the search icon to make a search without pausing typing in the Gboard.
8. Switch b/w languages
Whenever you need to switch the language or the keyboard layout, you can long-press the spacebar key and select from the dialog “Change Keyboard“.
Gboard also features a dedicated language switch key, which you can enable from its settings > Preferences > “Show language switch key“. If you see the button disabled, toggle off “Show emoji-switch key“, then try it again.
9. Enable the number row
If you find yourself keying in numbers quite often, it is better to enable and use the number row to speed up your typing. You can enable it by selecting Preferences in Gboard’s Settings and toggling on “Number row“.
10. Delete a complete word
When I started using a touch keyboard seven years ago, I found deleting words was one of the hardest tasks. Gboard helps with this task as you can click and swipe left from the backspace key on the keyboard to delete a word.
But you shall enable an option before you can use this trick. Please choose “Glide typing” in Gboard’s Settings and toggle on “Enable gesture delete“.
11. Delete a whole sentence
Gboard allows deleting complete sentences as well. You can delete the last sentence by clicking and swiping left from the backspace key — swipe at least as two to three letters or a little more distance than the last trick. But you must first enable Gboard’s Settings > “Glide typing” > “Enable gesture delete“.
12. Sync the learned words
If you have a personal dictionary where you store newly learned words or shortcuts to use in Gboard, then you can sync it with your account. It will help you get your dictionary back if you lose it or switch your phone or use multiple smartphones using a single account.
You can enable the feature by heading over to Gboard’s Settings > Dictionary and toggling on the option named “Sync learned words“. That is it.
13. Type in the Morse code
Morse code is an accessibility feature for special people who cannot talk, type, or swipe normally. While it is a useful feature for people who need it, it brings a good opportunity for people who want to learn the Morse code.
You can activate the Morse code keyboard by opening the Gboard’s Settings and choosing Languages > “English (US)” and selecting “Morse code“. If you do not see “English (US)“, then click “ADD KEYBOARD” inside Languages and select “Morse code” as the layout and click the DONE button to save it.
Finally, while typing, you can long-press the spacebar key to launch the “Change Keyboard” dialog and choose “English (US) Morse code” to use it.
14. Type in your handwriting
Gboard supports handwriting recognition feature that allows you to hand-write using your fingers. Though I find it slower than typing using the qwerty keyboard, yet it is an enjoyable exercise when you wish to try an unusual thing.
You can enable the handwriting keyboard by going to the Gboard’s Settings > Languages > “English (US)” (or your language) and selecting the “Handwriting” layout. Then, you can switch to it by long-pressing the spacebar key.
15. Long-press for symbols
If you wish to keep the keyboard short in height but still wishes to quickly press letters and symbols, then you can opt for this handy feature. You can enable this option by going to Gboard’s Settings > Preferences and toggling on “Long-press for symbols“. Then after, long-press a key for typing its hinted symbol.
16. Advanced text predictions
Gboard, thanks to Google’s achievements in the field of Artificial Intelligence, has a powerful prediction feature for suggesting next words and phrases for you. It can also learn from your contacts and data from other Google services.
You can amplify its prediction features by enabling a few options found in its settings > “Text correction“. Please toggle on options “Next-word suggestions“, “Suggest Contacts“, and “Personalised suggestions” on this screen.
17. Change the board’s height
In case you are not happy with the keyboard’s height, which you may find too long if you have enabled word suggestions or voice input key; then you can adjust the board’s height to make it longer or shorter. Just head over to Gboard’s Settings > Preferences and click “Keyboard height” and move the slider.
18. Add shortcuts for words
Gboard has an option to maintain a personal dictionary. Although you may not use it if you type in English, yet there is a use case that makes the dictionary a very effective feature for typing faster.
While adding words to your personal dictionary, you can also add shortcuts for those words, and even add phrases. Then when you are typing on the keyboard, you can type in the shortcut and you will see the word or the phrase appearing as a suggestion; just click it and it is typed.
You can add words to your personal dictionary by going to the Gboard’s Settings > Dictionary > “Personal dictionary” > your language and click the + button.
That is all about the various tips and tricks for Gboard. I hope these will help you achieve greater typing speed and superior typing experience on Android.