Morse code on Gboard

You can enter text with Morse code on your Android device using Gboard, the Google Keyboard.

Tania’s Story: Morse code meets machine learning

Step 1: Download Gboard

Note: Morse code is available for US English on devices running Android 5.0 and later. To find your Android version, go to Settings and then About phone or About tablet.

To download Gboard on your Android device, go to Gboard on Google Play.

Step 2: Set up the Morse keyboard

To add the Morse code layout to Gboard:

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings app .
  2. Tap System, then Languages & input.
  3. Tap Virtual keyboard, then Gboard
  4. Tap Languages, then English (US).
  5. Swipe left through the options, then tap Morse code
  6. To hear sound feedback as you enter Morse code, turn on Sound on keypress.
  7. Optional: Change other Morse code settings on this screen. Learn more in "Change Gboard settings for Morse layout" below.
  8. Tap Done.

Tip: You can always go back to Gboard language settings from the Gboard. Touch and hold the comma (,), then tap Settings Settings app.

Step 3: Use Morse code on Gboard

When the keyboard is on your screen, switch to Morse code layout by pressing the Globe .

Now you can enter text using the dot (.) and dash (-) from Morse code.

For a tutorial that will teach you to type in Morse code with Gboard, visit morse.withgoogle.com/learn. To play a game and find other learning tools, visit g.co/morse.

Note: If you're using an accessibility service on your Android device (such as TalkBack, Switch Access, or Select to Speak), the Morse layout works with these services.

Connect an external switch

You can enter Morse code with an external switch device using Android Switch Access.

To ensure that the Morse keyboard shows on the screen when your switch device is connected: 

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings app .
  2. Tap System, then Languages & input.
  3. Tap Physical keyboard, then turn on Show virtual keyboard.

If your switch device already has keys assigned to the dot (.) and dash (-) characters, Gboard automatically registers these characters when you press those keys.

If you have more than 2 switches, you can assign the additional switches to other actions. For example:

Tip: If you're using 2 switches, try using the Gboard Morse settings "Character timeout" and "Word timeout." Learn more in "Change Gboard settings for Morse layout" below.

Change Gboard settings for Morse layout

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings app .
  2. Tap System, then Languages & input.
  3. Tap Virtual keyboard, then Gboard.
  4. Tap Languages, then Morse code.
  5. Learn about the settings below.

Character timeout

This setting controls how long Gboard waits before it turns a Morse code sequence into a letter. The default timeout is 1 second.

For example, if you tap dot-dash (the letter "a") and pause for 1 second, Gboard automatically sends the "a" to the current text field (such as the search bar or URL bar). 

If you turn off this setting, then you need to send each letter manually. To send a letter to the text field manually, press the space bar or the Morse composition area (where you see the Morse code).

Word timeout

This setting controls how long Gboard waits before it turns a series of letters into a word. This setting is off by default, so there's no timeout.

If you set word timeout to 1 second, then enter "hello," Gboard automatically adds a space in the text field after the word "hello" after 1 second.

Note: With word timeout, Gboard autocorrects, suggests, and predicts words as usual. For example, if you enter "nam" and Gboard suggests "name," then the word "name" goes to the text field after the word timeout (as if you entered "nam" and then space bar).

Key repeat

This setting lets you hold down the dot (.) or dash (-) to repeat the keystroke.

For example, to enter 3 dashes for the letter "o," you would press and hold the dash key instead of pressing the dash key 3 times. This setting can be helpful if it's difficult to tap multiple times.

When key repeat is on, you can also set when you want to start repeating (from 250 ms to 1 s) and the speed of the repeat rate.