Use the on-screen keyboard

To type or handwrite text, or to add images to files, documents, and emails, you can use your Chromebook’s on-screen keyboard.

Open the keyboard

Open the keyboard in Settings
  1. Sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. At the bottom right, select the time.
  3. Select Settings Settings.
  4. At the bottom, select Advanced.
  5. Under "Accessibility," select Manage accessibility features.
  6. Under "Keyboard and text input," select Enable on-screen keyboard.
Open the keyboard in tablet mode

If your Chromebook can be used as a tablet, the on-screen keyboard will automatically open when you flip the screen of your Chromebook over its hinge.

Use the keyboard

Use accented letters

If your default on-screen keyboard is the U.S. keyboard, you’ll need to switch to a different keyboard to type with accented letters:

  1. Open your Chromebook's on-screen keyboard.
  2. Select Settings Settings.
  3. Select Input method And then Manage input methods.
  4. Select a keyboard other than the U.S. keyboard. Note: If you only see the U.S. keyboard, you'll need to add another keyboard language before going to the next step. 
  5. In the bottom row of the on-screen keyboard, select AltGr.
  6. Select the accented letters you'd like to type.
Type text by speaking

You can speak to enter text in most places where you usually type. You can even add common punctuation marks by saying "comma," "period," "question mark," "exclamation mark," or "exclamation point.”

Type text with your voice

  1. Select where you want to type.
  2. Open your Chromebook's on-screen keyboard.
  3. In the upper right corner of the on-screen keyboard, select Speak Speak.
  4. The first time you do this, you’ll see a message explaining how the feature works. To turn on your microphone, select Got it.
  5. When the microphone icon turns blue, say what you want to type.
  6. Optional: To delete what you last said, select Delete.

Fix problems with voice typing

If you’re speaking, but text isn't showing up on the page, try these steps:

  • If you're using an external microphone, make sure it's fully plugged in, not muted, and using up-to-date software.
  • If you have other open programs on your Chromebook, make sure none of them are using your microphone.
  • At the bottom right, select the time. Then select the icon next to the volume slider. If more than one input is listed for your microphone, make sure the correct one is checked.
Insert emoji or other images

To insert emoji into documents, emails, and chat sessions:

  1. Open your Chromebook's on-screen keyboard.
  2. In the bottom row, select Emoji Emoji.
  3. Select the emoji or graphic you want to insert.
Handwrite text
  1. Select any text box to show the on-screen keyboard.
  2. Select Handwrite Handwrite.
  3. In the pad that appears, write text with your fingertip or touchscreen stylus.
Swipe to type

You can enter words by sliding your finger from letter to letter.

  1. Open your Chromebook's on-screen keyboard.
  2. Select the location where you want to type.
  3. Slide your finger across the letters of the word you want to type.
  4. Lift your finger when you finish the word.
    No need to select the space key. When you lift your finger, a space is added automatically.
  5. Optional: To change a word, select the word to see other choices.

Gesture typing is turned on automatically. To turn it off:

  1. Select Settings Settings.
  2. Select Input method.
  3. Next to your enabled keyboard, tap New tab New tab.
  4. Uncheck the box for Enable glide typing.

Adjust or turn off the keyboard

Adjust keyboard settings
  1. Open your Chromebook's on-screen keyboard.
  2. Select Settings Settings.
  3. Select Input method.
  4. Next to your enabled keyboard, select New tab New tab
  5. Decide which settings to change:
    • Adjust keypress sound.
    • Set the level of automatic correction you'd like.
    • Change auto-capitalization settings.
    • Choose whether a double space automatically adds a period.
    • Edit your dictionary entries.
Turn off on-screen keyboard
  1. At the bottom right, select the time.
  2. Select Settings Settings.
  3. At the bottom, select Advanced.
  4. Under "Accessibility," select Manage accessibility features.
  5. Under "Keyboard and text input," turn off Enable on-screen keyboard.

Get more help

How to use speech to enter text on your Chromebook

Chromebook Mobility-Assistive Features and Functionality