Text input tool

The text input tool makes it easy to type in languages, like Hindi or Chinese, that use non-Latin characters. To use the tool, first make sure that your document’s language setting is set to the language you’d like to type in. To do this, click the File drop-down menu, hover your mouse over Language..., and then select the language you’d like to use. If you are using the tool in Google Sheets, click the File menu, select Spreadsheet settings..., and choose the locale to match the language you want to use.

The input tool will appear on the right side of your toolbar. Depending on the language you’re typing in, the tool will have one or more of the following modes:

  1. Phonetic input, represented by an icon indicating your chosen language, such as . With the phonetic input method selected, type the phonetic spelling of a word using Latin characters. The input tool will provide you with a numbered list of word choices. You can choose a word from the list by clicking on it, navigating the list with your keyboard arrows and pressing Enter to select a word, or by typing the number next to the word.

  2. Keyboard input, represented by a keyboard icon . With the keyboard input method selected, a virtual keyboard will appear on your screen whose keys you can click to type characters. Enabling this input method will also cause your computer’s physical keyboard to mirror the virtual one, which means you can comfortably use your actual keyboard to type the non-Latin characters on the virtual keyboard.
  3. Handwriting input, represented by a pencil icon . This input option is available for some languages, including Chinese and Russian. Selecting this option will open a handwriting panel in the lower-right corner of your window. To use the handwriting panel, draw characters in the panel with your mouse, then select from among the suggested character options at the bottom of the panel. Pressing Enter will select the first suggested option.

You can activate the text input tool by clicking its icon or by using a keyboard shortcut: Cmd + Shift + K on a Mac or Ctrl + Shift + K on a PC.

If all of the input options are available for the language you’d like to use, you can toggle between them by clicking the arrow next to the toolbar icon and then selecting an input option. You can also bring up the input option drop-down menu with a keyboard shortcut: Cmd + Option + Shift + K on a Mac or Ctrl + Alt + Shift + K on a PC.