Use your keyboard

You can enter text and use images, like emojis and GIFs. You can change your keyboard language without changing your mobile device's language. You can handwrite words on your keyboard to enter text.

Important: Some of these steps work only on Android 7.0 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.
Get started with Gboard

Write with Gboard

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, install Gboard.
  2. Open any app that you can type with, like Gmail or Keep.
  3. Tap where you can enter text. From here, you can:
    • Move your cursor: Swipe left or right on the space bar.
    • Turn on caps lock: Double-tap Shift Shift. To turn it off again, tap Shift Shift.
    • Find accents and more options: Touch and hold a key.

Use emojis & GIFs

  1. On your Android device, open any app where you can write, like Gmail or Keep.
  2. Tap where you can enter text.
  3. Tap Emoji Emoji. From here, you can:
    • Insert emojis: Tap one or more emojis.
    • Insert a GIF: Tap GIF. Then choose the GIF you want.
  4. Tap Send Send.
Tip: To go back to entering letters, tap ABC.
Manage language settings on Gboard

Add a language on Gboard

When you change languages with Gboard, your Android device's language settings aren't affected.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, install Gboard.
  2. Open any app that you can type with, like Gmail or Keep.
  3. Tap where you can enter text.
  4. At the top of your keyboard, tap Open features menu Open features menu.
  5. Tap More More and then Settings Settings.
  6. Tap Languages and then Add keyboard.
  7. Pick the language you want to turn on.
  8. Pick the layout you want to use.
  9. Tap Done.
 

Add a language on Gboard through Android settings

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Settings app.
  2. Tap System and then Languages & input.
  3. Under "Keyboards," tap Virtual keyboard.
  4. Tap Gboard and then Languages.
  5. Pick a language.
  6. Turn on the layout you want to use.
  7. Tap Done.
 

Switch languages on Gboard

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open any app that you can type with, like Gmail or Keep.
  2. Tap where you can enter text.
  3. Touch and hold the space bar to switch languages.
 

Switch languages using the language switch key

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open any app that you can type with, like Gmail or Keep.
  2. Tap where you can enter text.
  3. In the bottom left of your keyboard touch and hold the comma, then drag your finger to Settings Settings to access the Gboard settingsSettings
  4. Tap Preferences.
  5. Tap the Show language switch key Globe.

Tip: If "Show language switch key" is greyed out, turn off Show emoji switch key Emoji.

Get started with Handwriting on Gboard

Important: Handwriting is not available in all languages.

Turn on Handwriting

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open any app that you can type in, like Gmail or Keep.
  2. Tap where you can enter text. Your keyboard will appear at the bottom of the screen.
  3. At the top left of the keyboard, tap Open features menu Open features menu.
  4. Tap Settings Settings.
    • If you don't see Settings: Tap More More and then Settings Settings.
  5. Tap Languages and then the language you want to use.
  6. Swipe right and turn on the Handwriting layout. If you don’t see it, Handwriting is not available for your language.
  7. Tap Done.

Select a Handwriting keyboard

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open any app that you can type in, like Gmail or Keep.
  2. Tap where you can enter text. Your keyboard will appear at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Touch and hold Globe Globe.
  4. Select a handwriting keyboard, like English (US) Handwriting. Your keyboard will become a blank writing area where you can enter words.
  5. With a finger or stylus, handwrite words on the keyboard to enter text.

Tip: In most languages, Gboard predicts when you need a space. If it misses one, tap the Spacebar at the bottom of your screen.

 

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