Use Gesture Typing

Some or all of this information applies only to devices running Android 4.2 and higher.

With Google Keyboard, you can enter words by simply sliding your fingers from letter to letter and choosing the suggested words. This is known as gesture typing. To type even faster, you can also use both hands.

How to use Gesture Typing

To input a word using Gesture Typing, follow these steps:

  1. Touch the location where you want to type to open the keyboard.
  2. Slide your finger slowly across the letters of the word you want to input.
    • If there's a double letter in your word, just slide your finger over that letter as usual and Google Keyboard will suggest the word with the double letter.
  3. Release your finger when you see the word you want.
    • To select one of the words in the suggestion strip, touch it. If you touched the wrong word, you can always select or manually enter the correct word.
  4. For even faster gesture typing, you can also incorporate moving your finger toward the space key in between words to insert a space without having to lift your gesturing finger. You can even use both hands as you're gesturing.
    • When you use Gesture Typing, there's no need to use the space bar—just continue to slide your finger across the letters you want to input, then lift your finger to start the next word.

If you don't see the word you want, you can type it out manually. If you want to change a word, touch the word to see other choices in the suggestion strip.

Tip: If there are letters you want to emphasize - for instance, if the keyboard displays a similar word instead of the one you want - hover over it slightly longer before moving on to the next letter.

Turn Gesture Typing on or off

Gesture Typing is on by default. To turn it off or back on again, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your device.
  2. Under "Personal," touch Language & input.
  3. Under "Keyboard & input methods," touch the Settings icon next to "Google Keyboard."
  4. Touch Gesture typing preferences.
  5. Check or uncheck the box next to "Enable gesture typing."

Manage Gesture Typing settings

You can change the settings for Gesture typing by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your device.
  2. Under "Personal," touch Language & input.
  3. Under "Keyboard & input methods," touch the Settings icon next to "Google Keyboard."
  4. Touch Gesture typing preferences.
  5. Check or uncheck the box next to "Enable gesture typing."
  6. You can change the following settings:
    • Dynamic floating preview: Choose to see the suggested word while gesturing.
    • Show gesture trail: Choose to see the trail of your gesture on the keyboard.
    • Phrase gesture: Choose to input spaces during gestures by gliding to the space key.

Kit is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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