Use Google Keyboard

Here are some tips to get you familiar with your device's keyboard. To type faster and more accurately, you can take advantage of the keyboard's word recognition and next-word prediction. You can also add some color and fun to your messages by using emojis.

Get a quick video overview of Google Keyboard

Type & edit content

Open Google Keyboard and enter text

With some apps, the keyboard will open automatically. In others, you open it by by touching the area where you want to type. To enter text, just touch the keys. To make the keyboard disappear from the screen, touch the modified Back button below it.

Here's an illustrated guide to some of the keyboard's basic features - note that actual features may vary by device:

Basic editing on Google Keyboard
  • Change where you want to type: Touch the cursor, then touch and drag the tab that appears below it to the new position.
  • Select text: Touch and hold or double-tap within the text. The nearest word highlights, with a tab at each end of the selection. Drag the tabs to change the selection.
  • Delete text: Touch Delete .
  • Type capital letters: To switch to capital letters for one letter, touch Shift  once.
    • You can also touch and hold Shift  while you type or you can touch Shift  and slide to another key. When you release the key, the lowercase letters reappear.
  • Turn caps lock on: Double-tap or touch and hold Shift  so that it changes to . Touch Shift  again to return to lowercase.
  • Change word capitalization: If you want to quickly change the capitalization of a word you've already typed, you can select it and touch Shift . You'll have the option to select the capitalized word or the word in all capital letters.
  • Type a symbol or character: To switch to symbol keys for one word, touch the symbol key once.
    • You can also touch and hold the symbol key while you type or you can touch the symbol key and slide to another key. When you release the key, the letter keys reappear.
  • View more symbols and characters: Touch and hold symbols or characters to get accented characters or additional symbols.
  • Cut and copy: Select the text you want to cut or copy, then touch Cut  or Copy .
  • Paste: Touch the space where you want to paste your text and then touch Paste. If you want to replace other text with the text you copied, highlight the text, then touch Paste .

Use next-word suggestions

Using next-word suggestions can help you type faster. As you type, you'll see suggestions for your next word based on your previous word so you don't have to type every word. Make sure you turn on next-word suggestions to use this setting.

How next-word suggestions work
  1. Touch the screen where you want to input text and start typing.
  2. Just after typing or gesturing a word, Google Keyboard will start predicting words that you may want to type next.
  3. If you see the word you want, touch it. You can save time by selecting these predictions.

Use keyboard dictionaries

With Google Keyboard, you can see word suggestions from dictionaries in 26 different languages. You can even add words to your own personal dictionary.

Install or delete keyboard dictionaries

To install or delete keyboard dictionaries, 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 Text correction.
  5. Touch Add-on dictionaries.
  6. You'll see dictionaries for other languages that you can download to your device or that you've already downloaded. Touch the dictionary you want, then touch Install.
  7. To delete a dictionary that's installed, touch it and touch Delete.
Add words to your personal dictionaries

You can add your own words to your personal dictionary so that your device remembers them. To add a word or phrase, including an optional shortcut, 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 Text correction.
  5. Touch Personal dictionary.
  6. Select the dictionary you'd like to add a word to.
  7. Touch the Add icon and type your word and an optional shortcut.

You can also add words to your personal dictionary as you're using the keyboard by following these steps:

  1. Type the word using Google Keyboard.
  2. When the word pops in the suggestion strip, touch it. The screen will say "Touch again to save."
  3. Touch the word again to save it to your personal dictionary.

Use emoji in Google Keyboard

You can use Google Keyboard to choose from a variety of small, colorful images used to express emotion (known as emoji) to add some fun to your messages.

Add emoji to messages
  1. Touch an area where you can enter text.
  2. If you don't see the face icon on your keyboard, touch and hold the Enter key.
  3. Touch the face icon, then select an emoji.

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

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