Use the on-screen keyboard on Pixelbook

Use your Pixelbook's on-screen keyboard to type, insert emoji, use your voice to type text, and to handwrite text with the Pixelbook Pen (sold separately).

Open the on-screen keyboard

When your device is in tablet mode, open your on-screen keyboard by tapping any text box. To hide the keyboard, tap Hide keyboard Hide on-screen keyboard.

  • If you open the on-screen keyboard with your finger, the keyboard will default to typing mode.
  • If you open the on-screen keyboard with a Pixelbook Pen (sold separately), the keyboard will default to handwriting mode.

You can change the layout by selecting the mode you want (Keyboard Input or Handwriting Handwriting) in the top left of the on-screen keyboard. Your device will remember your choice as the default going forward.

Enable/disable the on-screen keyboard in laptop mode

If you want to use the on-screen keyboard even if your device has a physical keyboard attached, you can enable it in Settings.

  1. Sign in to your device.
  2. At the bottom right, select the time to open the status area.
  3. Select Settings Settings
  4. At the bottom, select Advanced.
  5. Under "Accessibility," select Manage accessibility features.
  6. Under "Keyboard," select Enable on-screen keyboard.

Use the keyboard

Tip: For quick access to emoji, handwriting, and voice input, add keyboard input options to your device's shelf.

  1. At the bottom right, select the time to open your status area.
  2. Select Settings Keyboard settings.
  3. Under "Languages and input," select Input method.
  4. Next to "Show input options in the shelf," tap the toggle to enable.
  5. Your keyboard type (for example, "US" for a US keyboard) will appear in a circle on the right side of your shelf. Select to see input options.
Turn Caps Lock on or off

To enable Caps Lock while using the on-screen keyboard, double-tap Shift Shift / Up arrow.

To disable Caps Lock, tap Shift Shift / Up arrow again.

Use accented letters

Note that not all keyboards support this feature.

  1. Open your on-screen keyboard. It should be a keyboard language that supports accent characters.
    Note: If you're using a keyboard language that doesn’t support accent characters, you’ll need to do one of these things before moving to the next step:
    • Switch to another keyboard language you already added by tapping the key to the left of the space bar.
    • Add a new keyboard language. For instructions, see Related articles.
  2. U.S. keyboard: Long-press the key for the letter you want to accent (for example, a to insert á) and select the option you want
    International keyboards: In the bottom row of the on-screen keyboard, select AltGr. Then tap the accented characters 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 device's on-screen keyboard.
  3. In the upper right corner of the on-screen keyboard, tap or select Speak Microphone.
  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 device, 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 device's on-screen keyboard.
  2. In the lower left corner, select Emoji Emoji.
  3. Select the emoji or graphic you want to insert.
Handwrite text

To handwrite text with Pixelbook pen, use the writing pad.

  1. Open your on-screen keyboard.
  2. In the top left of the keyboard, select Handwriting Handwriting. A writing pad will appear.
  3. Write text with your Pixelbook Pen, fingertip, mouse, or touchpad.
Swipe to type

You can enter words by sliding your finger from letter to letter, called glide typing.

Note: This feature only works for the US English keyboard. It won't work if you've turned on the keyboard in the Accessibility settings menu.

  1. Open your 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.
  5. No need to tap the space key. When you lift your finger, a space is added automatically.
  6. Optional: To change a word, tap the word to see other choices.

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

  1. Open your on-screen keyboard.
  2. In the top row of the keyboard, select Settings Settings
  3. Next to "Input method," select the Down arrow Down Arrow
  4. Next to "US Keyboard," select new tab New tab
  5. Next to "Enable glide typing," tap the toggle to turn it off.

Adjust or turn off the keyboard

Activate the floating keyboard
  1. Open your on-screen keyboard.
  2. Tap Float Float keyboard
  3. Move the floating keyboard by tapping and holding the direction pad at the bottom of the keyboard Direction pad and dragging it to another position on the screen.
  4. To return the keyboard to its original docked position, tap Dock Dock
Adjust keyboard settings
  1. Open your on-screen keyboard.
  2. In the top row of the keyboard, select Settings Keyboard settings
  3. Next to "Input Methods," select the Down arrow Down Arrow
  4. Next to "US keyboard," select New tab New tab
  5. Under "On-screen keyboard," tap the toggle next to each setting to turn it on or off:
    • Turn keypress sound on and off.
    • Set the level of automatic correction you'd like.
    • Turn auto-capitalization on and off.
    • Choose whether a double space automatically adds a period.
    • Edit the entries you've made to your dictionary.

Troubleshoot issues with the on-screen keyboard

Before proceeding with troubleshooting, you can report any issues or experiences with your device to us by sending a feedback report. To do so:

  1. On a keyboard: Press Alt + Shift + i.
    On a touchscreen: In the top right of your browser window, select More More and then Help and then Report an issue.
  2. In the "Tell us what's happening" field, add any important details, including the steps to follow to reproduce what you're experiencing.
  3. To submit the report, select Send.
On-screen keyboard doesn't respond

If the on-screen keyboard appears on the screen but isn't responding to your touch, first try restarting your device:

  1. Turn off your device by holding down the Power button, or selecting the time in the bottom right and choosing Power Power
  2. Wait for the device to turn off.
  3. Press the Power button.

If the issue persists, you can instead perform a hard reset of your device:

  1. Turn off your device by holding down the Power button, or selecting the time in the bottom right and choosing Power Power
  2. Wait 1 minute.
  3. While pressing and holding the Refresh key Refresh, tap the Power button.

To learn more about resetting your device, see Related articles.

On-screen keyboard doesn't appear

If the on-screen keyboard doesn't appear when you select a text field, check the following:

  • Make sure your device isn't in laptop mode, or that the on-screen keyboard is enabled while in laptop mode. For more information, see Open the on-screen keyboard.
  • Make sure you've selected a valid text entry field. You may want to test this using a different app or webpage.

If the issue is with the on-screen keyboard, first try restarting your device:

  1. Turn off your device by holding down the Power button, or selecting the time in the bottom right and choosing Power Power
  2. Wait for the device to turn off.
  3. Press the Power button.

If the issue persists, you can instead perform a hard reset of your device:

  1. Turn off your device by holding down the Power button, or selecting the time in the bottom right and choosing Power Power
  2. Wait 1 minute.
  3. While pressing and holding the Refresh key Refresh, tap the Power button.

To learn more about resetting your device, see Related articles.

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