Google’s ecosystem of services benefits from the vast amount of information the search engine giant has on you. One of such services is Google GBoard which has consistently evolved for the better and is now one of the best keyboards available on Android and iOS today.
It’s there on almost all Android phones but you might not be using it to its full potential. Here are a few Google GBoard Tips and Tricks that you must know to type like a pro.
Note: You will have to access GBoard Settings for many of these features. You can do that by long-pressing the ‘Comma’ key and then tapping the Wheel Icon. You can also access the settings wheel in the top row once you tap the Google Search Button.
How to enable or disable floating Gboard keyboard
A floating keyboard can be a great convenience while typing on big phones or at times when you are doing sensitive work and do not wish the Gboard to hog half of the screen.
To enable a floating keyboard or to turn it off, simply press the triple dot icon in the top row and select the floating keyboard option. If the triple dot icon doesn’t show up in the first row, tap on the directional arrow.
Search and More button
The Google search button on the top can be used for directly searching and verifying tidbits via Google without leaving a particular app, but ‘More’ part is what you should be using more often.
If you don’t see the Google Icon, just go to GBoard Settings>> Search and toggle the option on.
When you tap the Google icon, you will see a row of icons that can be used to:
Change theme – You can directly change the theme of your GBoard. That is to say, you can add key borders, wallpapers, alter backdrop color, or choose a background image from your gallery.
One handed mode – conveniently switch to one handed mode, whenever you need to type using a single hand. You can re-size the keyboard according to your finger span, shift it to left or right and choose from a couple more options. (Can also be triggered by long press on Comma(,) key or the search magnifying class on the bottom right corner.
Cursor control – There is also an option you can use to move cursor or select text using arrow keys, which can come in handy, particularly on compact phones or when you are using just one hand.
Translate – Or you could directly translate text from the GBoard itself.
There are also icons for Voice input and to directly access keyboard settings at the far right end.
Add phrases and shortcuts to GBoard
The text that you use quite often, like your address, contact number or email – can be stored and summoned with the help of simple shortcuts whenever required.
Go to GBoard Settings >> Dictionary>>Personal dictionary>> Select keyboard and tap on ‘+’ to add custom phrase and shortcuts. You can also access settings menu directly by long-pressing comma key.
For instance, you can type your address and choose ‘add’ as a shortcut. Next time, you can just type ‘add’ and pick the entire address from the suggestion bar.
Mastering Select and Cursor Movement
– You can simply swipe Left or right on the space bar to move the cursor. To directly delete text, just swipe left on the GBoard starting from the backspace key.
– You can also tap the Google Icon and then choose the select option in the ‘search and more row’ and use arrow keys to move the cursor or to select text.
Adding number row: We also prefer to have a number key on our keyboard, simply because it’s more convenient than switching to and fro between the QWERTY keyboard and the number pad. You can add a number row on top as follows:
Gboard settings>> Preferences>> and toggle on ‘Number Row’ option under Keys.
Adding fractions – long press any number to get predictive suggestions for fractions
Using number pad – for times when you need to input long Numeric values (say, a win pin code or PNR number), a number pad can come in handy. Just tap the ‘123’ key and then tap the ‘1234’ button to the left of Space par to expand a number pad.
Multiple Language Keyboards/ Switch Language
Love typing in Hindi or another regional language script every now and then? Well, you can keep multiple keyboards and switch between them on the fly.
Go to Gboard keyboard settings>> languages and select preferred keyboard from ‘Active input methods’.
You can conveniently switch between different language keyboards by long pressing the ‘Space Bar’. If you switch between keyboards very often, you can also turn on ‘Show language switch key’ under Gboard settings>> preferences.
Mastering Emojis and GIFs
Add GIFs using Gboard – You can also replace ‘switch language key’ that we talked about earlier with a ‘switch emoji key’. This adds an emoji button which you can use to insert emojis and GIFs. The option is present under Gboard settings>> Preferences>> Keys
Draw emojis – You can also draw emojis with your hand to zero in on what you are searching for. Just tap the pencil icon in the bar on the left corner.
Recent emojis – You can also quickly access recently used Emoji in the top row of the symbol panel. Just go to Gboard settings>> Text correction>> and turn on ‘Show Emoji Suggestions’.
You can also enable your Gboard to evolve on its own by learning your usage behaviour for smarter suggestions. You can toggle the option on by turning on ‘Personalized suggestions’ under Gboard settings>> text correction.
GBoard Bonus Tips and shortcuts
- To disable autocorrect on GBoard – Go to Gboar settings>> text correction>> Correction, and turn off auto correction.
- To resize keyboard – Go to Gboard settings>> Preferences and adjust keyboard height under ‘Layout’
- You can long press and remove any suggestion from the suggestion row
- Long press period (.) key to enter other punctuation marks
- While typing URL, long press period(.) key to enter .com, .in, .gov, etc
- If you haven’t already, try swipe input on Gboard, it works mighty fine. Also, Swipe input also works in Hinglish on the Google Gboard.