How to Add a Number Row at the Top of the Android Keyboard

To type numbers using the default Android keyboard, we usually have to hit the “?123” key to switch the layout. That’s a bit time-consuming especially if you have to type numbers frequently. This article focuses on solving the problem by adding an Android keyboard containing a number row in its default layout.

NOTE: All screen-shots used in this article are based on Android 4.4.4.

Here is a screen-shot of the default Android keyboard:

android-normal-keyboard

Now, in order to have a keyboard containing a dedicated number row at the top, use the following steps:

1. Go to the “Settings” app and tap on the “Language & input” option present in the “Personal” section.

android-settings

2. Here, under the “Keyboard & Input Methods” section, you’ll see that theĀ “Google Keyboard” is the default keyboard. Just tap on the customization icon present next to the selected keyboard to open its settings.

android-language-input-settings

3. Now, under the “Other Options” section, tap on the “Advanced settings” option.

android-google-keyboard-settings

4. Once inside the “Advanced settings” menu, tap on the “Custom input styles” option.

android-google-keyboard-advanced-settings

5. Here you will see a couple of input styles: “German” and “French.” Tap on the “Add Style” option present at the bottom of the screen to add a new style.

android-keyboard-custom-input-styles

6. In the pop-up window, select “Language” as “English (US)” (or whatever language you are comfortable in) and “Layout” as “PC,” and then tap on the “Add” option.

android-keyboard-add-input-style

7. A confirmation window will appear asking you to enable the input style you’ve just added. Just click the “Enable” option.

android-keyboard-enable-input-style

8. Now, in the next screen, under the “Active Input Methods” menu, you’ll see that the keyboard you just enabled is active. If not, make sure it is by ticking on the box against it. Once done, click the standard back option present at the bottom left.

android-keybaord-select-input-method

9. This will take you back to the “Custom input styles” menu where you’ll see that the new keyboard you just added and enabled appears in the list.

android-new-keyboard-added

10. That’s it. Now open any window containing a text box to check the changes.

android-new-keyboard-in-action

As you can see in the image above, the new Android keyboard now contains a row of numbers on the top.

The trick obviously makes it easier and faster for you to type numbers while using the keyboard. However, it does come with a drawback: the keys are small compared to the ones that were there on the default keyboard, although that shouldn’t be a problem in most cases.

Do you know of any other method to achieve this? Share your ideas in the comments below.