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.

The default Android keyboard

Here is a screen-shot of the default Android 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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.

Himanshu Arora Himanshu Arora

Himanshu Arora is a freelance technical writer by profession but a software programmer and Linux researcher at heart. He covers software tutorials, reviews, tips/tricks, and more. Some of his articles have been featured on IBM developerworks, ComputerWorld, and in Linux Journal.


  1. It istoomuch congested to type….any other method so that i can access only al[ha n numbers…….but thumps up for this work…

    1. To reverse, go to Settings -> Language & input -> Google Keyboard (settings) -> Advanced settings -> Custom input styles -> English (US) (PC) -> Remove

  2. You want another way?
    How about just pushing the numbers that are already there?
    Every letter across the top row has a number with it.
    Just long press and the number is typed instead of the letter.
    Google of course makes it hard to see this text because they have this fixation with making All things Google hard to read.
    They don’t “in their minds” make $ from people being able to read the info they search. Just selling the ads!.
    The new Google keyboards numbers are easier to see but the letters are smaller. It like all of lollipop is a horrible design

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