When it comes to choosing a keyboard to write with, you have quite a few to choose from. Just type the word “keyboard” into the Google Play Store search bar, and you’ll get an extensive list of options. One of those popular options is Google’s Gboard that has 500 million downloads and counting.
You might already have it on your Android device, but you may not be enjoying its full potential. With Gboard you can quickly switch between keyboards, move the cursor with precision, add a background to the keyboard, and more!
1. Add a Number Row
To add a number when you first use Gboard, you have to long-press on the letter key that has the number you want to use. Adding a number is easier by just having the number row above the rest of the letter keys.
To add a number row, long-press on the Google symbol followed by “the three vertical dots -> Preferences -> Number row.”
2. Instantly Translate Text
Gboard also has the option to add a keyboard in just about any language. Tap on the colorful “G” and tap on the translator icon. Choose the languages you want to translate and type away.
3. Quickly Swipe to Erase a Word or an Entire Sentence
It can be very annoying having to press the backspace button a million times just to delete a few words. By pressing the backspace for an instant and swiping left (without letting go), you can decide how much of what you’ve written you want to erase. It can be a little tricky, so don’t be surprised if you have to try a few times until you get the hang of it.
4. How to Block/Unblock Offensive Words
Blocking offensive words is an excellent idea if it’s your kids that are going to be using the keyboard. But adults definitely want the freedom to express themselves with all kinds of words, offensive or not.
To either block or unblock offensive words, tap on the colorful “G” and on the three dots. Tap on “Settings -> Text correction” and toggle on or off “Block offensive words.”
5. Google Search without Leaving the App
Searching for just about anything is possible by simply tapping on the G. You’ll immediately see the blinking cursor where you can begin your search. Right above the search bar, you can also see your search history for an even faster search.
6. Switch Between Different Language Keyboards
If you speak more than one language, you’re probably more comfortable writing with a keyboard in that specific language. Gboard lets you use your keyboard in just about any language. Before you can start switching from one language to the next, you’ll need to add the language.
Tap on the G and go to “Settings -> Languages -> Choose language.” Once you’ve added all the languages you need, just tap on the world icon to switch from one keyboard to another.
7. How to Access GIFs and Emojis
There are two ways you can set up your keyboard to access the emojis and GIFs. If you’re willing to sacrifice the world icon, go to Settings and enable the “Show emoji switch key option.” If you need both options available, enable the “Show emojis” in the symbol keyboard option.
8. Move the Cursor with Accuracy
Sometimes getting the cursor in the right place can be a mission impossible. Gboard has a hidden trick for that where you only have to slide your finger across the space bar and let go when the cursor is where you want it to be. Make sure not to leave your finger on the space bar, not even for a millisecond, or else it won’t work.
9. Stop Google from Sharing Your Information
To offer a better typing experience, Gboard will automatically share your keyboard usage statistics to Google. If you’re not okay with Google sharing anything regarding your typing, you can disable this by going to “Settings -> Advanced -> Toggle off Share usage statistics.”
10. Quickly Add Punctuation and Erase Suggested Words
While the words that Gboard suggests are useful, there are times where you’re tired of it always suggesting a word you never use. For such cases you can delete the suggested word so it won’t show up again.
Long-press on the word and drag it to the trash icon. To add a quick punctuation, long-press on the period at the bottom right and wipe to the punctuation you want to use.
Gboard is full of great features that make typing easier, but there is always room for improvement. What do you think that Google should add to Gboard? Drop a comment below and let us know.