How to Translate Handwriting into Text Using Gboard on Android

Gboard Handwriting

Everyone types these days, so much so that the art of writing by hand using a pen is in danger of being forgotten. But if you are among those who like to pen a message in cursive writing on occasion, the Google keyboard app allows you to write by hand and translates your handwriting into text. The following are the steps to do so.

Enabling the Function

If you don’t have it already, make sure to download and install the latest version of Google’s Gboard app, since this tutorial is designed specifically for that app.

1. Open your Android phone and turn on an app that allows you to type out a message.

2. Tap on an empty writing space to bring up your Gboard.

3. At the top of the app is the Gear icon, indicating the Settings menu. Tap on the Gear to reveal a list of options relating to the look and function of the app. In some cases, the Settings option may be inside the More option displayed at the top of the Gboard.

Gboard App

4. Once you have entered the Settings menu, go to Languages. This is the part of the menu that lists all the languages you can use to type on the Gboard.

Gboard Settings

5. Select the English language as it is displayed in your list of selected languages. You will be taken to a new page showing the various choices to type the language using Gboard.

Gboard Add Keyboard

6. Scroll past the choices at the top for the various types of the layout of the English language letters on the keyboard, such a QWERTY or QWERTZ, until you get to an option titled Handwriting.

Select this option by clicking on the box containing the word Handwriting so that a tick mark appears next to the option. Tap on Done.

Gboard Keyboard Layout

The Handwriting option has now been added to your Gboard. You can follow this process to enable handwriting on as many languages as Google knows how to translate into typed text.

Choosing the Function

Go back to your Gboard and select the globe icon near the bottom by pressing on it for a few seconds.

A list of keyboard options from your selected choices will appear. Search for the Handwriting keyboard option and select it to enable the option.

Gboard Language Choice

The layout of the keyboard will change, leaving a big empty expanse on your Gboard where previously the alphabet keys had been.

You can now write on the empty space using your finger. The app will detect the letters you are forming with your finger and translate them into written text.

Gboard Handwriting

Make sure to form each letter clearly and legibly with your finger, otherwise, Google will be unable to understand your writing and will not be able to translate.


Writing with your hand may be a dying art, but for most children in school, it is still the first way they learn how to form letters and communicate via text. With the Gboard’s handwriting function, you can practice your handwriting skills even while using your phone and hold on a little bit longer to the art of writing.

Neeraj Chand
Neeraj Chand

Content writer with a keen interest in global technology and pop culture trends.

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