12 Latest Gboard Tips and Tricks For You- 2017

When it comes to onscreen keyboards for mobile devices, we have quite a few options at our disposal. Our app stores have many keyboards and what’s cool is that the best ones are free. I have used most of them only for a short time and two of them for a longer duration – SwiftKey and Gboard. But, I have been using Gboard for quite some time now and I don’t feel like making the switch.

12 Gboard Tips and Tricks For Android and iOS Devices

Over time, I have stumbled upon and discovered some really wonderful Gboard tips and tricks that often enhance my typing experience. In this article, I share the top tricks you can use too.

Make Text Navigation Easier with Gboard

Positioning the cursor at the spot where you really want to be in the middle of the text is not easy for all. The surface area of the finger-touch is large and thus we often end up placing the cursor at the wrong spot. Our smartphones also tend to snap the cursor more preferably to the starting or end of a word. Thanks to Gboard, text navigation is easier than before. One way to do this is place the finger on the space bar and slide it across to let the cursor move in the sliding direction. But, there is an even easier way to navigate.

Gboard has an onscreen arrow-keys interface quite like in a physical keyboard. Here is what you need to do to bring up that interface:

  1. When the Gboard keypad is visible on the screen, tap the icon ‘G’ on the top left. This will display various new options in place of the text-suggestion bar
  2. Tap the “I” icon with arrows pointing away on the either side
  3. This will open a new interface in place of the keypad with arrow-keys like the layout. Just use the left, right, up or down keys to navigate as you would on a physical keyboard.

Note: This feature is only available on Android

Integrated Translation Function

There was a time when you had to use the web interface of Google to translate the text. This wasn’t really convenient. You had to switch apps and then copy and paste from the web interface. But, this has changed now. Google has integrated the translation functionality to Gboard, making it more versatile than ever. Here is how you can use this feature:

  1. When the Gboard keypad is visible on the screen, tap the icon ‘G’ on the top left. This will display various new options in place of the text-suggestion bar
  2. Tap the Google Translate button/icon on the top-left of the keypad
  3. Choose the language you wish to translate from and to
  4. Type the text and it will automatically get translated

Using Emojis and Stickers

Nothing could convey your feelings, expressions or emotions more effectively than an emoji in the text. If you are fond of using emojis and other expressions such as stickers or GIF, Gboard will make your life easier. Not only does it have a huge collection, it also lets you add these elements to the text very quickly.

All you need to do is long press the comma (,) key on the keypad to bring up the emoji drawer. Here, you will see different tabs for emojis, emoticons, stickers and GIFs. Gboard also has a search bar to help you easily find what you are looking for.

That’s pretty cool! Isn’t it? But, there is more. Next to the search bar, you will see the ‘pen’ icon. Tap on the pen icon and Gboard will let the search for the emoji by simply drawing it. That’s like doodling an emoji and finding it.

Gboard Shortcuts

Shortcuts are supposed to make our lives convenient and help us do some tasks quicker. Thankfully, Gboard has a variety of shortcuts you can use.

Shortcuts for special characters: Gboard lets you access the list of special characters with just a single tap. All you have to do is press the key “?123” on the lower-left of the keypad. Do not lift your finger yet. Slide your finger over to the character you wish to insert and then release the touch. That’s it! The special character will be added to the text. Some special characters have more options or variants. If you keep the finger over those characters a little longer after sliding, you will be able to see the options.

Punctuation Shortcuts: You don’t have to waste your time looking for different punctuation. Just press and hold the period key (.) and the punctuation list will pop-up. Without lifting the finger, slide over to the punctuation you wish to insert and then release the finger.

Capitalization: Gboard has a Caps key just like the other mobile keypads. But, you can make this work a little differently. Caps key is the one by the letter Z on the keypad (arrow pointing up). Tap the key and then without lifting your finger slide to the letter you want to capitalize. That will be all!

Enable One-Handed Mode

Smartphones and tablets are best used with both hands. However, there are times when it is more convenient to use one hand. For instance, if you are holding a sandwich in one hand, you will want to be able to use the device with the other. Or, if you happen to have a device with a large display, you may sometimes want to use it with one hand.

Gboard offers one-handed mode but it is available only on Android.

To turn on the one-handed mode, press the ‘G’ icon on the top left of the keypad. Now tap the icon for one-handed mode. This will reduce the size of the keypad and snap it to one side of the screen. If you would have it rather aligned to the other side, tap the realignment button.

If the default alignment isn’t very convenient to use, you can drag the keypad to a more suitable position.

Integrated Google Search

While using an app, if you were to look up for something on Google, you will have to minimize the app and open Google app. Again, switching apps is not exactly what you would prefer. With Gboard, you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

Gboard offers an integrated search function that lets you search Google search engine from within the keypad. Simply tap the ‘G’ icon on the upper-left of the keypad and type the search query in the search bar. Gboard also adds a Share button with the search results allowing you to share them easily with your friends.

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Quickly Add Fractions to Any Text

Now that’s something you don’t often get to see. In order to insert a fraction with any other keypad, you need to type it all; not with Gboard though.

If you have an Android device with Gboard (as this feature is only for Android OS), tap “?123” on the bottom left corner. Now, simply press and hold any number and Gboard will display a list of more commonly used fractions for that number. You will also notice that different numbers have a different list of fractions.

Adding Custom Phrases

There are some sentences or phrases that you need to type in more frequently than the others. Typing them again could be a little frustrating. You could save them in a note or memo. But, you will have to copy and paste them every time they are to be inserted.

Gboard spares you the hassles by allowing you to save the commonly used texts and create shortcuts for them. Here is how you can save a custom phrase:

  1. Open Gboard Settings
  2. Select “Dictionary”
  3. Open “Personal dictionary” from the list of the options. Here you will see the list of dictionaries in different languages you have activated on your device.
  4. Tap the dictionary for the language in which you wish to add the phrase
  5. Tap + icon on the upper right
  6. On the next screen enter the phrase you want to add and the shortcut for it.
  7. Now, every time you need to insert the phrase, simply type the shortcut and the phrase will be displayed in the text auto suggestion bar

Use Speech to Text Converter

Sometimes you just don’t want to type. But, if you still need to send a message or type something important, you can use the speech-to-text converter feature offered by Gboard. And, you don’t necessarily have to dictate Gboard in English. As of now, this keypad supports over 100 different languages.

If you have an Android device with Gboard, tap the mic button to start dictating the app. If you are an iOS user, just long press the spacebar to use this feature.

Use Numberpad

If you need to insert a number using Gboard, simply press the ?123 icon. But, on this layout, the number keys are quite small. If you have to type a lot of numbers, it could get a bit difficult. Thankfully, you can have the number keys take a larger space on the keypad and thus become bigger.

For this, first press ?123 icon and then tap the ‘1234’ button left of the spacebar. This will remove most of the special characters from the screen and present to you the Dial Pad lookalike layout with bigger number keys.

Add Themes

The default theme of Gboard is elegant looking and legible. But, over a period of time, you might get bored of it. Or probably, right from the beginning, you may want something more exciting. If that’s the case, you can easily change the theme to your heart’s content.

In order to change the theme, open Gboard Settings and select Theme from the list of the available options.

You will see a wide range of themes. You can choose from solid colors, landscapes and more. Gboard also allows you to use an image from your photo gallery as the keypad theme. For this, you can tap on the + icon in the ‘My Themes’ section.

Gboard lets you preview the theme before applying it. If you are not satisfied with a particular selection, you can always change it. You may also add the borders to the keys if you like. When you are happy with the choice of the theme, tap “Apply” button on the bottom to use the theme.

More Customization

Using themes is one way to customize the appearance of the keyboard. But, besides the cosmetic customization, Gboard offers some functional personalization too. A number of these options are available in the Preferences section of Gboard Settings. But, I would recommend you to also explore “Glide typing”, “Text Correction”, “Voice Typing” and other options in the Settings for more customization choices.

For instance, you can add a number row on top of the keypad under the auto-suggestion strip. You may also have Gboard display the emoji suggestions in the auto-suggestion bar. You can turn the key press sounds on or off as you desire. You can also choose whether or not you want key press vibration.

Gboard Tips and Tricks- Final Words

Gboard is an incredibly easy to use keyboard with tons of features. It is highly responsive and easy on your device resources. We hope you would have liked our post, please share and subscribe to our site for more updates.

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