Gboard is the world’s most popular mobile keyboard. It comes pre-installed on all Android devices and is the best keyboard for billions of people. You might not have bothered to go to its settings before because it works fine from the start, but there are ways you can make it a little more useful.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through some important Gboard settings that you should change right away.
1. Reduce the delay of long keystrokes
You may know how long pressing a key opens a small pop-up menu on your keyboard where you can access additional relevant keys. For example, if you long press a vowel, you can see the variations of that letter with different accent marks. If you long press the dot button, a bunch of other symbols and special characters will appear.
Since it’s so common to long press a key when using the keyboard, it’s a good idea to reduce the delay between your keystroke and the menu appearing.
The delay is set to 300 milliseconds by default. You can decrease it to 100 milliseconds or increase it up to 700 milliseconds. The lower the delay, the more time you save on each long press.
2. Show the Emoji key to access emojis faster
By default, the way to access emojis on Gboard is to long press the comma key next to the space bar. But it can take a lot of extra time if you use emojis a lot while writing.
Fortunately, you can set your Google Keyboard to show the emoji key separately for quick access. Just go to Settings > Settings and turn on Show emoji button. Now, when you restart the keyboard, you will see a separate emoji key next to the comma key. To make room for this, the space bar will shrink in size just a tiny bit.
3. Improve your autocorrect settings
One great thing about Gboard is how it learns your usage pattern over time. This allows it to make more accurate corrections and give you better suggestions as you type. There’s a whole bunch of small but neat text correction settings you can tweak on Gboard. You can access these in the Text Correction menu.
4. Makes scrolling easier
Similar to text correction, there are two scrolling settings you should check out. You can access these in the swipe menu.
Show Gesture Track: Creates a line that follows the movement of your finger as it slides across the keyboard. This helps increase accuracy when typing. You must have scrolling enabled to use this setting.
Enable gesture deletion: Quickly delete one or more words by swiping left from the delete key. The longer you drag your finger across the screen, the more words are selected; then lift your finger to delete. This helps save time by not having to long press the delete button to delete one letter at a time.
5. Add words to your personal dictionary
You might know and use some words in your daily life that your Google keyboard doesn’t recognize and therefore can’t predict when you slide. And it’s really annoying to have to type these words letter by letter, only to then have the autocorrect change it to something completely different.
To solve this, you need to teach Gboard to recognize these words. You can do this by adding words to your personal dictionary.
For added convenience, you can also add a shortcut to your added words if they are long or difficult to slide. For example, the name “Hillary Meadows” may have “hime” as a shortcut. Now, when you slide-type the shortcut on your keyboard, it will automatically type the whole word for you.
Show recently copied text and images in the suggestions bar: When you copy a section of text or an image, Gboard shows it to you as a pill-shaped button in the suggestions bar the next time you open the keyboard, so you can tap it and quickly paste the copied item in the text field. This helps save time by not having to long press the text field and select Paste each time.
Save recent screenshots to Clipboard: When you take a screenshot on your device, Gboard saves it to the Clipboard and displays a button to paste it directly into the text field.
You can also set Gboard to hide addresses and phone numbers from the clipboard. Simply turn off the feature from the same menu.
The contents of your clipboard are automatically deleted after one hour. To save an item, long press it and tap Pin.
Let Gboard help you communicate better
Gboard works great from day one and its default settings are very user-friendly. But if you want to get the most out of it, enabling the settings above can help you save time, express yourself better, and slightly increase your productivity. There are also other settings that you may want to play around with and see how well they work for you.