Change Language and Input Settings on Android Oreo

Edited by Jay, Maria

Adding or changing languages, keyboards (physical and virtual), as well as various inputs such as spell checker and your personal dictionary, is all managed within system settings on Android Oreo. Although users typically set their default language during the initial setup phase when first powering on a device, there may come a time when having other languages installed could prove useful; for example, specific applications require different languages to run correctly.

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Customizing the device's virtual keyboard is another favorite among users. Whether it's the keyboard layout, theme, dictionary, punctuation preferences, or typing style, every aspect can be personalized to fit the user's taste. In addition to a virtual keyboard, a physical keyboard can also be connected and used with your phone or tablet. An excellent example of when a physical keyboard is useful is if you have a lot of word processing to do. Voice settings are also managed from the Language and input section. Here, you can set your device to recognize your voice, use while hands-free, and function while offline to list a few.

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In this VisiHow tutorial, we'll walk through the language and input settings on a Google Pixel, running Android 8.1.0 (Oreo).


Language Preferences

To add, remove, or reorder (change the default) installed languages, follow the steps below.

  1. 1
    On the home screen, tap or swipe up from the little arrow to access the app tray.
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  2. 2
    From inside the app tray, tap "Settings".
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  3. 3
    On the Settings screen, tap "System".
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  4. 4
    From the System screen, tap "Language & input".
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  5. 5
    On the Language & input screen, tap "Languages".
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  6. 6
    From Language preferences, tap "Add a language".
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  7. 7
    While on the Add a language screen, scroll through and tap a language
    .
    Depending on the language you selected, you may have additional versions to choose from.
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  8. 8
    To reorder any installed languages (first is the default), tap + hold, then move its position to change the order.
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  9. 9
    To remove a language, tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner, followed by "Remove".
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  10. 10
    Place a checkmark next to the language you want to be removed, then tap the trashcan icon in the top right corner
    .
    When the confirmation pop-up appears, tap "OK".
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Virtual Keyboards

  1. 1
    From the Language & input screen, tap "Virtual keyboard".
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  2. 2
    On Virtual keyboard, tap "Gboard"
    .
    This may be different depending on your device, but the following settings and options will typically be the same.
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  3. 3
    On the Gboard keyboard settings screen, tap "Languages".
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  4. 4
    The following screen will list all your keyboard languages
    .
    Tap one to edit the layout and additional options.
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  5. 5
    Once on a keyboard language, you can swipe from left-to-right to change the layout
    .
    If you have more than one Language installed, the option to enable Multilingual typing will be available. Toggle the switch and select which languages you want to be accessible from the keyboard.
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  6. 6
    You also have the option of adding more keyboards
    .
    From the Languages screen, tap "ADD KEYBOARD".
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  7. 7
    Next, scroll through to find the keyboard (language) you want, tap it, followed by "ADD".
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  8. 8
    Deleting a keyboard is also done from the Languages screen
    .
    Tap the trashcan icon, select a keyboard, then tap the trashcan icon once more.
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  9. 9
    Head back to the Gboard keyboard settings screen and tap, "Preferences".
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  10. 10
    The following are the main settings for the Gboard keyboard.
     
    1. Number row: Enable this, and the number row will always be visible in QWERTY, QWERTZ, and AZERTY layouts.
    2. Show emoji switch key: When this key is enabled, the language switch key is not.
    3. Show language switch key: This can be turned on if the emoji switch key is disabled (and vice versa).
    4. Voice input key: With this turned on, you can enable voice input directly from the keyboard.
    5. Show Emoji in symbols keyboard: This enabled will show recently used Emoji in the suggestion strip of the symbols keyboard.
    6. Onehanded mode: Tap this and select either; Off, Right-handed mode, or Left-handed mode.
    7. Keyboard height: Tap this and adjust the slider to change the height of the keyboard.
    8. Sound on keypress: Enable this to hear sounds when each key is pressed.
    9. Volume on keypress: This will be set to the system default if Sound on keypress is turned on. Tap it to adjust the volume by moving the slider manually.
    10. Haptic feedback on keypress: Enable this, and your device will vibrate slightly after pressing keys.
    11. Vibration strength on keypress: This will be set to the system default but can be changed by moving the slider.
    12. Popup on keypress: When enabled each character will pop-up for a split moment after striking the key.
    13. Long press for symbols: Turn this on and hinted symbols are be accessed by long pressing.
    14. Key long press delay: Tap this to adjust the delay for long pressing.
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  11. 11
    Go back to Gboard keyboard settings and tap "Themes"
    .
    On the Theme screen, tap an available theme.
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  12. 12
    When the theme sample loads, you have the option to enable key borders
    .
    Tap "APPLY" to change your keyboard theme.
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  13. 13
    To remove a theme, tap it from the Theme screen, then tap the trashcan icon
    .
    You'll revert to your original default theme.
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  14. 14
    Back on Gboard keyboard settings, tap "Text correction".
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  15. 15
    The following options will help when typing on the keyboard.
     
    1. Show suggestion strip: Turn this on and suggestions will be displayed while typing.
    2. Next-word suggestions: Enable this, and the next word will get suggested as you type.
    3. Block offensive words: Turn this on, and potentially offensive words won't get suggested.
    4. Show emoji suggestions: Enable this to get emoji symbol suggestions.
    5. Suggest contact names: Turn this on, and names from your contacts will get suggested.
    6. Personalized suggestions: With this enabled, you'll get suggestions based on data collected from various Google apps.
    7. Auto-correction: Turn this on, and space bar and punctuation will automatically insert the highlighted word.
    8. Auto-capitalization: Enable this, and the first word of each sentence will be uppercase.
    9. Double-space period: Turn this on and period along with a space will be inserted upon double-taping the space bar.
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  16. 16
    Back on the Gboard keyboard settings screen, tap "Glide typing".
     
    1. Enable glide typing: Turn this on, and you can input words by gliding by through the letters.
    2. Show gesture trail: This will leave a slight trail behind as you glide through the characters.
    3. Enable gesture delete: When this is turned on, you can delete words by sliding left from the delete key.
    4. Enable gesture cursor control: When enabled, the cursor can be moved by sliding across the space bar.
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  17. 17
    Head back to Gboard keyboard settings and tap "Voice typing".
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  18. 18
    On the Voice screen, tap "Languages"
    .
    Select another language from the pop-up list that appears, then tap "SAVE".
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  19. 19
    While still on the Voice screen, tap "Offline speech recognition"
    .
    Here you'll see all the installed language packs. You can auto-update or delete languages from this screen.
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  20. 20
    Toggle the switch next to "Block offensive words" to hide recognized offensive words from voice results.
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  21. 21
    Back on Gboard keyboard settings, tap "Dictionary".
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  22. 22
    On the Dictionary screen, tap "Personal dictionary", then tap one of your installed dictionaries.
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  23. 23
    On the Personal dictionary screen you'll see all the words you've added
    .
    To add more words, tap the "+" symbol in the upper right corner. Enter a word, then tap the checkmark in the lower left corner of the keyboard. You can also add a shortcut for your newly entered word.
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  24. 24
    Back on the Dictionary screen, toggle the switch next to "Sync learned words"
    .
    A pop-up will appear informing you that your words will be sent to Google so that they can be used across multiple devices.35
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  25. 25
    From the Dictionary screen, tap "Delete learned words
    .
    To confirm deleting a word, enter the 4-digit code in the pop-up box.
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  26. 26
    Back on the Gboard keyboard settings screen, tap "Search".
     
    1. Predictive search: Enable this, and you'll see predictions appear in the search bar as you enter words and phrases.
    2. Show "search and more" button: Enable this to have the search and more button displayed in the suggestion strip.
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  27. 27
    The last group of options on the Gboard keyboard settings screen is "Advanced".
     
    1. Emoji with the physical keyboard: Turn this on, and the "Alt" key will display your emoji symbols.
    2. Show app icon: Turn this on to show the application icon in the launcher.
    3. Share usage statistics: Enabling this will automatically send usage stats to Google.
    4. Share snippets: Enable this to automatically share snippets of what you write in various Google apps to help improve Gboard.
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Google Voice Typing

  1. 1
    From the Virtual keyboard screen, tap "Google voice tapping".
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  • 2
    On the Voice screen, tap Languages"
    .
    Select a language from the list, then tap "SAVE". To make set a primary language, tap + hold.
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  • 3
    Next, tap "Voice match" to setup Google Assistant and to record your voice.
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  • 4
    On the Voice screen, toggle the switch next to Say "OK Google" anytime, then proceed to setup Google Assistant. You can unlock your device with voice match, enable while driving, and also retrain or delete your recorded voice model.
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  • 5
    Back to the main Voice screen, tap "Hands-free".
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  • 6
    To allow Bluetooth requests while the device is locked, toggle the switch next to "For Bluetooth devices".
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  • 7
    To allow wired headset request while the device is locked, toggle the switch next to "For wired headsets"
    .
    A pop-up warning will appear notifying you that someone may be able to use voice commands, so be careful before tapping "OK".
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  • 8
    Back on the main Voice screen, tap "Speech output"
    .
    You have the option to select either On or Hands-free only.
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  • 9
    Next on the main Voice screen is "Offline speech recognition"
    .
    Tap this to manage any of your installed languages.
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  • 10
    Back on the Voice screen, the second last option is
    .
    "Block offensive words". Toggle this to block any potential bad or unpleasant language.
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  • 11
    The last option on the Voice' screen is
    .
    "Bluetooth headset". Enable this to record audio through a Bluetooth headset where applicable.
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  • .== Manage Keyboards ==

    1. 1
      From the Virtual keyboard screen, tap "Manage keyboards".
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    2. 2
      On the Manage keyboards screen toggle the switch next to the keyboard you want to enable.
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    3. 3
      If you have any third-party keyboards installed such as Swift, tap it
      .
      You may see a pop-up dialog/warning regarding permissions or security/privacy.
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    Physical Keyboard

    To use a physical keyboard, you must first attach it to your device.

    1. 1
      From the Language & input screen, tap "Physical keyboard".
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    2. 2
      On the Physical keyboard screen, Toggle the switch next to "Show virtual keyboard" to have the virtual keyboard displayed while a physical keyboard is connected.
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    3. 3
      Tap "Keyboard shortcuts helper" for a list of useful keyboard shortcuts.
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    Advanced Input Assistance

    1. 1
      From the Language & input screen, expand the drop-down arrow next to "Advanced".
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    2. 2
      The first option under input assistance is "Spell checker".
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    3. 3
      On the spell checker screen you can turn spell checking on or off by toggling the switch near the top
      .
      Tap "Language" and select from the list to be able to spell check in an additional language.
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    4. 4
      Tap "Default spell checker", then select from the list of that appears in the pop-up box
      .
      You'll have to have multiple languages/keyboards installed to be able to change the default.
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    5. 5
      To let spell checker look up the proper names of your contacts, tap the gear icon next to Default spell checker.
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    6. 6
      On the Google spell checker settings screen, place a checkmark next to "Look up contact names"
      .
      You may be asked to grant permission for the keyboard to access your contacts.
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    7. 7
      Back out on the Language & input screen, tap "Autofill service
      .
      Depending on what you have installed on your device, you may be able to select additional autofill services. You can also select None, or add one via the Play Store.
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    8. 8
      To select what information can be auto-filled, tap the gear icon next to Autofill.
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    9. 9
      The next option under the Advanced section is "Personal dictionary"
      .
      Tap it to manage words and phrases you've added. See the section above for more details.
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    Pointer Speed and Text-to-speech output

    1. 1
      You also can slow down or speed up the pointer on your device
      .
      From the Language & input screen, tap "Pointer speed", then move the slider around to get the desired speed.
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    2. 2
      The final section under the input assistance section is "Text-to-speech output.
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    3. 3
      The first option on the Text-to-speech output screen is, "Preferred engine"
      .
      Tap this to change it, in our case we only have Google Text-to-speech-Engine.
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    4. 4
      By default, the text-to-speech output is set to whatever your system language is
      .
      To change it, tap "Language", then choose from the list.
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    5. 5
      To edit your TTS options, tap the gear icon next to "Preferred engine". The following TTS options are specific to Google.
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    6. 6
      Tap "Install voice data", then choose from the list of available language outputs.
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    7. 7
      Toggle the switch next to "Use WiFi only", and your device will only download voice data while connected to WiFi
      .
      This will save on mobile data charges.
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    8. 8
      To turn up the TTS voice, tap "Amplify speech volume".
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    9. 9
      To change the intonation (rising and lowering of the tts voice), tap "Intonation", then select either; Expressive, Somewhat expressive, or flat
      .
      Keep in mind that flat will most likely sound very monotone and robotic.
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    10. 10
      If you toggle the switch next to "Number processing", it will change how dates and times are spoken.
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    11. 11
      Although still in an experimental phase, Google's TTS can be set to always to detect different languages
      .
      Toggle the switch next to "Always-on language detection".
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    12. 12
      You have the option to send anonymous usage reports
      .
      If you'd rather not send usage reports, then toggle the switch to the off position. The purpose is to help improve Google TTS Engine.
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    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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    Categories : Use Android Oreo | Use Google Pixel and Pixel XL

    Recent edits by: Jay

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