Google adds more keyboard language options to Gmail

Gmail users can now, for example, type in Chinese characters even if they have a Latin-script keyboard, without the need for an extension or external input method editor

Google has added more than 100 new virtual keyboards and other input tools to Gmail, in order to make it easier for people to move past the limitations of their physical keyboards.

The new tools, announced in a blog post on Tuesday, could be used in cases such as someone wanting to type in Chinese characters when they only have a Latin-script keyboard, or someone wanting to use a QWERTY keyboard as though it were a German QWERTZ keyboard.

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Google's new Gmail tools let people type in other language characters when using a Latin keyboard. Image: Google

"Today we're adding more than 100 virtual keyboards, transliteration and IMEs — collectively called input tools — in Gmail," Google product manager C. Andrew Warren said in the post.

"These tools enable you to type in the language and keyboard layout you're accustomed to, making it easy to keep in touch with family, friends and coworkers from any computer. You can even switch between languages with one click."

According to Warren, Gmail now supports typing in 75 languages.

Google already has similar functionality in a Chrome extension, an Android app and a Windows desktop client, but this is the first time the company has embedded the tools directly within its email product.

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