Google adds more keyboard language options to Gmail

Summary: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.

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.

Topics: Google, Mobility


David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.