How to Open On-Screen Keyboard on Chromebook

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The on-screen keyboard or sometimes called virtual keyboard is often used when the physical keyboard is not available or broken. It’s also very helpful for people with disability where a virtual typing screen can be much easier to use.

Some Chromebook models come with a touchscreen display, making an on-screen keyboard a good input alternative when the keyboard is detached. But even if your device doesn’t have a touchscreen, you may still type with the help of mouse clicks.

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The on-screen keyboard won’t appear right away unless you are running tablet mode. We can add a shortcut on the shelf where it would call the virtual keyboard anytime we needed it.

How to enable the on-screen keyboard on a Chromebook

1. Open your Chromebook, then click the clock icon in the bottom right corner.

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2. Select Settings.

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3. Look at the left menu. Click Advanced, then go to Accessibility.

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4. Now, open Manage accessibility features.

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5. Here, you can Enable on-screen keyboard.

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6. You would notice the keyboard icon would pop up on the shelf.

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7. Try to type on something. The on-screen keyboard should appear. Or you may have to call it manually through the keyboard icon.

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8. When you are done typing, you can tap on this icon to close it down.

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A few menus on the on-screen keyboard

The ChromeOS’ on-screen keyboard shares similar features as Google Keyboard you’d find on a typical Android phone. Here’s the summary of the keyboard menus.

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  1. Clipboard: Several pieces of content you copied before would appear here. It can store text, images, and screenshots.
  2. Scribble: You can write a letter with a stylus pen or finger and the keyboard would transcript your handwritten scribble automatically.
  3. One-hand mode: Chromebook screens can be massive. Use this feature to enable a one-hand typing experience.
  4. Keyboard settings: Configure various aspects of the virtual keyboard through this menu.
  5. Voice typing: Use your voice instead of manually typing.

Additionally, the keyboard may hide these menus and shows recently copied items instead. It more or less behaves like the on-screen keyboard on Android phones.

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