Control of your on-screen cursor
When you find yourself in the midst of typing something and then realize you need to add or change something several characters back, try using the Board that has a better way. Trying to get that tiny on-screen cursor exactly where you want it can quickly turn into an exercise in frustration so try the following method.
Touch your finger to the space bar, and without lifting it up, slide it to the left or right. That’ll move your cursor accordingly and let you place it wherever it’s needed.
If you want a more precise cursor control, tap the greater than symbol in Gboard’s upper-left corner and then tap the “I” in the center of the top-bar menu. This will give you a series of arrows for positioning the cursor and optionally also selecting, copying and pasting text.
Faster access to numbers and symbols
On the surface, the Gboard seems to make it slightly difficult to get to special characters such as the underscore or the asterisk. But, there’s actually a super-simple way to find and access practically every symbol or number you could ever need.
All you gotta do is touch your finger to the “?123” key and then slide it upward across the keyboard. You’ll see a screen full of numbers and special characters instantly appear, and you can then just swipe your finger (without lifting) to the one you want. Once you let go, that character will be inserted into your text, and the keyboard will go back to its regular QWERTY panel.
Some of the symbols such as the parentheses, for instance have even more special characters embedded within them. You’ll see an ellipsis (…) at the bottom of their keys when you slide over them, keeping your finger in place for a second or so, you’ll see a selection of additional related characters appear for your sliding-selection pleasure.
You can make Gboard display all the basic special characters within its main keyboard interface, in the corner of each letter so you’ll know exactly where to swipe before you begin. This will also give you the option of long-pressing any letter to pull up the associated symbol.
To enable that feature, tap the greater-than symbol in Gboard’s upper-left corner and after that tap the gear-shaped settings icon in the top-bar menu. Click on “Preferences,” then scroll all the way down and activate the toggle next to “Long-press for symbols.”
Now all those crazy characters are right at your fingertips, whenever and however you want them.
Faster Capitalization of an individual letter
Whether you’re typing out an acronym or just feeling especially shouty, there are times when you want to capitalize a letter beyond the first character of a sentence.
And sure enough, the Gboard has a hidden shortcut that makes that easy to do: Touch your finger to the caps-lock key (the up-facing arrow to the left of the “z”) and instead of letting go, keep your finger down and swipe over to whatever letter you want. That letter will come through capitalized, and the keyboard will then automatically switch back to lowercase when you let go.