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Configuring Input Options

Android supports different input options to enable you to get text into your device using your preferred language and a keyboard that suits your needs. You can also input text using your voice with the Google Voice Typing feature.

To set up your input options, you work on the Language & Input screen in the Settings app. (See the left screen in Figure 3.6.) To display this screen, open the Settings app and tap the Language & Input button in the Personal section.

FIGURE 3.6

FIGURE 3.6 Use the Language & Input screen (left) to set your input language and configure input options. On the Personal Dictionary screen, you can set up text shortcuts or add words you don’t want the spell checker to query.

First, make sure the Language button at the top shows the language you want to use, such as English (United States). If not, tap this button to display the Language screen and then tap the correct language. You can tap the Search icon and search for the language if necessary.

Next, tap the Spell Checker button to display the Spell Checker screen. Here, you can set the switch at the top to On or Off to enable or disable spell checking. If you set the switch to On, you can also take three other actions:

  • Change the language. Tap the Language button to set the language for spell checking. The default setting, Use System Language, works well in many cases.

  • Choose which spell checker to use. If multiple radio buttons appear, tap the spell checker you want to use. If the only radio button is Google Spell Checker, the choice is made for you.

  • Configure the spell checker. If the spell checker you use has a Settings button (the gear icon), tap this icon to display the Settings screen for the spell checker. You can then enable or disable any options as needed. For example, on the Google Spell Checker Settings screen, you can set the Look Up Contact Names switch to On if you want the spell checker to be able to look up names in your contact list to get them right.

Also at the top of the Language & Input screen, you can tap the Personal Dictionary button to display the Personal Dictionary screen. (See the right screen in Figure 3.6.) Here, you can tap the Add (+) button in the upper-right corner to add a text shortcut or a custom spelling to your personal dictionary. Alternatively, tap an existing entry to edit its contents or to delete it.

Next, in the Keyboard & Input Methods section, set up the keyboards and other input methods you want to use on your device. Here’s what you can do:

  • Change the current keyboard. Tap the Current Keyboard button to display the Change Keyboard dialog box, and then tap the radio button for the keyboard you want to use. If the keyboard you want doesn’t appear, tap the Choose Keyboards button to display the Language & Input screen, and then set the switch to On for each keyboard you want to have available. Chapter 1, “Getting Up to Speed with Android,” discusses some alternative keyboards you may want to try on your device.

  • Configure a keyboard. Tap the keyboard’s button to display its Settings screen, and then choose the settings you want. For example, the left screen in Figure 3.7 shows the Google Keyboard Settings screen, where you can set your input language (such as U.S. English), set preferences (such as auto-capitalization and vibration), configure text correction (see the right screen in Figure 3.7), and choose other options. Chapter 1 explains your choices on the Google Keyboard Settings screen.

    FIGURE 3.7

    FIGURE 3.7 Choose options for a keyboard on its Settings screen, such as the Google Keyboard Settings screen (left), and the screens to which it gives access, such as the Text Correction screen (right).

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