When Google Input Tools is enabled for an application, it will display a status window on the screen. By default this window will be placed at the bottom-right corner of the desktop, but can be dragged to any other part of the screen as well. The status window contains configuration options for the currently selected input tool. It includes three to five icons (depending on the language and features available), with the application icon at the far left. Next to the application icon, in order, are the Input Tools language indicator, the keyboard button (not present for some languages), the canonical mode button (only present if you have canonical schemes associated with the input tool) and the menu button.
Edit window (Candidate list)
When Input Tools is enabled for an application, it displays a window with the typed text and the corresponding word choices in the input language. In the below example, user has typed 'googl' and the input tool has displayed five choices (numbered 1 to 5). This window is sometimes called a 'candidate list'.
Navigation and selection
The currently selected (highlighted) candidate in the edit window is the active choice. The active choice can be changed by using the BOTTOM-ARROW or TAB keys to move down the selection, or the UP-ARROW or SHIFT + TAB keys to move up. To select one of the choices for input, use the ENTER key which inserts the active choice at the current cursor position. Using the SPACE key or any other PUNCTUATION CHARACTER also inserts the active choice, along with the typed punctuation character (unless the punctuation character matches one or more candidate suggestions). To insert any candidate, even if not the active choice, type its position number as in: CTRL + [choice_number].
The choices displayed in edit window will appear in either BLACK or BLUE. Literal matches for what was typed are displayed in BLACK, and will always be grouped in front. If there are better dictionary-based word completions for what was typed, those choices are displayed in BLUE and placed behind.
The input tools only display five choices in the edit window by default (these five choices comprise a page). If there are more candidates, additional choices are displayed on the next page. To page up or down, use the small arrow buttons at the right side of the edit window, or use the Page Up and Page Down keys. Using the arrow or TAB keys to navigate choices will also move to the next or previous page when the active choice is at the start or end of the edit window. You can configure the number of choices displayed per page by clicking the status window's menu button.
Clicking on the Google logo in the edit window will search the web for the active/highlighted choice using Google.com. Search can also be triggered for any non-active choice by right-clicking, and then clicking the Search… option.
In some circumstances, the initial active choice is the best option (in the example below, the second choice was the desired option).
To make input easier over time, Google Input Tools remembers previous selections and improves the order of candidates. To share this information across all applications for a user, this personalization is maintained for each user account on the computer. This personalization can be disabled by using the 'Disable User Cache' option, available from the menu button on the status window. Note that caching (personalization) does not apply for word completions shown in BLUE, only for word choices shown in BLACK.
Switch to English
The input tools can be switched on or off easily, allowing fast changes between typing in the input tool language and typing in English. To enable or disable the current input tool, click the input tool language button in the status window or use the keyboard shortcuts CTRL + G or F12.
For some rare or complex words, the input choices given may not include the intended word or phrase. In these situations, the flexible keyboard allows input of any possible word. To open the flexible keyboard, click the keyboard button on status window or by using the keyboard shortcut CTRL + K. To enter characters, you can either type on your physical keyboard or use the mouse to pick on the flexible keyboard. You can hide/show the on-screen keyboard by clicking the up/down arrow on status window. It can be closed by clicking the keyboard button again on status window, or by using the shortcut CTRL + K or ESC.
You can customize many features in the Google Input Tools menu. Options available through the popup menu in the status window are:
- Change or activate one of the available canonical schemes (available only if there is at least one scheme in the Schemes directory).
- Select the font and size to be used to display candidates in the edit window (Suggestion Font).
- Select the font and size to be used to display English/Latin characters inside the edit window.
- Set the page size for the edit window (to restrict the number of choices offered).
- Enable or disable the user cache.
- Add/Edit or Delete macros.
- Information about Google Input Tools, including current version.
- Help documentation, which links to this page.
There are some special cases in how the input tools behave for some characters in some languages:
- Example in Arabic for the special case of a SPACE, where it is part of the typed word:
- Example in Arabic for the special case of PUNCTUATION, where it is part of the typed word:
- Example in Greek for the special case of CAPITALIZATION, where the first character in uppercase retains its casing:
- Example in Greek for the special case of CAPITALIZATION, where an all uppercase word retains its casing.
- Example in Greek for the special case of DIGITS, where the number is converted digits instead of its whole value: