Update 1: added one section: How to get 3×4 keyboard on Galaxy S5?
Update 2: this guide also applies to Samsung keyboard on Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note 3.
When using Galaxy S5, you will need keyboard to enter text sooner or later. By default, Galaxy S5 bundles the Samsung keyboard.
Although you can install many third-party keyboards with some special features, Samsung keyboard probably is the most stable one on Galaxy S5.
This guide is for Galaxy S5 owners who are new to Samsung keyboard and are learning to use Samsung keyboard on Galaxy S5. We use screenshots from Galaxy S5 in this guide, but this guide also applies to Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, and many other Samsung Galaxy devices.
How to Change Samsung keyboard language on Galaxy S5?
Samsung keyboard can handle multiple languages simultaneously. You can add the languages you want to use to Samsung keyboard in Galaxy S5.
By default, the default language of Samsung keyboard in Galaxy S5 probably is English (either US or UK depending on your location). If you want to use a new language in Samsung keyboard, simply go to Settings–Language and input. Tap the gear button next to Samsung keyboard, then tap “+ Select input languages”, as shown below.
You will find the languages for Samsung keyboard are classified as two categories: downloaded languages and available languages. You can use all these languages for your Samsung keyboard in Galaxy S5.
Downloaded languages are pre-installed for your region by default. They usually match the available system languages for your region. Please read this guide on how to change system language for your Galaxy S5.
The available languages covers languages used in more than 150 regions where Galaxy S5 is officially being sold. To add these languages to your Samsung keyboard, you need download the language files. Each language must be downloaded individually. If your mobile data is very limited, please try to download the files through WiFi.
How to switch Samsung keyboard languages on Galaxy S5?
Once the languages are added, you can switch to them when you typing. You simply swipe the space button as shown below. For example, when composing an email, I can easily switch to Chinese or Spanish, insert some characters, then switch back to English as shown below.
How to use floating keyboard on Galaxy S5?
Sometimes, when you are typing info on a website, you may find the Samsung keyboard blocks the area of your interest. So, you may want to move the Samsung keyboard to somewhere else.
This can be done easily because Samsung keyboard provides floating keyboard on Galaxy S5. You can put Samsung keyboard wherever you want.
After tapping the button, your Samsung keyboard is floating! You can use the handle to move it to anywhere on the screen as shown below!
To return to normal Samsung keyboard, you can use one of the two methods:
- tap the second button in the second row. This will return to normal Samsung keyboard (fixed in the bottom of the screen).
- tap and hold the second button in the last row, then tap .
Please note, floating keyboard works with all input methods/modes (keyboard, handwriting, voice…) in Galaxy S5
How to use emojis (emoticons) with Samsung keyboard on Galaxy S5?
Emojis (emoticons) are not new for Samsung keyboard. Google decided to fully support emojis in KitKat. This makes emojis work natively on more and other Android devices.
Samsung keyboard includes many emojis, which are far more than the vanilla Android provides.
The emojis are classified in different categories. The followings are two of them.
How to use handwriting mode in Samsung keyboard?
You can input by writing (with your finger or a stylus). Although it is possible to write with a pencil if you adjust the touch sensitivity, I would recommend you not to do it.
Once in handwriting mode, you can write in the area provided. Galaxy S5 will recognize your writing and convert them to letters/words or numbers.
The recognized characters/words are provided in the top of writing area. Samsung keyboard also gives you a few other possible words/characters. Overall, the handwriting recognition in Galaxy S5 is acceptable in accuracy and speed.
In handwriting mode, you can switch between characters and numbers.
To exit Samsung keyboard handwriting mode, tap and hold the second button in the last row and select other input methods in the options window.
How to use voice input mode in Samsung keyboard?
Voice input (voice typing) is also fully supported in Samsung keyboard. Google voice typing will be actually used.
Once in voice input mode, you can speak instead of typing or writing. Google voice recognition engine will work hard to convert what you speak to text. You can also switch to other supported languages as shown below.
Please note, by default, US English (or UK English) is pre-installed. To use other languages, you need either connect to internet (there will be some data usage) OR download the offline language files.
To download offline languages files, please follow these steps:
- go to Settings- Language and input.
- tap the setting button (gear icon) for Google voice typing.
- Tap Offline speech recognition.
- Tap All.
- Tap the language you want to use.
- Confirm download.
How to use document mode in Samsung keyboard?
Samsung keyboard also offers document mode/camera input mode (OCR input). In other words, you can scan text in a paper (using S5’s camera), and insert the text into your own message, email, document. Samsung names this as document mode. But I still prefer the term of camera input mode.
The camera input mode (document mode) actually works in three stages:
- take a picture of the text;
- recognize the characters in the picture using Samsung’s OCR engine in S5;
- insert the recognized text into current cursor location.
To enter camera input mode (document mode) in Samsung keyboard, tap and hold the second button in the last row, then tap the camera button in the options window as shown below.
In camera input mode (document mode), you need take a photo for the page, then tap the camera button. After camera button is tapped, Galaxy S5 will recognize the text in the page. This may take a while if the text is long.
The text reorganization function sometimes works well. But sometimes, it misses a lot of words. Anyway, it should be faster than typing.
Camera input mode (document mode) in Samsung keyboard also supports multiple languages. In camera input mode (document mode), tap the menu button (3 vertical dots), you have the option to set the language for the text in the paper, as shown below.
How to use clipboard with Samsung keyboard on Galaxy S5?
Samsung keyboard also has a built-in clipboard manager. Whenever you copy some texts or images, Samsung keyboard silently keeps a copy of these contents in the clipboard manager. The behavior is different from your Windows PC in three ways:
- There are multiple items in clipboard manager in your Galaxy S5.
- Unless you explicitly clear them, they are always available, even after a phone reboot.
- You can lock or unlock some items in the clipboard manager.
So, the clipboard manager is a very convenient tool for you to re-paste some items.
Of course, it can be a source of embarrassment if you don’t know how to clear some “unclean” items.
Once in clipboard mode, you can choose an item to paste current cursor location.
You can also manage all items in the clipboard. You can :
- Lock an item in the clipboard
- Delete an item from clipboard.
- Clear all items in the clipboard (except those locked)
- Unlock an item in the clipboard
How to get 3×4 keyboard on Galaxy S5?
By default, Samsung keyboard is Qwerty keyboard in Galaxy S5 because of the large screen of today’s smartphones.
But some S5 owners, especially, those who typed a lot of sms messages on feature phones, may still prefer a 3×4 keyboard. They feel the 3×4 keyboard is simply faster than the Qwerty keyboard.
The good news is that you can still get 3×4 keyboard with Samsung keyboard without installing any apps.
To change the Qwerty keyboard to 3×4 keyboard, please follow these steps:
- go to Settings–Language & input
- tap the gear icon next to Samsung keyboard
- tap the language that you want to type with 3×4 keyboard
- select 3×4 keyboard
- tap anywhere to return
Once the 3×4 keyboard is enabled, it will be illustrated under the language.
Please note, 3×4 keyboard setting is for individual language. if you have more than one language enabled, you need set each language as 3×4 keyboard if you want to use 3×4 keyboard for all languages.
Of course, you can set 3×4 keyboard for some languages, and Qwerty keyboard for other languages. This is allowed in Galaxy S5.
Here is how 3×4 keyboard looks in Galaxy S5. Nothing special, just like 3×4 keyboard in other phones.
Do you have any questions on using Samsung keyboard in Galaxy S5?
Please let us know your questions or problems on Samsung keyboard in the comment box below.
More how-to guides , tips and tricks for using Samsung Galaxy S5 are available at Samsung Galaxy S5 how-to guides page.