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No one wants to type on an ugly keyboard. While there are keyboards out there that go a bit overboard on themes, Google Keyboard likes to keep it simple. Always clean, always minimal. What you may not realize, however, is that it does have a few themes tucked inside its Settings menu.

If you’re running the newest version of Google Keyboard (5.0), accessing the Settings menu is the same as previous versions: long-press the comma (or whatever key is in that highlighted location below—it changes according to what app the input field is in), then tap “Google Keyboard settings.”

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From there, all the visual settings are now nestled under “Preferences.” Go ahead and tap that.

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The first entry in this menu is “Themes,” and tapping that will open the selection box that now only has two options: Material Light and Material Dark. The Holo themes of previous versions are gone, which really makes sense as Google has been pushing Material for the past couple of years.

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Once you’ve made your selection, this box will disappear. There is one more customization method in this version of the Keyboard that wasn’t available in previous versions, however: “Show key border.” This puts a colored border between each key, giving them separation from each other. This is the perfect answer to the gripe many users have had about Google Keyboard’s Material themes since the keyboard was released to the public.

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That’s it—you’re done. Back of this menu and enjoy your “new” keyboard. You’ll type faster now, I promise.


While it may seem trivial when it comes to overall functionality (the keyboard’s performance and accuracy do not change with the theme), it’s amazing how something small like a key border can help users become more accurate. It’s all about jumping those mental barriers!

Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is How-To Geek's Senior Editor. He’s been covering technology for nearly a decade and has written over 4,000 posts and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times.
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