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Comprehensive Guide

For those out there who want to know the ins and outs of Thumb Keyboard then you’ll find that this guide is just for you! If you were ever confused about what a particular feature does or are curious on what Thumb Keyboard can really do, then keep reading on. Try to use this as more of a reference rather than reading it from start to finish. If there is a particular feature that you want to look up, simply use your browser’s “find” feature (Control + F or Cmd +F) and just search the feature by name. Let’s get started!

Setting up the keyboard

Android 2.2-2.3 Users

To setup a new keyboard follow these two steps:

1) Activate the keyboard in the system settings menu in the Android operating system (OS). Go to Settings->Locale and text or Settings->Language and Keyboard.

Activating the keyboard, by pressing the check box next to the name of the keyboard will cause a standard message to be displayed. This is a standard warning displayed by Android when activating a third party keyboard.

2) When the keyboard is activated, open a an empty text field (messaging app, search function, anything that brings up the keyboard) and long press the empty text field; this will trigger a popup menu. In this menu select “input method” and then “Thumb Keyboard”.

Android 3.x and 4.x Users

Follow these steps to setup Thumb Keyboard on your tablet.

1) Activate the keyboard in the system settings menu in the Android operating system (OS). Go to Settings->Locale and text or Settings->Language and Keyboard.

Activating the keyboard, by pressing the indicator next to the name of the keyboard, will cause a standard message to be displayed. This is a standard warning displayed by Android when activating a third party keyboard.

2) Set Thumb Keyboard as your default keyboard by selecting “Thumb Keyboard” in the “Current input method” menu in the “Language and input settings” section. Alternatively, you can press on the little keyboard icon on the notification bar when the standard keyboard is showing.

Getting To The Settings Page

Long press on the  and select “General Keyboard settings…” (usually located next to the microphone key). Here is where you can customize the keyboard to your liking. Use the rest of the guide to help you better understand the options available.

Feedback Options

Enable keypress sounds

This feature is useful when you want to get some type of feedback when you press a key. Not everyone is fond of haptic feedback (where your phone vibrates every time you hit a key) so this is a good alternative. On some tablets that don’t include a built in vibrating mechanism, this would be the second best option.

Choose Sound

Thumb Keyboard allows you to change the sound that is made when you press a key. You have 6 different options to choose from.

    • Default
    • Typewriter
    • Wood
    • Galaxy Tab
    • Windows Phone 7
    • Water Drop

Haptic Feedback

For those wanting a bit more than just a sound, haptic feedback is the way to go. As mentioned earlier, this feature triggers the vibrator built into your device whenever a key is pressed. Remember though, your phone/tablet must have a built in vibrator. While everyone phone includes a vibrating motor keep in mind that not all tablets have one. To date, only the Samsung Galaxy Tab line includes a vibrator inside the their tablets.

Vibration Strength

If you elected to turn on haptic feedback you can adjust the strength in which the small motor vibrates. Move the slider to the right if you want a longer vibration per key press and slide it to the left to decrease it.

Enable Key Popup Feedback

With this option enabled you get a small popup right above the letter you are pressing. This is nice for those with big thumbs that tend to cover up the keys easily. Here is an example with the option checked:

If you decide to uncheck this option, this is what it will look like when you press a key:
Show Completion Indicator
The completion indicator is a visual cue on your space bar which notifies you when the auto correct system has suggested a word for you. To select that word, just simply hit the space bar once and the word will be inserted.
Here is a screenshot with the option turned on:
and with the option off:

Appearance and Customization


One of the newest features of Thumb Keyboard is the theme selector. Here you are presented with a carousel displaying the different themes available for Thumb Keyboard. There are 28 themes to choose from with more being added all the time. Simply flick through all the different themes available and once you know which theme you want, tap on it to start downloading it. The theme will be download and installed automatically.

Keyboard Dimensions

Thumb keyboard is very customizable. It allows you to pick the correct height and width of the keys for your needs. There are plenty of options so lets discuss each one.

Height Keyboard (portrait mode)

When your device is in portrait mode, lower the value to make the keyboard more compact. Increasing the value will make the keyboard much taller.

Height Keyboard (landscape mode)

If you feel that the keyboard is too big, try lowering this setting to make the keys a bit smaller. This in turn will decrease the height of the keyboard. Move the slider to the right to increase the height.

Width Split Letter Keyblocks (portrait mode)

If you are using the tablet in portrait mode, and have it set to the split keyboard option, then this option will allow you to change how far or close the keys should be to your thumbs. If you find yourself over reaching with your thumbs, move the slider to the left to push the keys closer to your thumbs; this is great for those with smaller hands. On another note, if the keys feel too cramped, move the slider to the right to space the keys out a bit.

Width Split Letter Keyblocks (landscape mode)

Many of our tablet users use the keyboard in this orientation. When you have the split keyboard mode activated (while in landscape mode) follow the same steps mentioned above to adjust the keyboard.

Height Space Row

Sometimes when you are typing fast you tend to miss the spacebar. With this option you can solve this problem. Increasing the size of the spacebar basically means you are increasing the surface area so that you will less likely miss the spacebar when typing quickly.

Height Cursor Keys Row

At the bottom of each keyboard design (while in portrait mode) you will notice arrow keys. This is there to help you move the cursor around since most phones and tablets don’t include a trackpad of any sort. Adjusting the size of that bottom row is easy. As always, move the slider to the left to decrease its height and move it to the right to increase the height.

Test Keyboard

Instead of having to back out of the entire settings menu to test the keyboard, we give you a quick and easy way to do it. Once tapped, you can see all your changes that you’ve made to the keyboard in a “finished model”. If you don’t like the size of the spacing or any other option then you can go back really quickly to make the necessary adjustments and come right back to see how it looks.

Secondary Symbols

When you long press a key you will be presented with a secondary menu option. This usually has quick access to things such as symbols. Though we tried to pick the best location for a symbol, not every user will agree. Therefore we will give you the option to change which symbol appears when you long press a key. To set this up is simple.

First enable the option by tapping the check box next to “Custom Symbols”. Then press the letter/symbol combo you want to change. You will get a list of symbols you can change it to. Tap the symbol you want and the changes will be made automagically!

Alternative/International Keyboards

Thumb Keyboard offers support for a wide range of languages. So far we support:

    • English
    • Spanish (modern)
    • Russian
    • German
    • Norwegian
    • Swedish
    • Danish
    • Finnish
Thumb Keyboard automatically selects the keyboard corresponding to your system default language. If you have selected more than one language within the settings of Thumb Keyboard, you can easily switch to the secondary keyboards at any time by sliding your finger across the spacebar.

The keyboard also offers alternative keyboard layouts

    • Qwerty
    • Qwertz
    • Azerty

Show Cursor Key Row

A couple paragraphs ago we discussed how to change the height of the arrow keys at the bottom of the keyboard while in portrait mode. Well if you want to get rid of them completely (and are using the 7″ or 10″ keyboard layout) uncheck this option to hide it.

Font Size

The size of the letters that are displayed on the keys can be adjusted as well. You can easily increase or descrease the size of the font by moving the slider accordingly.

Show Settings Key

You can hide the settings key by selecting the option from the menu.

Voice Input

Change where you want the microphone icon to display, if at all.

Colored Key Blocks

When in split keyboard mode, check this option to outline each side of the keyboard with different colors.

Hide Right Shift Key

If you find yourself hitting the right shift key instead of the backspace, check this option to hide the right shift key altogether. This feature only works if you have selected the QWERTY layout as your default layout. If you have any other language selected , which is usually using another layout like QWERTZ, and you enable this feature, the layout will change back to QWERTY.

Suppress Fullscreen Window

This option removes the window that surrounds the input text field. With this feature enabled you will be able to type and see the background of what your typing; great for those who are chatting and want to quickly see what the other person is saying while typing out your own message.

Auto Capitalization

Capitalize the first word of a new sentence automatically.

Auto Period

Automatically insert a period after quickly tapping the spacebar twice.

Long Press Delay

Set how long you need to hold down a key before activating the secondary menu. Move the slider to the right to increase the time and to the left to decrease the time.

Long Press for Numbers & Symbols

When this option is checked, it will display the popup that appears when long pressing a character. If the key you select has more than one secondary function, like holding down the “A” key to bring up the “%” symbol and other accent keys, this option will only select the “%” symbol and will not display the accent keys that may be hidden.

Input Languages

Select the language keys that you would like to appear. To activate, slide your finger across the space bar and you will be presented with the secondary language keys.

Quick Fixes

Select this option to enable auto-correct. Not only is it helpful for correcting misspelled words, it also addresses issues like properly replacing a lower case “i” to a proper, capitalized letter “I”.

Show Suggestions

As you type, you will be presented with a selection of possible words to help speed up your typing and to decrease spelling errors.

Bigram Sugestions

Bigram prediction is our solution to faster and more efficient text input. The Bigram algorithum is designed to give you the best possible selection of words that you probably meant to say. Bigram prediction works by looking at your previous word and how its used in the context of the sentence. After you put in a word, the next possible word will be generated immediately after entering one letter.

Furthermore, the system adapts to the way you type by systematically learning your most frequent words or phrases and suggesting them when appropriate. For example, if you type the word pair, Thumb Keyboard, enough times the system will remember that you use this often. Now whenever you type the word “thumb” followed by the letter “K”, the first suggestion will be the word “keyboard”. For international users, bigram prediction only works once the system learns your typing, however, it won’t automatically suggest words after typing a letter; this is only available in the English dictionary.

Use Contacts

By enabling this feature you are able to type a friends name and it will come up as one of the suggestions.

Touch to Correct Word

Quickly add a word that has been recommended  from the text prediction by tapping on it.


If you the type word “its” (and you have this feature enabled) it will automatically add the proper punctuation mark (fixes it to “it’s”) and it will add a space after the word so that you don’t lose a beat when typing quickly.

Select Auto-Completion Spacebar

Designate which half of the space bar should be used for selecting the word from the prediction bar.

Insert Space

Automatically add a space after selecting a word from the prediction bar.

Adding/Storing Custom Words & Phrases

1) Pressing the  icon will bring up a menu of 25 possible slots for you to insert your custom words or phrases. (The list is scrollable )

Tap each individual slot to edit it. Here you can type any word or phrase in the text field. It could be as simple as saving the acronym “lol” or as lengthy as “I’ll be home for dinner soon!”. You can even enter returns, so you can create signatures for different type of mails or you can use it to create a standard letter to send in your suggestion and complaints to your local state governor. All of this is now just one tap away.

Once you are ready to use your custom word or phrase, simply tap the  icon, select the desired word or phrase from the slots available and it will automatically be placed where ever your cursor lies on the screen.

2) There is also a dedicated row of buttons that you can program similarly to what we did above. These custom buttons are accessible from the first row on the keyboard. The feature is available on all layouts (phone and tablet). To activate, press the  button on the tablet 10″ layouts or this key   on all other layouts (long press the microphone or comma key). This will bring up a row of slots across the top of the keyboard.

Long pressing on a single slot will bring up a menu asking you to “Edit key binding”.

From here you have a variety of commands to choose from. Anything from Symbols to Arrow keys and even the custom words and phrases you made earlier; choose which ever fits your needs best.

Just like previously mentioned, simply tap the  to bring up the choices and then select the slot you wish to insert.

Deactivate the toolbar by pressing the  key when the toolbar is active

(On phone and other layouts long press the microphone or comma key and then select:   to toggle the toolbar)

Voice Recognition

If you’re not familiar with Android built in voice-to-text feature, it gives you the ability to speak directly into your device and have the words typed out for you. To activate this feature, press  and begin speaking into your device. Be warned though, Thumb Keyboard does not handle any of the actual processing of the voice-to-text feature, this is all done by Google. Therefore, if the system fails to recognize what you’re trying to say then blame them, not us 🙂

One Hand Mode…Sort of

Enable the one hand mode by pressing the  to active:

Full Size Mode: