How to enable and use the touch keyboard in Windows 11
Not all users know that in addition to the on-screen keyboard, which is part of the operating system, there is a Windows touch keyboard. You can use this virtual keyboard if your monitor or laptop lacks touch capabilities and one or more keys on the physical keyboard are not working.
The touch keyboard for your computer can be used on any device: laptop or desktop PC, instead of the on-screen or regular keyboard. In some cases, especially if there are any problems with the keyboard, this will be very convenient.
- Comparison of touch and on-screen keyboards in Windows 11
- How to enable touch keyboard in Windows 11
- Setting up the touch keyboard
- Some features of input on the Windows 11 touch keyboard
- Voice text input using the Windows 11 touch keyboard
- Insert text using handwriting
- Using the Emoji Panel
- Access to clipboard history
- How to disable the Windows touch keyboard
- Article Conclusions
The touch keyboard in Windows 11 has added several new features to its capabilities, greatly expanding the number of ways to enter text on a PC screen compared to what the Windows 10 touch keyboard had.
This guide will walk you through some of the basic features of the Windows 11 touch keyboard, as well as how to turn on the touch keyboard or how to turn off the touch keyboard if you don’t need the tool anymore.
Comparison of touch and on-screen keyboards in Windows 11
The on-screen keyboard is part of accessibility features in Windows. It has several useful features, such as a full set of navigation and function keys. The on-screen keyboard can be used on standard Windows computers and touch screen devices.
Microsoft Corporation primarily created the touch keyboard for touchscreen tablets and laptops running Windows. On these devices, the touch keyboard automatically shows up when you tap or click on any area on the screen that accepts text input, and hides when you no longer need it.
You can use the touch keyboard on your computer whenever it suits you.
How to enable touch keyboard in Windows 11
You must first enable this feature in Windows 11 settings in order to start using the touch keyboard on your computer.
Consider how to enable the touch keyboard in Windows in the operating system settings:
- Right-click on an empty space on the PC screen.
- In the context menu, click on the “Personalization” item.
- In the “Personalization” tab, click “Taskbar”.
- In the Taskbar Icons section, activate the Touch Keyboard option.
- A button (icon) of the touch keyboard will appear in the notification area, from where you can launch this application.
Setting up the touch keyboard
To change the keyboard layout, tap or click on the “Gear” icon in the upper left corner on the touch keyboard, and in the menu that opens, first select “Keyboard layout”, and then any of the available options:
- Default – This layout is used if no other mode is selected.
- Smaller – Shrinks the touch keyboard so that it resembles a smartphone keyboard. Use this option to free up more screen space.
- Cutoff Time – The keys shrink to the size of a smartphone, but half of them move to the far left and far right of the docked area. This layout is ideal for typing on a tablet’s touch screen with your thumbs.
- Traditional—Similar to a standard physical keyboard layout, with a number pad and extra characters for faster access to those keys.
For example, in a traditional touch keyboard layout, function keys can be used.
Touch keyboard personalization setting:
- Touch or click the Gear icon on the touch keyboard.
- From the context menu, click Size & Theme.
- In the Text Input window of Windows 11 personalization options, select the appropriate keyboard theme style.
After selecting a theme, the appearance of the touch keyboard will change.
If you are not satisfied with the themes suggested by Windows, click on the “Custom Theme” button.
Choose colors for your custom theme and then click the Save button.
In this Windows Options window, you can change the keyboard size and key text size:
- Open the “Touch Keyboard” option.
- Move the Keyboard Size slider to make the touch keyboard smaller or larger.
- If you want to hide the rectangular background behind every key on the touch keyboard, turn off the Key Background option.
- Change the size of the key text if necessary.
You can view the changes using the “Open Keyboard” button.
Some features of input on the Windows 11 touch keyboard
Press the “&123” key to move to numbers and symbols. Use the left and right arrow keys to switch characters to upper or lower case.
If you need to use a key combination that includes the Ctrl, Alt, or Shift keys, tap or click on the modifier key to activate it, then select another key to make the required combination.
To quickly enter numbers or characters with accents, press and hold a number or key for about a second. Above you will see several other related keys or symbols pop up. Press your finger or cursor on the desired key.
Voice text input using the Windows 11 touch keyboard
The Windows 11 touch keyboard can be used for voice typing. The Windows 11 operating system supports Russian voice input.
Follow these steps to type text with your voice:
- On the touch keyboard, touch or click the Microphone key to switch to voice input mode.
- Start talking. If you don’t see the pulsating Microphone icon, first click in the text editor window or browser search bar where you want to enter text, then click on the microphone and start speaking again.
- The Windows voice input feature transcribes your words into text.
- To exit this mode, tap the Microphone icon again or disable the touch keyboard.
Insert text using handwriting
You can type text using the handwriting feature on the touch keyboard.
Do the following:
- On the touch keyboard, touch or click the Gear icon in the top left corner.
- Select “Handwriting” from the drop-down menu.
- Write your sentence in print or italics using your finger, mouse, stylus inside the handwriting pad.
- Once entered in the panel, this text will appear at the location in the document where you type it.
- If Windows misunderstood your handwriting, select any of the suggested words above the handwriting block to correct.
Using the Emoji Panel
On the touch keyboard, you can use Emoji by opening a special panel. Inserting emoji into text documents takes place using a function of the Windows operating system.
Do the following:
- On the touch keyboard, tap or click the little heart icon to display emoticons, GIFs, kaomoji, and more.
- On the top bar, click on one of the small icons after the “Recently Used” icon to navigate to the relevant sections.
- You can use the search box in the top right corner to search for emoji and animated GIFs.
- Touch or click on a symbol to insert it in the appropriate place.
Access to clipboard history
Clipboard history is another Windows feature accessible from the touch keyboard.
Do the following:
- Click on the heart icon.
- Navigate to the Clipboard History icon to see which items you have recently saved to the Windows Clipboard.
- Click on any tile on the clipboard bar to paste text or other data contained in the tile.
- If you don’t want future clipboard entries to override a specific clipboard entry, click the “Pin” icon in the lower right corner of the desired tile.
How to disable the Windows touch keyboard
You can disable the Windows touch keyboard at any time. Use two options:
- Click on the button with a cross in the upper right corner of the application.
- Click on any key on the physical keyboard.
The Windows operating system has a built-in touch keyboard that can be used on both touch and regular screen devices. In some cases, the use of a touch keyboard is justified. In Windows 11, you can customize the appearance of the touch keyboard, use voice and handwriting input, clipboard history, insert emoji, and other characters.