Google Input Tools – Chrome Extension

Google Input Tools is a quick and easy option for activating web-based virtual language keyboards inside the Chrome browser. Google Input Tools provides virtual language keyboards that test takers may find easier to use compared to what the Chrome OS provides.

Chrome OS – Virtual Keyboard Instructions

There are 3 steps needed to load virtual keyboards and type in the desired language.

Step 1. Activate the Language and Keyboard in the System. This is explained further below for each language
Step 2. Switch to the Desired Language
Step 3. Type in the Desired Language

Step 1. Activate the Language and Keyboard in the System

  • Click on your account in the tray in the lower-right corner and select Settings.
  • Under Device click on Keyboard. 
  • Scroll down and click on Change input settings. 
  • Under Input methods click on Add input methods. 
  • Select the checkbox next to the language(s) you wish to add and click Add.

  • Close Settings.

Step 2. Switch to the Desired Keyboard

  • After activating an additional language keyboard you should see US in the tray directly to the left of your account picture. Click that, then click US keyboard and select the desired keyboard to use.
  • Note: Quickly switch between activated language keyboards by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Space.

Step 3. Type in the Desired Language

  • After switching to the desired keyboard begin typing in the target language.
  • On-Screen Keyboard: Using the On-Screen Keyboard is not required, but may be helpful for test takers typing in a character-based language. Test takers can click the keys on the On-Screen Keyboard, or use it as a keyboard layout reference when typing on the physical keyboard.
  • To turn on the On-Screen Keyboard click on your account in the tray in the lower-right corner and select Settings.
  • Select Accessibility from the left sidebar.
  • Under Accessibility click Keyboard and text input.
  • Flip the switch to the right of On-screen keyboard.
  • Click the keyboard icon in the tray to turn on the on-screen keyboard.
onscreen keyboard
  • Once the On-Screen Keyboard is turned on the selected language will display on the On-Screen keyboard.

Language Specific Instructions

Amharic

  • Step 1. Check the checkbox for Amharic and for input method check Ethiopic keyboard.
amharic selected
Ethiopic selected
  • Step 2. Switch the keyboard to Ethiopic.
  • Step 3. Type in Amharic.
    • Press Shift for additional Amharic letters on the keyboard. 
amharic keyboard

Arabic

  • Step 1. Check the checkbox for Arabic. For input method, check Arabic keyboard
Arabic selected
Arabic selected
  • Step 2. Switch the keyboard to Arabic keyboard.
  • Step 3. Type in Arabic.
    • Responses need to be typed using Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and not dialect. 
Arabic Keyboard

Armenian

  • Step 1. Check the checkbox for Armenian. For input method, check Armenian Phonetic keyboard
Armenian selected
Armenian keyboard selected
  • Step 2. Switch the keyboard to Armenian Phonetic keyboard.
  • Step 3. Type in Armenian.
    • Press Shift for additional Armenian letters on the keyboard.
Armenian keyboard layout

Cantonese

Please follow the instructions for Chinese (Traditional).

Chinese Simplified

  • Step 1. Check the checkbox for Chinese (Simplified). For input method, check Pinyin input method
Chinese selected
Pinyin selected
  • Step 2. Switch the keyboard to Pinyin input method.
  • Step 3. Type in Chinese Simplified.
    • Typing in Chinese Simplified begins with typing the pronunciation of the word phonetically in Latin characters which will automatically bring up a list of Chinese Simplified candidates to select. If you’re using the On-Screen Keyboard you will select your candidates there.
    • Note: There is no keyboard preview for Chinese (Simplified) – Pinyin Input Method because phrases are spelled out phonetically in Latin characters and a list of Chinese Simplified word candidates will display to be selected.

Important: If test takers use Pinyin* in the response (not Chinese characters), they will top out at the Novice-High level. To score at the Intermediate level or higher, test takers MUST show the ability to use characters.

*Pinyin is the Romanization of the Chinese characters based on their pronunciation. In Mandarin Chinese, the phrase “Pin Yin” literally translates into “spell sound”. In other words, spelling out Chinese phrases with letters from the English alphabet.

Chinese Traditional

  • Step 1. Check the checkbox for Chinese (Traditional). For input method, check Traditional Pinyin input method
Chinese Keyboard selected
Pinyin selected
  • Step 2. Switch the keyboard to Traditional Pinyin input method.
  • Step 3. Type in Chinese Traditional.
    • Typing in Chinese Traditional begins with typing the pronunciation of the word with letters from the English alphabet, and then hitting the spacebar to bring up a drop down list of Chinese Traditional characters to select. If you’re using the On-Screen Keyboard you will select your characters there.
    • Note: There is no keyboard preview for Chinese (Traditional) – Traditional Pinyin Input Method because phrases are spelled out phonetically in Latin characters and a list of Chinese Traditional word candidates will display to be selected.

Important: If test takers use Pinyin* in the response (not Chinese characters), they will top out at the Novice-High level. To score at the Intermediate level or higher, test takers MUST show the ability to use characters.

*Pinyin is the Romanization of the Chinese characters based on their pronunciation. In Mandarin Chinese, the phrase “Pin Yin” literally translates into “spell sound”. In other words, spelling out Chinese phrases with letters from the English alphabet.

Hebrew

  • Step 1. Check the checkbox for Hebrew language. For input method, check Hebrew keyboard. 
Language list
Hebrew Keyboard selected
  • Step 2. Switch the keyboard to Hebrew keyboard.
  • Step 3. Type in Hebrew.
Hebrew keyboard

Hindi

  • Step 1: Check the checkbox Hindi (India) language and for input method check Devanagari keyboard (Phonetic).
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Devanagari keyboard (Phonetic).
  • Step 3: Type in Hindi
    • Typing in Hindi starts with typing the pronunciation of the word phonetically in Latin characters which will automatically convert to Hindi characters.

Note: There is no keyboard preview for Hindi – Devanagari keyboard (Phonetic) because phrases are spelled out phonetically in Latin characters.

Japanese

  • Step 1: Check the checkbox for Japanese language and for input method check Japanese keyboard.
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to the Japanese keyboard.
  • Step 3: Type in Japanese.
    • Typing in Japanese begins with typing the pronunciation of the word with letters from the English alphabet, and then hitting the space bar to bring up a drop-down list of Japanese characters to choose from.

Important: If test takers use Romaji* (not changing that to Hiragana, Katakana, or Kanji), they will top out at the Novice-High level. To score at the Intermediate level or higher, test takers MUST show the ability to use characters.

* Romaji is the Romanization of the Japanese characters based on their pronunciation. In Japanese, the phrase “Romaji” literally translates into “roman letters”. In other words, spelling out Japanese phrases with letters from the English alphabet.

Korean

  • Step 1: Check the checkbox for Korean language and for input method check Korean input method.
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Korean input method.
  • Step 3: Type in Korean.
    • Press Shift for additional Korean letters on the keyboard.

Marathi

  • Step 1: Check the checkbox for Marathi language and for input method check Devanagari keyboard (Phonetic).
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Devanagari keyboard (Phonetic).
  • Step 3: Type in Marathi.

Note: There is no keyboard layout for the Devanagari keyboard (Phonetic) because phrases are spelled out phonetically in Latin characters and will convert to Marathi.

Russian

  • Step 1: Check the checkbox for Russian language and for input method check Russian keyboard.
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Russian keyboard.
  • Step 3: Type in Russian.

Tamil

  • Step 1: Check the checkbox for Tamil language and for input method check Tamil keyboard (Tamil99).
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Tamil keyboard (Tamil99).
  • Step 3: Type in Tamil.
    • Press Shift for additional Tamil letters on the keyboard.

Telugu

Chrome OS only provides phonetic and transliteration keyboards for Telugu. To type with a keyboard preview we recommend using Google Input Tools for typing Telugu on Chrome computers. Read more about using Google Input Tools here.

  • Step 1: Check the checkbox for Telugu language and for input method check Telugu keyboard (Phonetic).
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Telugu keyboard (Phonetic).
  • Step 3: Type in Telugu.

Note: There is no keyboard layout for the Telugu keyboard (Phonetic) because phrases are spelled out phonetically in Latin characters and will automatically convert to Telugu.

Ukrainian

  • Step 1: Check the checkbox for Ukrainian language.
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to the Ukrainian keyboard.
  • Step 3: Type in Ukrainian.

Urdu

Chrome OS only provides a transliteration keyboard for Urdu. To type with a keyboard preview we recommend using Google Input Tools for typing Urdu on Chrome computers. Read more about using Google Input Tools here.

  • Step 1: Check the checkbox for Urdu language and for input method check Transliteration (salam).
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Transliteration (salam).
  • Step 3: Type in Urdu.

Note: There is no keyboard preview for Urdu Transliteration (salam) because phrases are spelled out phonetically in Latin characters and a list of Urdu word candidates will display to be selected.

Vietnamese

  • Step 1: Check the checkbox for Vietnamese language and for input method check Vietnamese keyboard (TCVN).
  • Step 2: Switch the keyboard to Vietnamese keyboard (TCVN).
  • Step 3: Type in Vietnamese.

If this accent sub-menu feature isn’t available to you, it’s likely because you either have a fairly old version of system software, or perhaps you disabled the accent menu to favor key repeat instead.

*Avant Assessment has compiled the information in this guide to assist you in activating various language virtual keyboards on Chrome Operating Systems. Since software and hardware updates and changes occur quite frequently, these are only suggested processes that we have identified, tested and produced in these simple guides. If one of the processes outlined does not seem to work for your configuration, please check with the developer of your hardware and operating system for more specific support. There may be more updated information available through those resources. As always, Google is also a great resource to use if you are searching for assistance with this process as well.

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