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How to Change the Keyboard Language on a Chromebook

The keyboard language is set once you log into a Chromebook for the first time. Assuming you’re in America, the default keyboard language will be English (US). But what if you need to use different language settings?

The quick answer is, there shouldn’t be any problem to set it up and you can even select spell check for different languages. This article takes you through the process and provides tips on how to quickly switch between the languages.

Changing the Keyboard Languages

Step 1

Navigate to the account icon in the bottom right of the screen, then click the gear icon to access the Settings menu. Now, you need to choose Advanced to access more settings.

How to Change the Keyboard Language on Chromebook

Step 2

If you wish to add a different keyboard, choose Language in the menu and click on “Add languages”. Then, select the languages you’d like to use and just click “Add” to include them.

How to Change Keyboard Language on a Chromebook

Step 3

That out of the way, proceed to “Languages and input” and choose “Input method”. Then, click on “Manage input methods” and check the boxes for the keyboard languages you want to use.

How to Change Keyboard Language on Chromebook

Once done, click on the arrow pointing left to go back.

Step 4

Choose your preferred keyboard language and a green Enabled label should appear just under said language.

You can also see all the available keyboard languages on the Chromebook’s desktop. For this, you need to enable the “Show input options in the shelf”.

How to Turn on Spell Check for Different Languages

The Spell Check menu appears at the bottom of the “Language and input menu”. To navigate to this feature, select Advanced under Settings (the gear icon), then scroll down to the given menu.

When you click on Spell Check, just select the languages and you’re good to go.

Note: There is a set number of languages that support Spell Check, but the feature does work with the most popular languages.

Switching Between Different Languages

After you add different languages, the quick way to switch between them is to use hotkeys. Press Control + Shift + Space buttons simultaneously and repeat until you see the desired keyboard languages. To go back, you just depress Control + Space.

If you don’t like using hotkeys, go to the bottom of the screen, click on the language indicator, and choose the keyboard input you’d like to use.

How to Remove a Language

Should you decide you no longer need a particular language, it’s super easy to do so. Again, you click on the gear icon to access Settings and choose advanced. Scroll down to “Languages and input” and choose Language.

There, you’ll find three vertical dots on the right, click on them and choose “Remove”.

Bonus Tips

The aforementioned vertical dots offer more than just removing a language. This is actually a More menu that allows you to choose different language preferences. And there are two different options available.

Option 1

Choose “Show menus in this language”, then click “Show system text in this language”. Afterward, you click Restart and when you sign back in, the menus appear in the preferred language.

Option 2

Select “Show webpages in this language” and choose “Move to the top”. This action prioritizes the given language. And while you’re at it, you can select “Offer to translate pages in this language”.

With this option on, Google Chrome will automatically translate the sites to the language you chose.

Important Note: Chromebook menus don’t work with every language. In addition, webpage translations for certain languages might appear funky, but it’s easy to override this feature.

Some Troubleshooting Tips

For the most part, adding new languages and language switches work without a glitch, but there is one thing you should know. The Advanced menu might refuse to allow you to turn on the Spell Check.

For example, you can’t click the button next to the Spell Check even though the default language input is set to English. The trick is that Google recognizes generic English without any regional differences, as well as the US and UK English.

To make sure the Spell Check button is clickable, you need to select either the US or the UK variant. Then, you can go back and turn on the button that helps you avoid some embarrassing spelling mistakes.

Keep on Typing Like There’s No Tomorrow

At this point, you know everything about adding and changing keyboard languages. And Google also included a bunch of special characters you can quickly access via the keyboard. Plus, don’t forget about the hotkeys that make your job much easier.

What keyboard languages would you like to add on your Chromebook? Do you find Google’s Spell Check useful? Give us your two cents in the comments section below.