Get help with the keyboard on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

iOS supports multiple languages and dialects, offering international keyboards and dictionaries. You can use the built-in keyboards in all apps, and you can change between multiple international keyboards.

Customize your keyboard

Unlike physical keyboards, you can change the format of a software keyboard. This will also change the dictionary used for auto-correction, the number of letters on the keyboard, and the arrangement of the keys (for languages with alternative keyboard layouts). The language of the keyboard also determines the language of the dictionary used for predictive text.

You can add software keyboards from Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards.

With some languages, you can change the key layout by tapping the language and selecting a new layout.

Customize your physical hardware keyboard

With iOS, you can choose between multiple keyboard layouts to match the keys on your physical keyboard. You can also use an alternative keyboard layout that doesn't match the keys on your physical keyboard.

Before you can change your physical keyboard, you need to pair it with your iOS device. Follow the instructions that came with your keyboard to place it in discovery or pair mode. Once it's paired, go to Settings > General > Hardware Keyboard and select a layout. Learn more about using a third-party keyboard

Change the language

If more than one language is on, you can change the language while typing. Follow these steps:

  • Tap   to choose the next language on your keyboard. The chosen language appears on the Space bar. 
  • Touch and hold   to display a menu of enabled keyboards. Drag to choose a new keyboard. 

In iOS 6 and later, the language of the keyboard determines the language of the dictionary, if one is available for the language.

Define a word

To get the definition of a word, select the word and tap Define. The dictionary is a feature of the software keyboard only. 

The dictionary is available in these languages:

  • English
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Spanish
  • Dutch
  • Norwegian
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Russian
  • Swedish
  • Thai
  • Turkish

Use predictive text

With iOS, you can write and complete entire sentences with a few taps. As you type, you'll see choices for words and phrases you'd probably type next, based on your past conversations and writing style. 

See a full list of languages that support predictive text.

Hide and show the suggestions

You'll get three word or phrase options to use while you're writing a message. 

To hide the suggestions, swipe down.

To show the suggestions, swipe up.

Turn off predictive text

To turn off predictive text tap   or press and hold   and tap Predictive.

You can also turn off predictive text in Settings > General > Keyboard > Predictive.

Last Modified: