If you have a PC with a touchscreen, you can use the touch keyboard to enter text with the touch keyboard. 

To open the touch keyboard

In most cases, you can tap where you want to enter text and the touch keyboard will open automatically. If it doesn't, you can turn it on yourself. Here's how: 

  1. Select Start > Settings >Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar corner icons, then make sure Touch keyboard is turned on.

  2. Tap the icon when you want to enter text with the touch keyboard.

Touch keyboard layouts

There are four different layouts you can use when inputting text with the touch keyboard. Select the keyboard settings icon in the upper-left corner of the touch keyboard to view and switch between options.

Select the icons just below the layout options to dock and undock your keyboard. This allows you to keep it in a stationary position or move it to a different place on your screen to best fit your workstyle.

Keyboard

Description

Default keyboard

This layout is optimized for touchscreen typing. It has larger keys and some keys have been removed to make it easier to type.

Split keyboard

This layout splits the keyboard so that one half of it is near the left edge of the screen and the other is on the right. This makes it easier to type when holding a touchscreen PC with two hands. (Not available in all languages)

Small keyboard

This layout is compact keyboard that can be moved anywhere on your screen. (Not available in all languages)

Traditional keyboard

This layout most replicates a standard external keyboard. It has all the functions and includes an expanded selection of keys.

Handwriting panel

Use this to enter text with a pen or your finger.

12-key layout (Japanese only)

A keyboard layout for Japanese characters that places keys in a 3x4 grid.

50-on layout (Japanese only)

A keyboard layout for Japanese characters that places keys in a grid with 5 rows. Makes it easier for Japanese speakers to find a specific Hiragana character.

Note: Swipe-based typing like shape writing isn't available in all languages.

If you have a PC with a touchscreen, the touch keyboard lets you input text by tapping a keyboard that appears on your screen with your pen or fingertip. Use it with the default layout or try one of the other available options.

To open the touch keyboard

  1. On a tablet or a PC in tablet mode, select Touch keyboard on the taskbar.

  2. Tap where you'd like to enter text, and the touch keyboard will open automatically.

Note: If you're not seeing the touch keyboard button, tap and hold (or right-click) the taskbar and select Show touch keyboard button .

Touch keyboard layouts

There are four different layouts you can use when inputting text with the touch keyboard. Select the keyboard settings icon in the upper-left corner of the touch keyboard to view and switch between options.

Touch keyboard settings panel

  • Standard keyboard . This is the default layout and is like a standard external keyboard, but a little more compact. With this layout you won’t have access to keys like numbers or ESC.

  • Narrow layout (one-handed) keyboard . With a smaller size than the standard keyboard, the narrow keyboard is meant to replicate your phone. It hides less of your screen while you’re working and supports swipe-based typing like shape writing.

  • Handwriting panel . Write on the panel with your pen or fingertip to input text. If you prefer to use your fingertip, select the Start button, then select Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink and turn on Write in the handwriting panel with your fingertip .

  • Expanded standard keyboard . This layout most closely replicates a standard extern keyboard. It has all the same functions and includes an expanded selection of keys.

Select the icons just below the layout options to dock and undock your keyboard. This allows you to keep it in a stationary position or move it to a different place on your screen to best fit your workstyle.

Note: Swipe-based typing like shape writing is not available in all languages.

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