In KitKat, there used to be some punctuation shortcuts in google's keyboard. For example, you'd press and hold a key (usually in the lower rows, like 'v'), and you could add a question mark, exclamation mark or whatever punctuation was linked to this key.

In Lollipop, there seems to be no such thing anymore, and if you want to add a question mark, you have to go through the hassle of getting into ?123 menu. Worse, if you want an underscore or a tilda, you'll have to go in the second level =\<@ menu.

So, here's my question: how to get the punctuation shortcuts back in Google's keyboard? Has the feature completely disappeared?

Note: this feature is still present in Google pinyin keyboard, but in Lollipop you can't type in english with it anymore for some reason...(when we could with the KitKat version)

  • Please check in the settings of the Google keyboard app.
    – rjt.rockx
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 14:54
  • Thanks, already did. nothing much here, except using a pc layout, which gives more punctuation keys, but reduce the size of every key, so less usable. I had missed a punctuation shortcut on the "." key aside from the spacebar, but it's still not as convenient as direct shortcuts on the keys.
    – KrahnacK
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 15:19

3 Answers 3


What keyboard are you referring to? If you're on the latest google keyboard ( 5.0.25.xxx) then you can turn this on by:

settings > Language and Input > Google Keyboard > preferences > Long press for symbols.
  • Thanks for the tip, but that's still slower (not as efficient) as what I'm looking for. I realize my question is ambiguous, but I'm not looking for "long press" solutions. What I'd like is, just like the pinyin input (which I'm using right now), be able to do kind of a "swipe bottom" on a key without holding it and get the associated punctuation.
    – KrahnacK
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 7:04
  • @KrahnacK - You specifically mentioned "press and hold letters for punctuations". What I said is exactly the same thing. If you find it slower, you need to decrease the long press action time. That is also available in the same options.
    – blueren
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 7:05
  • sorry my first comment was sent too soon
    – KrahnacK
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 7:06

Almost a year ago but found out only today after scouting lots of sites.

Click on Gboard> Preferences and then Long Press for symbols.

Might not have everything you want but that does help a lot.


Just press and hold the ?123 button, and swipe over to the question mark and release. It inserts a question mark and goes back to letter keyboard.

  • thanks for the tip, the "." button also works for some punctuation. it's just a shame that some useful punctuation in the "=\<" menu is not available directly from the main keyboard
    – KrahnacK
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 3:51

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