Although Google just pushed out ChromeOS 104, there are new features on the horizon. The latest is with ChromeOS 106, expected to add diacritic typing to Chromebooks and other ChromeOS devices.
You might not recognize the word “diacritic” but you probably know what it means. In fact, I know some of you do because I recently received a few emails about diacritic input. It’s when there are certain accents or other marks attached to a typed character; common in many countries.
This image is an example of a keyboard that supports diacritic typing.
The plan is to add this feature to ChromeOS 106, although that could change. I haven’t yet seen a flag to enable it in ChromeOS 105 so the change would have to be fully coded soon.
Here’s how Google describes the upcoming feature:
The Essential Inputs team is planning to launch improvements to diacritic typing by including a key press functionality that showcases a new accent menu. This accent menu reveals diacritical marks associated with characters when the user presses and holds a key down on key characters with diacritics. Users will then have the option to select and insert a diacritic character or close the menu without selection.
Chances are that if you’re in the U.S., this feature addition will mostly go unnoticed and unused. Outside of the U.S. however, this will be very useful. So many languages have their own diacritics and I’m sure it’s frustrating for those Chromebook users who can’t type them.
Up to this point, these folks have had to rely on minimal diacritic support by choosing an international keyboard layout and using keyboard shortcuts. And even then, there’s no guarantee that the right characters will be available for them.
By improving this unique input method and showing different character options in real-time with a long keypress, the need to remember keyboard shortcuts for diacritics will be a thing of the past.
Hopefully, this feature does arrive in ChromeOS 106 as expected. It will make life a little easier for ChromeOS users around the world.