Want Windows to finish your…? And start them? Find out here how to type faster with predictive text on Windows (using keyboard shortcuts to boot).

First, the Ancient Egyptian Word for Donkey

was what we should expect it to be in any language, “e-ha.” (The hieroglyph using the wooden column is interesting in its own right.)

Now, onomatopoetic words are not only fun, they also offer an effective shortcut from what you hear to what should be in your head. How about a shortcut from what you hear in your head to what should be on the screen?

How to Type Faster with Predictive Text on Windows

To enter words swiftly with smart and contextual text suggestions in Windows 10:

  1. Make sure predictive text input is enabled. (See below.)
  2. Type at least one character to start a sentence.
    • Tip: Hitting Space for a whitespace character also usually generates a suggestion.
  3. Wait for the text suggestions to appear above or, if space does not suffice, below what you have typed so far.
  4. Choose from the selection with the mouse, tap or continue typing to improve suggestions.
    • Keyboard shortcut: To choose from predictive text suggestions using the keyboard:
      1. Press the up key ()—even when the suggestions appear below the line of text.
      2. Optionally, use the right () and left () keys to highlight the desired selection.
      3. Press Space or Enter to enter the suggestion followed by a whitespace character; typing any other character or punctuation mark will enter that character or mark and generate a new suggestion.

How to Enable Predictive Text on Windows

To turn on predictive text in Windows:

  1. Open the Start menu in Windows.
    • Keyboard shortcut: You can also press the Windows key.
  2. Select Settings from the start menu.
    • Note: You may only see the gear icon (⚙️).
  3. Open the Devices category.
  4. Now select the Typing section.
  5. Make sure Show text suggestions as I type is enabled under Hardware keyboard.
    • Optional: Turn on Autocorrect misspelled words as I type as well to have Windows replace what it deems misspellings with what it thinks is the most likely alternative that is spelled correctly automatically.
  6. Now make sure Show text suggestions as I type on the software keyboard is enabled as well for virtual keyboard predictive text.
    • Recommended: Also enable Show text predictions based on the recognized languages you’re typing in under Multilingual text prediction.
  7. Close the Settings window.

How to Type Faster with Predictive Text on Windows: FAQ

Can I get more than three suggestions?

No. To get a more suitable suggestion, continue typing.

How can I undo the insertion of predicted text?

Press Ctrl Z immediately.

To get back suggestions, append another character or use Backspace and re-type the last one.

(How to type faster with predictive text on Windows tested with Windows 10 1803; updated July 2018; title image: StockUnlimited)