Type in Roman Urdu & Google Gboard Will Convert That to Urdu!

Gboard, a keyboard app from Google has been the fault input app on most Android smartphones. However, it wasn’t the go-to app for Pakistani users who were forced to write in Roman Urdu. The search giant has now silently added a new feature to the keyboard app which might be the perfect solution for all Urdu speaking people in the whole world. The Gboard can automatically convert all Roman Urdu to Urdu in its original script on real-time basis.

So it automatically changes, for example, “tumhara naam kia hai” to “تمہارا نام کیا ہے۔”

Urdu is one of the most neglected languages on most digital platforms. This new addition shows a change of trend and hopefully it will be first among many steps to promote Urdu in the digital world. Now all the frustrated users can utilize this feature to convert their Roman style text into original Urdu script without having to learn the layout of an unfamiliar Urdu keyboard (looking at you SwiftKey).

The Need for Such A Keyboard

It is estimated that more than 150 million people can understand, speak, and write in Urdu in the world. After different chatting softwares and apps appeared in the market, people had no option but to use the Roman script for conveying messages in Urdu. The trend caught on and people started using Roman Urdu on social media and everywhere else. As there was no easy way to type Urdu in its original form, people got used to this style which consisted of Urdu expressions in English alphabets.

In the absence of a better option, this disfigured style gained popularity in Urdu speaking communities. Even politicians used this mode while expressing themselves on Twitter. As all the keyboards consisted of English alphabets, people were forced to use Roman Urdu.

How to Download & Use

Now this issue is resolved and using these easy steps, you can get Google to convert Roman Urdu into genuine Urdu for you.

  • First step is to download and install Gboard from Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. This app can be installed on Android and iOS devices.
  • Open the keyboard and follow instructions that will ask you to select the keyboard as input method.
  • Go to Gboard settings and select Languages option. You will have to deselect “Use System Language”.
  • Now browse the list of languages provided by Gboard, and select Urdu (abc).
  • You can also choose Urdu Pakistan if you want Urdu input layout rather than the Roman one.
  • The job is done and you have Gboard’s new feature at your disposal to use as you want.
  • Keyboard’s typing language can be changed on the go by pressing and holding spacebar for a second and opting for Urdu on the popup screen. The same process will be involved if you want to return to your previous typing mode/language.

Gboard’s ability to recognize and convert Roman Urdu into regular Urdu is surprisingly accurate. There are options available for different local languages of the country like Sindhi, or Kashmiri but Urdu is the default one.

And in case you would rather prefer a good Urdu, Sindhi or Pashto keyboard app (with a non-Roman input layout), then you can go for SwiftKey. And if you want to read Urdu in a decent font, download the Nastaleeq extension for Chrome, Opera & Vivaldi.


  • ProPK I’ve posted about it almost 4 hours ago on my fb profile. :D
    You’re quite late.

  • We Pakistani and ProPakistanis should know to write Urdu (in Urdu script rather than roman) very well without using roman version.

    Newbies can use Pak Urdu Installer for windows and Go Keyboard for Android. :)

  • I am unable to do it. I have Google Pixel with default GBoard installed. It just showing urdu language not urdu(abc). Have you used this feature? Please do verify before posting.

  • the real problem with android based keyboard is they are logging every keystroke we press, this is really alarming for privacy, not only just the keywords they also learn our typing pattern by so called predictive text feature

  • Writer should be ashamed of his writting skills:
    Gboard, a keyboard app from Google has been the fault input app on most Android smartphones.

    Fault -> default

    #Jahil

  • I dont have “Urdu(ABC) in my Gboard >Languages. I have only “Urdu(Pakistan). How to get one

  • Can Someone Guide me how it will work on iPhone as its working fine on Android but unable to find Urdu conversion option in iphone Version ???

    • same here, i cant even find urdu as a language in here, or hinglish for that matter. do you have those available? maybe i need to change my region

    • I don’t think Urdu is available at all in Gboard for iOS yet. This article only applies to Android users for now.

  • اردو کے حروف تہجی لاتینی خط سے دگنے سے بھی زیادہ ہیں۔ اس لیئے انھیں صرف اصل خط ہی میں لکھا جا سکتا ہے۔ عربی کی طرح کی بورڈ کی ہر کی پر لاتینی اور اردو حرف لکھا جا سکتا ہے۔ اس سے معیاری اردو کی بورڈ سے ٹائیپ کیا جا سکتا ہے۔ یہ نہ ہو تو اردو فونیٹک کی بورڈ ڈائونلوڈ کر کے انسٹال کیا جا سکتا ہے اورتھوڑی سی مشق سے آسانی سے اردو لکھی جا سکتی ہے۔ گوگل کا حل جلیبی کی طرح سیدھا ہے۔ بلاوجہ وقت، توانائی اور پیسہ ضائع کیا گیا۔

  • اردو کی تین قسمیں بن گئیں ہیں۔
    1۔ اصل اردو
    2۔ ملاوٹی اردو
    3۔ جعلی اردو یعنی رومن۔
    جعلی اردو استعمال کرنے کے بجائے اصل اردو ہی سیکھی جائے۔ کچھ بھی مشکل نہیں۔ اردو کے ساتھ ایسا رویہ دراصل ہماری کم ہمتی کا مظہر ہے۔
    پروپاکستانی کو اس طرح کے فضول خبریں شائع کرنے کے بجائے تعلیمی اور ٹیکنیکل تحاریر شائع کرنی چاہیے۔ اس طرح کی خبروں کے لیے ایک مرکی پٹی شروع کردی جائے تو بہتر ہوگا۔

  • I cannot find Urdu, let alone Urdu(abc) in Gboard list of languages on Android. I think it’s only available in Pakistan.

  • BHAI hum ne ye news dekh kar gboard install kiya apne Android jelly beans mobile pe..iski language setting mai Na tu Urdu ABC show ho raha hai Na hi Urdu show ho raha hai hum kya kare


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