Embodiments relate to using pressure features of touch inputs directed to a virtual keyboard to control the symbols outputted by the virtual keyboard. Specifically, when interacting with a virtual keyboard, pressures of physical touches directed to the displayed virtual keyboard are sensed and included with corresponding touch inputs provided to the virtual keyboard. In the process of determining what symbols are outputted by the virtual keyboard, the virtual keyboard considers the pressure features of the touch inputs. A pressure feature of a touch input directed to the virtual keyboard can control which symbol is outputted by activation of a virtual key by the touch input. The pressure can also, or alternatively, trigger outputting of symbols not corresponding to key activations, transforming words or symbols (e.g., capitalizing, selecting diacritics, applying visual effects).