How to Input Chinese with Your Keyboard

Hello! If you have already learned 20 characters or taken 10 hours of Chinese classes, it is time for you to start learning how to type Chinese characters. This can make your study of the Chinese language and Chinese characters amazingly easier! Check it out.

Step 1. Use Google Pinyin or Microsoft Bing Pinyin

Click here to download Google Pinyin or here to download Bing pinyin and install it. (There are many input methods out there, if you are in China, may be Microsoft Bing Chinese input method is good choice, here we will use Google Chinese input method as example.)

Download Google IME

Step 2. Turn Google Pinyin on!

If you have several keyboard input methods installed in your computer, then at the bottom right corner of your desktop, you should see a keyboard input button where you can click to choose the method or keyboard to use. You can also use the control+shift(press both keys at the same time) shortcut to switch from one method to another. When you start to type Pinyin, you should only see the Google Pinyin tool bar. 

Turn Google Pinyin on!

Step 3. Start to Input

We will use MS Word on Win7 system to show you how Google Pinyin works.

First, you type a pinyin. You do not need to consider tones.

For example, type "wo". After that, you will get a list of suggested 汉字. You can press the space bar to input the first 汉字.

Start to Input

If the 汉字 you want is not shown on the list, you can use the key + or - to go to the next row of the list. You can also click on the "downward arrow" button to go to the next row.

As a side note, in case you want to input ü,in most cases, you can just use U instead. However, when the word you want to input has the ü combined with “L” or “N”, you need to type V for ü.

For example, for girlfriend(女朋友), write “nvpengyou”, and for green(绿色), write “lvse.”

But if you wish to input a long sentence, this 汉字 by 汉字 input is too slow. There is a much more efficient way. 

Input Word by Word

Suppose you wish to input "他们是北京人"(They are Beijing citizens). When you input "北京", you can just type "beijing" one time instead of "bei" and "jing". With that, you will see that there are only 3 words to choose from. The first word is always the most popular one. To choose the first one, press the space bar, and the first word "北京" will be input.

Input Word by Word

But, this is still not the most efficient way to type a whole sentence. 

Input Phrase or Sentence

If you want to input a simple sentence or a sentence using only popular words, like "They are Beijing citizens", you can type "tamenshibeijngren", just one time. Then you will see the whole sentence on the first spot of the list. Then, "space bar" it, and you will get the whole sentence on your document. 

Input Phrase or Sentence

Inputting not-so-popular words

If you need to input your Chinese name, for example, it will probably not be on the suggested list. For example, if your Chinese name is 穆坦唐, obviously, the first word on the list is not correct. But the first character of the name is the number 6 on the list, so click "6", to choose "穆".

Inputting not-so-popular words - 1

Then, the first 汉字 will have been chosen. 

Then, the right "tan" is the first on the next list. Press space bar to get "坦" input into the document.

Inputting not-so-popular words

Lastly, you need to chose the last character tang, which is "唐". You need to click "2" to chose it. 

Inputting not-so-popular words

Finally, you will get the whole sentence. Don't forget to add a period. It is a small circle.

It takes a little bit of work if it is the first time inputting a new word. The good news is that if you input once, then, your name becomes a "word" in your own computer. Next time, when you need to input the same sentence, you will see how fast it is.

Just input "mutantang" like a word again. Then, you will see 穆坦唐 as the first choice.

Inputting not-so-popular words

This way, you can have your name, company's name, or even a phrase you like to use to be a first choice "word" on your Pinyin list. 

Your level is not too low to use 汉字

  • If you have already learned 10 Chinese words, then it won't be difficult for you to start to type Chinese with 汉字 Pinyin.
  • If some of the 汉字 or words you input are wrong 汉字, your teacher or Chinese friends will still understand you.
  • If you don't know the right choice, then you can just choose the first one Google Pinyin suggests.