|New Free Tools for Faster Input of
Chinese Text into PCs and Smartphones
There are several options of free application programs for users to do Chinese computer input efficiently on
several options of devices such as desktop PC, laptop PC, Android based smartphones and Android based
tablets. This website describes all the options of application programs and options of devices that I have some
experience of using them to do Chinese computer input efficiently.
You do not need to use all these options of free application programs and all options of devices. You just pick
certain specific application program and specific device that are suitable and convenient for you to use.
The instructions for Chinese input on iPhones, iPads, Mac and MacBook, are in Part I.
Table of Contents
Part A Chinese Computer Input by Voice with Some Supplemental Methods
Part B: Use Free Microsoft IME for Chinese Input by Voice on PCs Running Microsoft Windows OS
Part C: Free Google Pinyin App for Chinese Input by Voice and by Handwriting on Android based Smartphones
Part D for Free iFLYTEK App for Chinese Input by Voice
Part E for Modern Pinyin Based Chinese Input Methods on PCs Running Windows OS
Part F for Free Supplemental Methods to Input Chinese Characters
Part G - Cantonese Input on Smartphones
Part H for Free App of Speechnotes for Chinese Input by Voice
Part I Chinese Input on iPhones, iPads, Mac and MacBook
Part A Chinese Computer Input by Voice with Some Supplemental Methods
The advances in speech recognition technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in recent few years have made
Chinese Input by Voice very easy, fast and accurate as compared to other Chinese Input Methods.
Another important factor that makes these new voice input Apps so smart and powerful is that the
smartphones, tablets, iPhones, iPads and PCs are using high speed wireless link (e.g., 4G or 5G or Wi Fi) to
get almost instantaneous support from the mainframe computers in the server with tremendous computing
power and huge, almost unlimited database.
(About 15 years ago, the early users of early version of software for Chinese Input by Voice had to go through
a tedious training session to train the Voice Input App to be able to recognize the voice of the user reasonably
accurately. Such tedious training session is not needed any more in the modern Apps of Chinese Input by
A.2. Preparation of English Windows Based PC to Handle Chinese Text or Other Foreign Language
PCs running on English Windows OS have built-in Microsoft Input Method Editor (IME) to handle foreign
languages. However this free Microsoft IME is hidden and in hibernation in English Windows because most
users of English Windows do not need and do not use this IME for inputting text in foreign languages.
On the other hand, people who want to use the hidden Microsoft IME in English Windows for input in foreign
languages have to go through a procedure to activate the Microsoft IME.
A.2.1. Activation of Microsoft IME for Foreign Languages on Microsoft Windows 10
A.2.1.1. Click on Windows Logo icon on the lower left corner of PC screen as shown on Picture 13 below near
the end of this website.
A.2.1.2. Click on Settings (the gear shaped icon on the menu above the Windows Logo Icon.)
A.2.1.3. Click on "Time and Language"
A.2.1.4. Click on Language on the vertical menu on the left edge of the screen
A.2.1.5. Click on " + Add a language"
A.2.1.6. From the long vertical list of many languages in the world, select the languages that you want to use
on this PC.
A.2.1.7. Click on Speech with small microphone icon on the vertical list of menu on left side edge of Settings
A.2.1.8. Scroll down and click on " + add voices "
A.2.1.9. Select all the languages (voice packages) that you want to use the microphone in the PC for voice input
A.2.1.10. Back out of Settings. You have finished activation of Microsoft IME for using foreign language(s) on
If you have already activated Microsoft IME and have been using Microsoft IME, for input of foreign languages
then you are familiar with the small Icon of EN at the lower right corner of the taskbar on your PC screen as
shown on Picture 1 below near the end of this website. EN stands for English as one of the options among
many languages that can be used on the Windows PC. If you click on this EN icon, you see a small list of
options of other foreign languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc. that you have activated in addition
to EN for you to use on this PC.
A.2.2. On Older Versions of Microsoft Windows
The procedure to activate (install) Microsoft IME for foreign languages on older versions of Microsoft Windows
is described in the following website:
A.3. Microphone on PCs for Chinese Computer Input by Voice
Most laptop PCs come equipped with a built-in microphone which can be used for Chinese computer input by
However, most desktop PCs have no built-in microphone. If you want to use a desktop PC for Voice Input, you
will need to buy a small webcam with microphone and USB connector and to plug such webcam into the USB
port of the desktop PC so that such enhanced desktop PC can handle Voice Input.
Some sample webcams with microphone and USB connector can be seen on Amazon website for desktop PCs
It is seen that such small webcams with microphone and USB connector cost only about US$50 and can be
ordered/purchased from Amazon website easily.
The benefits of adding such webcam with microphone to your desktop computer include not only ability to do
computer voice input, but also capability to do video meeting with many other people as described on my
A.4. Some Supplemental Methods to Overcome Some Problems in Chinese Computer Input by Voice
The Chinese computer input by voice works well and very fast in most cases. But there are some special
situations where Chinese computer input by voice can run into difficulties occasionally, such as (1) you do not
know how to pronounce certain Chinese characters correctly, (2) Name of certain person involve some
unusual rarely used Chinese characters, (3) some Chinese characters have too many homonyms (同音字), etc.
The most well known challenge for Chinese computer input by voice is the famous 94-character 施氏食獅史
constructed by 趙元任. This 94-character story of stone lion consists of 94 Chinese characters which are all
the same homonyms (同音字) of the same sound of shi as described here. It is impossible to input this 94-
character story by voice. In such difficult situations for voice input, you will need to use one or more free
supplemental methods described in Section F below to overcome such difficulties. The two easy supplemental
methods that I often use are described in the following two sections A.4.1. and A.4.2.
A.4.1. Use Chinese Phrase to Find a Chinese Character (以詞找字)
Sometime there may be a particular Chinese character that is more difficult for you to input by voice quickly,
because the Chinese character has tens or even hundreds of homonyms (同音字).
An effective free supplemental method is to use a popular, commonly used Chinese phrase or Chinese
sentence that contains that particular Chinese character to get it by (1) using the voice input to get that popular
Chinese phrase or sentence easily and quickly, then (2) deleting the unnecessary characters leaving only that
particular character that you want. This method of 以詞找字 usually is an effective method to get that
particular Chinese character that you want quickly in the computer output.
For example, if you want to input the Chinese character, 誼, which has hundreds of homonyms (同音字) and is
a challenge to get it right by voice input. To overcome this problem, you say 聯誼會 as your voice input. When
the text 聯誼會 shows up on the output screen quickly. You delete 聯 and 會 leaving 誼 as your desired
character. In this way, you eliminate the problems of trying to find your desired Chinese character in a long list
of hundreds of homonyms (同音字).
You may wonder why the computer can get the correct output Chinese phrase, 聯誼會, quickly for you, but
cannot get the single Chinese character, 誼, for you quickly. The reason is that there are not many 3-letter
Chinese phases that pronounced exactly the same as that of 聯誼會. This means there are only a very smaller
number of possible 3-letter candidates presented by the computer for you to choose after you said 聯誼會 as
your voice input. Then you can pick the correct output quickly from the very small number of possible
candidates. But for the single Chinese character, 誼, the computer will present you a very long list of hundreds
of homonyms (同音字) as the possible candidates. Then it will take you substantial time and effort to go
through such a long list of possible candidates to get the correct answer.
Once you understand this principle of 以詞找字, then you know that the longer the commonly used Chinese
phrase or sentence you use, the smaller the number of possible output candidates for you to choose, the faster
it is for you to get that particular Chinese character you want. More explanations are in Section D.5. and E.
A.4.2. Hand-Writing Pad to Supplement Voice Input
Another free supplemental method that I often use is Chinese hand-writing input method. Therefore, I need to
be able to access a free Chinese hand-writing pad easily as a convenient supplemental method when I am
doing Chinese computer input by voice. The way to activate and to use the free Chinese hand-writing pad
depends on the device and the Chinese IME and will be described in the following relevant sections.
Part B: Use Free Microsoft IME for Chinese Input by Voice on PCs Running
Microsoft Windows OS
B.1. Accessing Microphone on PC for Chinese Computer Input By Voice using free Microsoft IME
B.1.1. Click on EN icon on the taskbar at lower right corner of PC (see Picture 1) to bring up a vertical list of
languages that have been activated on your PC running Microsoft Windows OS.
B.1.2. Click on CH Chinese (Simplified, China). This will turn the EN icon into two icons as shown on Picture 2
below near the end of this website.
B.1.3. Right click on the icon 拼 to bring up a vertical long list of menu.
B.1.4. Click on "Show Touch Keyboard Button" on the vertical long list of menu. This adds a new small icon of
a small soft keyboard on the language portion of the taskbar as shown on Picture 3 below near the end of this
B.1.5. Click on this icon of small soft keyboard will bring up a half-screen sized soft keyboard on the screen as
shown on Picture 4 below near the end of this website. Notice a small icon of microphone on the upper left
corner of this soft keyboard. This is the microphone icon for voice input using Microsoft IME.
B.1.6. Place the PC cursor at the location where you want to input Chinese text, such as a Microsoft Word file,
or e-mail text, or message, etc. and then click on this small microphone icon (Picture 4). A line of Chinese text
will show up saying that the PC is listening and is ready for your Chinese computer input by voice. You speak
Chinese slowly and clearly and the corresponding Chinese text will show up on the screen where you placed
the PC cursor for the input. The output Chinese text is in Simplified Chinese characters only (but not in
Traditional Chinese characters).
If you want Traditional Chinese characters in the output, please see Sections B.3., B.4., C.1.9., Part D, E.
4.2.6., and Part H.
B.1.7. Note: Another easy and quick way to turn on the Voice Input mode on a PC running Windows 10 is to
press the Windows Logo Key (as shown on Picture 5 below) and the H key simultaneously on the keyboard.
This will bring up a horizontal bar at the top of the PC screen with a small microphone icon in the middle of the
bar and a word "Listening" indicating that the PC is listening and is ready to take your voice input as shown on
Picture 6 below. At this point, you just speak slowly and clearly and the corresponding text will show up at the
location of your PC cursor on the screen. More information on this feature can be seen here. Again, the output
Chinese text is in Simplified Chinese characters only (But not in Traditional Chinese characters).
B.2. Toggle Switch to Show or to Hide Microsoft IME Toolbar
Right Click on the small icon 中 on Picture 2 or Picture 3 will bring up a vertical list of menu. Click on
"Show/Hide IME Toolbar" to show or to hide the Microsoft IME Toolbar as shown on Picture 7. The Microsoft
IME Toolbar with 6 small icons is just above the taskbar on the lower right corner of PC screen. These 6 small
icons enable a user to specify various features of Microsoft IME. However, not all these 6 icons will show
depending on whether that feature is turned on or off. In other words, you may see only 3 icons on this
Microsoft IME Toolbar if the other three had been turned off. The small gear shaped icon on the right side is
the Setting button for the Microsoft Pinyin IME.
B.3. If You Want Traditional Chinese Characters in the Output from Microsoft IME
If you want Traditional Chinese characters in the output of Microsoft IME, do Step B.2. to bring up Microsoft
IME Toolbar, then click on the 4th icon on the Microsoft IME Toolbar (Picture 7). The icon will change between
简 (for simplified Chinese character) and 繁 （for Traditional Chinese character). In other words, this 4th icon
is the toggle switch between simplified Chinese character and Traditional Chinese character in the computer
Unfortunately, Microsoft IME provides output in Traditional Chinese characters only in Pinyin mode of input and
in hand writing mode of input, but not in voice mode of input. More on Pinyin mode of Chinese input will be
described later in Part E.
B.4. Google Translate App
Note: Another method to get computer output in Traditional Chinese characters is to use Google Translate App
for translation between Simplified Chinese character and Traditional Chinese character. Google Translate App
can translate not only a single Chinese character, but also an entire Chinese phrase, or an entire Chinese
sentence or an entire Chinese paragraph or an entire Chinese document.
To use Google Translate App, open Google Chrome web browser, then click on Google Apps icon which is a
9-dot icon on the upper right side, then click on Translate (App) to open Google Translate App.
B.5. Accessing Writing Pad on PC for Chinese Computer Input by Hand Writing in Microsoft IME
As described in Section A.4. that there are situations where Chinese voice input will run into difficulties and you
need to switch to one of several supplemental methods for Chinese input described Part F. The procedure to
access the writing pad in Microsoft IME on a PC is the following:
B.5.1. Click on the small icon on the upper left corner of the soft keyboard in Picture 4 to bring up a cluster of
several small icons as shown on Picture 8 below. The small icon on the upper right corner of this cluster is the
icon for hand writing pad which looks like a pan on a piece of paper.
B.5.2. Click on the small icon of hand writing pad on Picture 8 brings up the hand writing pad on the screen as
shown on Picture 9 below. By holding down the left button on PC mouse, one can use PC mouse to write on
this hand writing pad to input Chinese characters. Notice that the small icon of microphone for voice input is on
the upper left side of hand writing pad.
Nice Integration: Having both hand writing pad and microphone icon for voice input integrated very well on the
same screen by Microsoft IME makes it very easy and convenient to switch between voice input and hand
writing input as the two complementary methods for efficient Chinese computer input.
In addition to the free Microsoft IME for Chinese computer input by voice described in Part B, there are other
free Apps available for Chinese computer input by voice as described in the following Parts C, D and H.
Part C: Free Google Pinyin App for Chinese Input by Voice and by Handwriting on
Android based Smartphones and Tablets
In addition to free Microsoft IME described in Parts B above, there are several other free Apps available for
Chinese Input by voice on Android based smartphones and tablets. I am currently using Android based
smartphone, Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. This smartphone came with two options of soft keyboard and input
methods: one set is Samsung and the other set is Google Pinyin Input App.
Free Google Pinyin App is available on Google Play Store for download into Android based smartphones and
The Google Pinyin App on smartphone provides several methods for Chinese computer inputs including voice
input, Google Pinyin Input, hand-writing input, plus two other methods that I will not elaborate here.
C.1. Initial Settings on Smartphone for Soft Keyboard for Google Pinyin App
C.1.1. Tap on the Settings of the smartphone
C.1.2. Tap om General Management (for Language, Input, Date and Time)
C.1.3.Tap on Language and Input
C.1.4. Tap on Default keyboard
C.1.5. Tap on Chinese Pinyin (Google Pinyin Input) (The other option here is Samsung Keyboard.)
C.1.6. Turn on keyboard button
C.1.7. Back out of Default Keyboard and tap on On-screen keyboard
C.1.8. Tap on Google Voice typing to open a long vertical list of many languages that you want to use for voice
input on the smartphone
C.1.9. Choose US English and one of four options for Chinese language, I choose 國語 （台灣）for Traditional
Chinese text output from Chinese voice input. (If you want the Chinese output in simplified Chinese characters,
you choose 普通话 （中国 大陆））。
C.1.10. Tap Save to save the language options that you have chosen.
These initial settings C.1.1. to C.1.10. need to be done only once initially. You do not have to do this every time
when you want to do Chinese input on your smartphone.
C.2. Using Google Pinyin Input App for Chinese Voice Input on Smartphones and Tablets
C.2.1. Open any place or App that you want to do Chinese input on your smartphone, such as E-Mail text or
LINE Message or Keep Notes App, or Microsoft Word document, etc. at the location where you want to input
C.2.2. Tap on the blank space on the screen for your input to bring up the on-screen Google soft keyboard for
you to type your input. The Google keyboard screen also shows a horizontal language tool bar at the top
showing an icon of EN (for English Input), a Chinese character icon of 中 (for Chinese Input) and a small
microphone icon on the right side (for Voice Input).
C.2.3. Tap on the small microphone icon to activate the Voice Input of Google Pinyin App. Then the soft
keyboard is replaced by a Voice Input Screen with a larger microphone icon in the middle.
C.2.4. Tap on this larger microphone icon which turns Green Color meaning that it is ready to take your voice
C.2.5. Speak your input in either Chinese language or English language slowly and clearly. Google Pinyin
allows user to mix Chinese input and English input in the same sentence, the same paragraph and the same
C.2.6. The corresponding Chinese text or English text will show up at the location where you want to input your
text in E-Mail, or LINE message, or KeepNotes, or Word document, etc.
C.3. If you want to switch the output from Traditional Chinese characters to Simplified Chinese
characters and vice versa:
Do Step C.1.9. in the initial settings for the device.
C.4. Supplemental Methods when you run into difficulties in voice input occasionally
If you run into difficulties in Chinese Voice Input occasionally, you can "Use Chinese Phrase to Find a Chinese
Character (以詞找字)" as described in Section A.4.1. to overcome the difficulty, or to use hand writing input.
C.4.1. Access Google Hand-Writing Pad on Smartphone
C.4.1.1. Close down the half screen of microphone icon by tapping on the X sign on the upper right corner of
the half screen to prepare to bring up the hand-writing pad.
C.4.1.2. To bring up Google Hand-Writing Pad, you press on the icon of 中 above the Google soft keyboard
for two seconds.
C.4.1.3. This brings up four small windows on the lower half of the smartphone screen. The upper left small
windows is for Google Pinyin Input whereas the lower right small window is for hand-writing pad. (Two other
small windows are for other input methods that I will not elaborate here.)
C.4.1.4. Click on the lower right small hand-writing pad to turn it into the half screen sized hand-writing pad.
C.4.1.5. Then use your finger tip to do hand-writing of Chinese characters on the writing pad for Chinese input.
C.4.1.6. The upper right corner of this hand-writing pad is the small microphone icon. By tapping on this small
microphone icon, you can switch back to Google Chinese voice input easily and quickly.
Notice that the small icon of microphone for voice input is on the upper right side of hand writing pad.
Nice Integration: Having both hand writing pad and microphone icon for voice input integrated very well on the
same screen by Google Pinyin App on smartphone makes it very easy and convenient to switch between voice
input and hand writing input as the two complementary methods for efficient Chinese computer input.
Notice that by using Google Pinyin App on smartphone, I can get Chinese output in either Traditional Chinese
characters or Simplified Chinese characters depending on my initial setting in Step C.1.9.
(Remember that in Microsoft IME, I cannot get output in Traditional Chinese characters directly by Voice Input
After you gain more experience in using various features in Google Pinyin App on your smartphone, you may
revisit the Setting of the smartphone to check on many parameters in the settings for language and keyboard
to optimize those settings for your use of Google Pinyin App on the smartphone.
You may wonder why I use this Google Pinyin App of voice input to get output in Traditional Chinese
characters only on my smartphone but not on my laptop PC?
The reason is that on PCs running Windows 10 OS, I cannot get output in Traditional Chinese characters
directly from voice input no matter I use Microsoft IME or Google Pinyin App. Windows 10 OS blocks and
disables the voice input in Google Pinyin App (the small Google microphone icon) and the microphone icon of
Microsoft IME on PCs running Windows 10. This means that I cannot use voice input method (microphone) of
Google Pinyin App on PCs running Windows 10.
(The voice input method of Google Pinyin App used to work very well on older versions of Windows OS such
as Windows 7, or Windows Vista or Windows XP. But the voice input method of Google Pinyin App does not
work on Windows 10.)
I assume that iPhones, iPads and Mac PCs have equivalent Apps and similar procedures for easy Chinese
computer Input by voice and by hand writing. But I am not a user of iPhone, iPad or Mac PC such that I cannot
provide the details.
Part D for free iFLYTEC App for Efficient Chinese Input
Thanks to my classmate, Samuel Wang (王晃三), who introduced another free App known as iFLYTEK (訊飛
語音輸入法) to me. iFLYTEK is also free for Chinese computer voice input. 讯飞输入法 is available on Google
Play Store for smartphones and tablet. A friend told me that it is also available on Apple App Store for iPhone
and iPad. It is also available for Windows based PCs and Mac by downloading it from the website of iFLYTEK
in the following.
The website of iFLYTEK is at:
The user's manual for iFLYTEK is available on this website:
iFLYTEK also covers 23 different Chinese dialects (23種不同的中文方言). Furthermore, in iFLYTEK, the voice
input also provides the punctuation marks automatically in the output Chinese text. (自動添加標點符號)。 也支
D.2. Bilingual Conversation through iFLYTEK
In addition to Chinese voice input, another nice feature of iFLYTEK is to enable a user X to speak Chinese
input into a smartphone or iPhone. The App can turn the Chinese verbal messages into English text messages
and send them to an English speaking recipient Y. It also translates the English response text messages from
Y into Chinese ones for user X, thereby creating a seamless cycle of bilingual conversation.
D.3. Free Supplemental Methods in case if you encounter difficulties in Voice Input
Again if the user runs into some difficulties of Chinese voice input occasionally as described in Section A.4.,
one can "Use Chinese Phrase to Find a Chinese Character (以詞找字)" as described in Section A.4.1. to
overcome the difficulties, or one can use Hand-Writing Method as described in the following:
D.4. Seamless Integration of Voice Input and Hand-Writing Pad by iFLYTEK
In iFLYTEK input screen, the upper part has a microphone icon for voice input and the lower half is a writing
pad for input by hand writing. I am very impressed by such seamless integration of voice input and hand-writing
input on the same screen such that it becomes very simple and easy to switch between voice input and
handwriting input when you encounter the difficult situations in voice input.
D.5. Heavy use of Artificial Intelligence and Large Data Base in Modern Voice Input Apps
To solve the serious problems of homonyms (同音字) described Section A.4. for Chinese computer input by
voice, The modern Apps for voice input of Chinese text do not use the pronunciation of each individual 字 to
determine the correct 字 among a large set of many 同音字. Instead the modern Apps use 整句識別, 整句输
入. In other words, it uses the entire phrase or even the entire sentence to determine the correct 字 for each
字 in the sentence.
Such capability requires a lot of computing/processing power of a main-frame computer and a huge database
stored in the modern large cloud storage system. The cloud storage system stores many many commonly
used Chinese phrases and Chinese sentences with their associated pronunciations. The App with the support
of the main-frame computer and cloud storage can compare the entire phrase or entire sentence you said to
many possible candidates in the cloud storage to find the correct phrase or correct sentence for you. In this
way, the system can effectively eliminate the possible ambiguity of 同音字 of an individual 字 in the sentence.
The Artificial Intelligence also helps the App to determine the appropriate punctuation mark automatically at the
end of each sentence that you just said.
The device, that we are using, are accessing the main-frame computers and the cloud storage in the server
through the modern high-speed wireless link, such as 3G, 4G or 5G or Wi Fi, to get almost instantaneous
support from the main-frame computers and the huge cloud storage to do all these tedious and complex work
very fast. The smart speech recognition technology and the Artificial Intelligence are also functioning in such
main-frame computers to support the small smartphones in our hands.
Part E - Modern Pinyin Based Chinese Input Methods on PCs Running Windows OS
The use of Microsoft Input Method Editor (IME) for Chinese computer input on Android based smartphones,
tablets and PCs running Microsoft Windows OS is described in Section B above.
The use of Google Pinyin IME App for Chinese computer input on Android based smartphones and tablets is
described in Section C above.
Section E mainly focus on the use of Google Pinyin IME on PCs running Windows OS,
E. 1.1 Modern Pinyin Based Chinese Input Does NOT Require Users To Speak Accurate Mandarin
In the old days, Pinyin based Chinese input requires users to speak accurate Mandarin to be able to spell
complete Pinyin (全拼) for each Chinese character accurately. Pronunciation of each Chinese character has a
sound component (音) and a tone component (調). For example, the accurate and complete Pinyin spelling for
劍 is "jian4" where "jian" is the sound and the last digit 4 represents the fourth tone.
As explained in the following sections, the advanced technologies of Pinyin based Chinese input now allow the
user to drop not only last digit 4 but also "ian" and requires the user to type only the first letter "j" for 劍 in the
Whole Sentence Pinyin Input (整句拼音输入) using abbreviated Pinyin Spelling (使用简拼).
Therefore, the new Pinyin based Chinese input requires the users to spell only the first letter of the Pinyin
correctly. Going one step further to make it easy for users, the intelligence in the new Pinyin based Chinese
input is smart enough to be very forgiving to allow fuzzy and imprecise input of the first letter of Pinyin from
users in that s and sh are interchangeable, z and zh are interchangeable, c and ch are interchangeable for
those users whose Chinese accents make them difficult to distinguish these Pinyins precisely.
Therefore, unlike old days, the new free Pinyin based Chinese input tools do NOT require users to speak
accurate Mandarin but still can input correct Chinese text very fast into computers. Such amazing capabilities
are explained in details in the following sections.
E.1.2. Support both Simplified Chinese Characters and Traditional Chinese Characters
The output Chinese text from such free Pinyin based tools can be in either simplified Chinese characters or
traditional Chinese characters depending on user’s choice of the setting in the software/App as described in
E.1.3. Rapid Advances in Technologies of Pinyin Based Chinese Input
The technologies of Pinyin based Input Method Editor (IME) for inputting Chinese text into computer have been
advancing rapidly recently. Several software tools are now available, free and have the capability of Whole
Sentence Pinyin Input (整句拼音输入) using abbreviated Pinyin Spelling (使用简拼). Abbreviated Pinyin Spelling
(简拼) means that the user does not have to type the complete Pinyin spelling of each Chinese character in the
sentence, but needs to type only the first letter of Pinyin spelling of each Chinese character in the sentence.
The trend of Chinese IME technologies is advancing toward the goal of "One Key Stroke For One Chinese
Character" (一键一字的目标). Such IME becomes so smart because user's PC or smartphone or tablet is
supported by high speed Internet connection to use the intelligence in the large and adaptive databases in and
the fast processing power of main frame computers in the server.
In using these new and smart Chinese input tools, the longer the Chinese sentence is, the easier and the faster
it is to input. The reasons leading to such counter-intuitive advantage are:
(A) Inputting a single Chinese character by Pinyin has very large ambiguity in that there are usually many
different Chinese characters that have the same Pinyin (同音字), especially the same first letter of Pinyin. The
user has to stare at a very long list (e.g., 70 or hundreds) of possible candidates to select the correct one
Chinese character as his/her intended input of single Chinese character.
(B) On the other hand, when the sentence is long consisting of many Chinese characters, there are usually only
one or two possible sentences that have exactly the same sequence of 简拼. Then it is much easier and faster
for the user to select the correct sentence out of the very short list of only one or two candidates presented by
the computer. This advantage makes it much easier and faster to input the entire Chinese sentence or phrase
instead of struggling on the tedious work of inputting one Chinese character at a time.
Some examples of such modern and smart Pinyin IMEs available on Internet for Free download are newer
(2007 or 2010) version of Microsoft IME, Google Pinyin IME (谷歌拼音输入法), Sogou Pinyin IME (搜狗拼音输
入法), and 紫光拼音输入法. 紫光拼音输入法 originated from 清華大學 in Beijing. Sogou Pinyin IME is from 搜
狐公司 providing Sogou Search Engine service for Chinese users on Internet.
If the user does not know the pronunciation of certain special Chinese characters such that the user cannot use
Pinyin to input these special Chinese characters, there are several free supplemental methods/options that can
be used to overcome such special obstacles as described in Part F below.
E.2. Sample Chinese Inputs by Pinyin
For example, when I type
as my input on the keyboard. The PC screen displays what I have just typed of a string of English alphabetic
letters on a horizontal line (shown above). On the second horizontal line just below this line of English
alphabetic letters is the output Chinese sentence presented by the PC:
as the first choice plus several other possible choices on the same second horizontal line for me to choose. In
this example, "w" is the first letter of Pinyin, "wo3", for 我, "m" is the first letter of "men" for 們, and "z" is the
first letter of "zhu4" for 祝, etc.
This example shows that I need to type only the first letter of Pinyin of each of the nine Chinese characters to
get the nine-character Chinese sentence 我們祝大家新年快樂 as the output, thereby achieving the goal of One-
Key-Stroke-for-one-Chinese-Character (一键一字的目标) and the goal of 整句拼音输入中使用简拼.
Furthermore, I do not have to remember accurately the complete Pinyin spelling of each Chinese character. All
I need is just the first letter of the Pinyin for each Chinese character - that is all it takes to input an entire
Chinese sentence or phrase by using such smart IMEs.
Similarly, when I type
as the input on the keyboard, I get
as the first choice plus several other possible choices for me to choose on the second horizontal line as the PC
output. This capability makes it much easier and faster for users to input Chinese text.
E.2.1. Down Arrow and Up Arrow for More Choices
On the horizontal line of the list of choices presented by PC for you to chose the correct output, if none of the
items listed on this line is the correct one, there are more output items if you look at the right side of the
horizontal line under the Goggle logo, there is a small down arrow and a small up arrow. If you click on either
down arrow or up arrow, you will see additional lists of choices beyond those few choices on the original
E.3. Smart IME with Two Adaptive Databases:
My preliminary understanding is that Google Pinyin IME has two large databases on Google main frame
computers to store huge amount of Chinese sentences, phrases and words. It also uses its powerful and fast
search capability to search these two databases to match your typed "Whole Sentence Pinyin Input with
abbreviated Pinyin spelling" (整句拼音输入中使用简拼) to produce your intended Chinese sentence or phrase
very fast. One of the two databases is the public database that collects the huge amount of Chinese sentences
and phrases from huge amount of public Chinese information that Google can access.
The second database is personalized database of the user so that Google Pinyin IME can learn the usage
pattern of the user and becomes smarter and smarter to match the input of the user faster and more
accurately as time goes. These two databases are not static but are updated constantly. The more you use it,
the smarter the tool becomes to match your intended Chinese sentence or phrase accurately and faster.
E.3.1. Synchronized Personal Database
Furthermore, the accumulated intelligence in this personalized database is not confined just in your own PC. By
using your Google G-Mail login ID and password, this personalized database can be synchronized through
Google server such that the smart personalized database is available to you at any other PC, or other
smartphone or other tablet that you can access. In this way, you can input Chinese text very fast not only on
your own PC, but also at any other PC, smartphone and tablet that have the Free Google Pinyin IME installed
and have Internet access for you to synchronize the personalized database.
Such new, intelligent and powerful IMEs, make it much easier and faster for users to input Chinese text into
computers. It shifts the heavy burden of Chinese input workload to the smart computers to make the life much
easier for the users. They are also very useful on wireless smartphones and tablets where the keyboards are
very small and the computing power is limited.
E.3.2. One More Example on Speed Advantage of Google Pinyin IME
In Information Age, we communicate with many friends and club members by e-mail frequently. At the end of
each e-mail text that I sent, I put both my English name and my Chinese name as:
Sing Lin, 林星雄
The reason that I put both of my English name and Chinese name at the end of each e-mail I sent is that
sometime we received an e-mail from somebody with a name of John at the end of the e-mail text. Many
recipients of such e-mail stare at the name John, but do not who is this John, John who? Is this e-mail real or
a Spam e-mail from some hacker trying to trick me with some software virus embedded in such Spam e-mail?
To avoid creating such problem for the recipients of my e-mails, I put both my English name and Chinese name
at the end of each of my e-mails. Therefore, I have to input my Chinese name, 林星雄, frequently in my e-mail
communications with many friends.
In using Google Pinyin IME, I need to press only 3 keys, lxx, to input the three Chinese characters in my
Some other people are using handwriting method to input Chinese characters. The three Chinese characters in
my Chinese name have 29 pen strokes (笔划). Therefore, handwriting method requires the user to write 29 pen
strokes in order to input the three Chinese characters in my Chinese name. But by using Google Pinyin IME, I
need to press only 3 keys of lxx to input my Chinese name. It is obviously much faster and easier than using
Such speed advantage of Google Pinyin IME will become even more obvious if the user is writing long Chinese
documents requiring inputting hundreds or thousands of Chinese characters.
E.4. Free Download and Installation:
E.4.1. Microsoft IME
Microsoft English Windows Operation Systems (OS), such as English Windows XP, English Windows Vista,
English Windows 7, English Windows 8.1 and English Windows 10, come with free built-in Microsoft IME.
However this free Microsoft IME is hidden and in hibernation in English Windows because most users of
English Windows do not need and do not use this IME for inputting text in foreign languages.
On the other hand, people who want to use the hidden Microsoft IME in English Windows have to go through a
procedure to activate (install) the free Microsoft IME. The procedure to activate (install) Microsoft IME is
described in Section A.2. above in Part A.
The use of Microsoft IME on PCs running Window OS for Chinese computer input has been described in Part
E.4.2. Google Pinyin IME
E.4.2.1. Website to Download free Google Pinyin IME
For Android based tablets and smartphones, the free Google Pinyin IME is available for free download from
Google Play Store at:
My Android tablet (Google Nexus 10) and my smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S8+ came preloaded with Google
Pinyin IME such that I did not have to download and install it.
For PCs running Windows OS, the free software of Google Pinyin IME (谷歌拼音输入法) can be downloaded at
However, on PCs running Windows 10, some of the features, such as synchronization of personal database,
the toggle switch between simplified Chinese characters and Traditional Chinese characters, and microphone
for voice input, of Google Pinyin IME do not work, even though these features work perfectly on smartphone,
tablet and older versions of Microsoft Windows.
E.4.2.2. Information on Google Pinyin IME
The Chinese descriptions of the capabilities of Google Pinyin IME are available at:
The English introduction and descriptions of the capabilities of Google Pinyin IME are available at:
After the installation, Google Pinyin IME does NOT show any logo or icon on the PC screen as a new software
program for you to open to do something. It also does NOT show up as a new program in the list of All
Programs in your PC for you to launch either. But if you press the correct sequence of keys, you may see the
small Google Pinyin IME Toolbar to show up at the right lower part of PC screen just above the regular PC
taskbar. The Google Pinyin IME Toolbar looks like Picture 11 below near the end of this website.
Sometimes this small Google Pinyin IME Toolbar may be hidden such that you see nothing after successful
installation. In such case, you need to press Ctrl + Shift + S keys on your keyboard simultaneously so that the
Google Pinyin IME Toolbar will show up. In case if pressing Ctrl + Shift + S keys simultaneously still cannot
bring out the Google IME Tool Bar, one may try additional methods described in Section E.4.2.9. to solve the
E.4.2.3. Toggle Switch Between English Input and Chinese Input
For Android smartphones and Android tablets, the instruction on how to switch between English Input and
Chinese Input is described in the following website:
More on the initial settings of various parameters of Google Pinyin App on smartphone and tablet are
described in Section C.1.
For PCs running Windows 10, the second small icon from the left side of Google IME Toolbar is 中 which
means the system is ready for your input of Chinese text. If you click on this 中 icon, it will change into 英
which means that the system is now ready for you to input English text. If you click on this 英 icon again, it will
change back to 中 and the system is ready for your input of Chinese text. In other words, after successful
installation, you do not have to launch Google Pinyin IME in order to use it. Google Pinyin IME is always there
ready for your input of either English text or Chinese text depending on which of the two icons of 中 or 英 is
shown on Google IME Toolbar.
E.4.2.4. Where Can I Use Google Pinyin IME To Input Chinese Text?
Since after the installation of Google Pinyin IME, it is always there ready for your Chinese input or English
input, you can input Chinese text anywhere you can input English text. All you need to do is to click on the 英
icon on the Google Pinyin IME Toolbar to switch from English input mode to Chinese input mode. This means
you can input Chinese text directly in an e-mail text, or a Microsoft Word page, or a PowerPoint chart, or an
Excel Spread Sheet, etc.
E.4.2.5. More Information and Features on Google Pinyin IME
You can also click on other small icons in this Google Pinyin IME Toolbar to open up new dialog windows for
you to set some parameters and options to optimise these settings to suit your usage. Detailed instructions for
setting these parameters and options are available at:
Some additional highly desirable features and capabilities of Google Pinyin IME are explained in the four
websites listed above. For example, the intelligence in these Pinyin IMEs is smart enough to be very forgiving
to allow fuzzy and imprecise input from users in that s and sh are interchangeable, z and zh are
interchangeable, c and ch are interchangeable for those users whose Chinese accents make them difficult to
distinguish these Pinyins precisely. This capability is roughly equivalent to some smart English word processors
that can automatically detect and correct the input spelling errors of the users. Similarly, the Google English
Search Engine can also automatically detect and correct the input spelling errors in search keywords from the
Help menu and support for Google Pinyin IME are available at:
E.4.2.6. Toggle Switch for Output Between Traditional Chinese Character and Simplified Chinese
If you click on the right most gear shaped small icon on the Google IME Toolbar, a vertical list shows up with
many parameters for you to specify. The third line from the top is where you specify whether you want
Traditional Chinese characters or Simplified Chinese characters in the computer output. This feature works in
older versions of Windows OS, but this feature seems to be disabled on Windows 10 recently. Therefore, the
user is stuck with simplified Chinese characters in the output from Google Pinyin IME on PCs running newer
version of Windows 10.
E.4.2.7. Voice Input Feature of Google Pinyin IME
The small microphone icon next to the gear shaped setting icon on Google IME Toolbar is for voice input which
worked well in older versions of Windows such as Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. But this voice
input feature of Google Pinyin App does not work on Windows 10.
On the other hand, the voice input feature of Google Pinyin works well and very fast on Android based
smartphones and tablets as described in Part C. It is my first choice of fast Chinese input on my smartphone,
and it is integrated very well with the complementary hand writing pad on the same screen. Furthermore, I can
get output in either Traditional Chinese or Simplified Chinese by initial setting.
E.4.2.8. An Example of Smart and Adaptive IME
A friend typed the 简拼 to try to input 餵野鳥 using Google Pinyin IME. But what she got was 喂野鳥. She
was frustrated and misunderstood that Google Pinyin IME has only the simplified Chinese character 喂, but
has no Traditional Chinese character 餵 in its database. However, when she tried harder by using the up and
down arrows described in Section 2.1 and scrolled through the additional lists of possible candidates for her
Pinyin input, she found that Google has the Traditional Chinese character 餵, but it appeared way behind in the
long list. What happens here is that 喂 is used more frequently in mainland China, so it appears early in the
long list whereas 餵 is rarely used in mainland China, so it appears way behind in the original long list.
However, once my friend selected 餵 as her intended input, Google Pinyin IME is smart enough to recognize
that 餵 is the preference of my friend and immediately updated her personalized database such that 餵 will
appear as the first choice in the new long list for her next time and in the future if she inputs the Pinyin for 餵
Therefore, as she uses the Google Pinyin IME more often, the Chinese input becomes easier and faster for
her because most of what she wants to input appear in the first choice position in the list for her.
However, since Windows 10 blocks the feature of personalized database in Google Pinyin on PCs, then this
benefits of adaptive IME of Google Pinyin may also be lost on PCs running Windows 10.
E.4.2.9. Strange Disappearance of Tool Bar of Google Pinyin IME from PC and A Solution
Since November 2011, many users of Google Pinyin IME have been experiencing a strange but fatal problem
that the Toolbar of Google Pinyin IME disappeared from their PC screens such that they could not use Google
Pinyin IME. Even pressing Ctrl + Shift + S keys on the keyboard simultaneously can not bring the Toolbar of
Google Pinyin IME back to the PC screen.
After suffering from this problem for a while, a friend, A. L. Tsang, told me a solution is to go into the Control
Panel in the PC to find Google Pinyin IME and to re-activate it (i.e., by clicking on the small box for Check
Mark). It appears that some strange thing happened that de-activated Google Pinyin IME in the PC. We do not
know what caused the de-activation of Google Pinyin IME. The Google Pinyin IME was not deleted nor
uninstalled. It was just deactivated and need to be re-activated.
The solution to re-activate Google Pinyin IME in the PC running Microsoft Windows Vista is the following:
Control Panel -> Clock, Language and Region -> Regional and Language Options -> Keyboards and
Languages -> Change Keyboards -> Click on “Add” -> Scroll down the “List of Add Input Language” to find
Google Pinyin IME -> Click on “Google Pinyin IME” so that the check Box for Google Pinyin IME is checked ->
Click “O.K.” and close out all the open Windows and sub-Windows in Control Panel.
However, since late January 2012, if one clicks on the "EN" icon on the Taskbar at the lower right corner of PC
screen, and select "CH for Simplified Chinese, (PRC)", the "EN" icon turns into a Language Bar that looks like
Picture 12 below near the end of this website.
If one clicks on the small icon just to the right of "CH" icon, it gives two options: (1) Microsoft Pinyin IME or (2)
Google Pinyin IME. By clicking on the Google Pinyin IME among these two options, the Google Pinyin IME
Toolbar will appear so that user can use the Google Pinyin IME.
However, on April 14, 2012, when I clicked on the small icon just to the right of the "CH" icon, it gave only one
option of Microsoft Pinyin IME. The second option of Google Pinyin IME did not show up. So, I had to go into
the Control Panel to re-activate the Google Pinyin IME using the procedure described above to solve the
E.4.3 Sogou Pinyin IME
Sogou Pinyin IME is available for free download at:
E.5. Coexistence of Google Pinyin IME and Microsoft IME
Google Pinyin IME coexists with Microsoft IME on the same PC. If you click on EN icon and choose CH for
Chinese input, the EN icon will become CH icon. Furthermore, there is a very thin and short vertical blue line
just to the right of CH icon. If you click on this thin blue line, both Google Pinyin IME and Microsoft IME will
show up as two options for you to choose. Google IME Toolbar may also show up. In case if Google IME
Toolbar still does not show up at this point, you need to press Ctrl + Shift + S keys on your keyboard
simultaneously so that the Google IME Toolbar will show up.
Since Microsoft is updating and enhancing Microsoft Pinyin IME in December 2011 and January 2012
timeframe, the very thin and short vertical blue line just next to the CH icon has been changed to become the
Language Bar as shown and described in Section E.4.2.
If you have not activated Microsoft IME in an old PC, it seems that if you download and install Google Pinyin
IME into such old PC with old Windows, then the hidden old version of Microsoft IME will also be activated
and it will coexist with the Google Pinyin IME in the same old PC.
E.6. Speed of Chinese Computer Input
Traditionally, we know that input Chinese text into computer is much more difficult and much slower than input
English text for the same information content. However, these smart Pinyin IMEs have the potential for you to
input Chinese text faster than input English text if you become familiar with one of these new free tools.
For example, to input Jiao Tong University for 交通大學, English input requires 20 key strokes (including 2
blank spaces) whereas smart Pinyin IMEs require only 4 key strokes of jtdx which are the first letters of
Pinyins for each of the four Chinese characters. It is 4 key strokes vs. 20 key strokes such that Chinese input
by Pinyin may become faster than English input.
E.7. Zhuyin (注音)-To-Pinyin Mapping Table:
Some people are familiar with Zhuyin (注音) (Bopomofo) but not familiar with Pinyin (拼音) for spelling of
Chinese characters. A Table for mapping Zhuyin-to-Pinyin is available at the following websites:
Such mapping table is helpful to those people to start learning to use Google Pinyin IME, or Microsoft IME or
Sogou IME or 紫光拼音输入法 for faster input of Chinese text.
Initially such users may depend on this mapping table. As time goes, these users may become familiar enough
to memorize this mapping table or familiar with Pinyin itself such that they no longer need the mapping table
E.7.1. Zhuyin Soft Keyboard in Google Pinyin IME
For people who wants to use Zhuyin, Google Pinyin IME does provide Zhuyin soft keyboard on the PC screen.
To activate this soft keyboard, you click on the right most gear shaped small icon on the Google Pinyin IME
Toolbar, a vertical list shows up with many parameters for you to specify. The 8th line from the top is soft
keyboard. If you click on the 8th line, a new vertical list shows up with many different soft keyboards, including
Zhuyin soft keyboard, for you to choose.
Another way to get at the soft keyboard is to click on the small icon that looks like a small keyboard on the
Google Pinyin IME Toolbar. Then a soft keyboard will show up on the PC screen. This is one of several
possible soft keyboards available in Google Pinyin IME. If it is not the Zhuyin soft key board, you can right click
on that small keyboard icon again on Google Pinyin IME Toolbar, then a vertical list of many different soft
keyboards, including Zhuyin soft keyboard, will show up for you to choose.
E.8. Introduction to Pinyin
For people who know Chinese language but are not familiar with Pinyin, a concise simple introduction to Pinyin
symbols and how to pronounce those symbols are available in
(a) the first 4 pages of Appendix in, and
(b) the table of 汉语拼音音节索引 near the front of
Xinhua Zidian (新华字典) published by 商务印书馆 in Beijing. This Chinese dictionary is available in many
Chinese book stores in USA. The first table in the Appendix in this dictionary is also the mapping table between
Pinyin and Zhuyin.
The following website provides an "English Oriented" introduction to Pinyin symbols and their pronunciations:
E.9. Summary of Google Pinyin Input on Keyboard of PCs Running Windows OS
E.9.1. Download and Install Google Pinyin IME for free from the following website:
E.9.2. After the download and installation are completed, the PC is almost ready for Google Pinyin input on the
Optimise Setting for Desirable Features in Google Pinyin
E.9.3. However, you may find that it is not working the way you want. For example, the default output may be in
Simplified Chinese characters instead of Traditional Chinese characters that you want. So, you need to change
some settings in Google Pinyin in the next step.
E.9.4. On Google Pinyin IME Toolbar at the lower right corner, click on the gear shaped first icon on the right
side will bring up a vertical long menu of many features. Clink on the third item from the top on this vertical
menu is the toggle switch for you to choose either Traditional Chinese characters or Simplified Chinese
characters for the output. (This feature works well in older versions of Windows OS, but does not work on
newer updated version of Windows 10.)
E.9.5. You may need to click on other features on this vertical menu to select other features to optimize Google
Pinyin for your applications. You may need to read the details in Part E in this web page and its associated
reference links to get full understanding of various features on this menu.
E.9.6. After various desirable features and parameters on the Google Pinyin Toolbar are selected and set to
meet your need, the Google Pinyin Input on keyboard is now optimized for your applications on a PC running
Part F: Free Supplemental Methods to Input Chinese Characters
As described in Section A.4, there are some special situations where both voice input and Pinyin input will run
into difficulties. The user then need to use one of several supplemental methods to overcome such difficult
Chinese computer input situations. These free supplemental methods are described in the following:
F.1. Use Chinese Phrase to Find a Chinese Character (以詞找字)
This method has been described in Section A.4.1. above.
F.2. Hand Writing Methods to Input Chinese Characters
The procedure to access hand writing pad and to do Chinese hand writing input on PCs running Windows OS is
described in Section B.5. above for PCs running Windows OS, and in Section C.4.1. above for Android based
The microphone icon is integrated very well with these complementary hand writing pads on the same screen
so that it is very easy to switch between voice input mode and hand writing mode to maximize the speed of
efficient input of Chinese text.
F.3. Use Google Translate Tool for Chinese Input by Handwriting on PC using PC Mouse
Google Translate tool provides an easy way to input Chinese by handwriting on PCs. With this easy way using
PC mouse, you do not need any special external tool(s) for handwriting input for Chinese anymore. This
method will work on any PC with old or new versions of Microsoft Windows OS as long as the PC has Internet
Access and has an Internet Browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Google Chrome or FireFox.
Setting Up Google Translate Tool for Handwriting Chinese Input:
F.3.1. Open up Google Search website at www.google.com
F.3.2. On upper right side of Google Search website, click on the 9-dot square icon on right side to pull
down a menu, then choose (Google) Translate
F.3.3. The (Google) Translate web page shows up with input window on left side and output window on
F.3.4. In general, on the top of input window, you can choose almost any language in the world for input
text to be translated, and on the top of output window you can choose almost any language in the world for
translated output text.
F.3.5. For this application of Chinese Hand Writing Input, choose Chinese for the input window on left side.
Choose Chinese or English for the output window on right side. Choose Traditional Chinese for output window
if you want Traditional Chinese characters in the output.
F.3.6. After you choose Chinese for input window, a small icon with a small down-arrow shows up at the
left bottom of the input window for choosing one of several Chinese input methods, such as Pinyin, Handwriting,
F.3.7. Click on the small down-arrow and choose "handwriting input method".
F.3.8. A new hand-writing input pad/window appears below the original input window for Translate input.
Using Google Translate Tool for Handwriting Chinese Input:
F.3.9. Just use the PC mouse and hold down the left button to write Chinese characters in this hand
writing input window,
F.3.10. As you write, several possible candidate Chinese characters appear horizontally at the bottom of
this hand writing input window for you to choose.
F.3.11. Click on the proper one that you want. The desired Chinese characters will appear in the original
input window on upper left side.
F.3.12. The input window can hold up to like 100 to 200 Chinese characters.
F.3.13. When you finish or fill up the input window, highlight them, copy and paste them into Notepad or a
blank Word file.
F.3.14. Start over again the same process from Step F.3.9 to continue writing your long document.
F.4. Input English Words to get Desired Chinese Characters Through Google Translate Tool
The Google Translate Tool described in Section F.3. is also useful for Chinese input in a different way.
If you know both Chinese and English languages, one way of Chinese computer input is to use Google
Translate Tool by inputting English word on the Input Window on left side and getting the desired Chinese
character on the output window on right side.
To use Google Translate Tool, open up the Google Home page on the Internet or Google Chrome web
browser. On upper right side of Google Search website, click on Google App icon, which is a 9-dot icon on
the upper right side of the web page, pull down a menu, then choose (Google) Translate, then click on
"Translate" to open up the Google Translate Tool page.
For example, if you type "Home" on the left window, Google Translate will translate it into 家 as the output on
the right window。
Google Translate App can translate not only a single word, but also an entire phrase, or an entire sentence or
an entire paragraph or an entire document.
Another example for such use is that I know the English name of certain bird (such as merganser), but I do not
know the Chinese name for such bird. I input "merganser" on the input window and Google Translate gives me
秋沙鴨 on the output window.
One more example is that if a Chinese character has too many (hundreds of) 同音字 such that the Pinyin
output list presented by PC is too long for you to find the correct one easily. Then I input the English word on
the input window to get the translated correct single Chinese character on the output window.
F.5. Use Google Method of Pen-Stroke (筆劃輸入) or Radicals to Input
Google Pinyin IME provides a supplemental method to input Chinese character by using the Chinese pen-
strokes (笔划) or the radicals (部首) of the character to input. This supplemental method is described on the
Google website at:
The trick in this supplemental method is that it defines 6 English alphabetic letters as codes (代码) to represent
the pen-strokes in Chinese characters: h(横), s(竖), p(撇), n(捺), z(折), d(点). 依次输入该字的各个笔划。其
中，n 和 d 是相同的。You type u first to tell the computer that the string of English alphabetic letters following
this u are Chinese pen-stroke codes in the supplemental input mode, then you type these pen-stroke codes to
"write" the Chinese character.
Similarly, the next paragraph on that Google web page describes how to use Chinese radicals (部首) to input
Chinese characters. For some Chinese characters, people knows the pronunciation for each radical in the
complete character but do not know the pronunciation for the complete character. In this supplemental method,
again you type u to tell the computer that the string of English alphabetic letters following this u are Pinyins for
the radicals in the supplemental input mode, then you type the Pinyins for the radicals in the character to "write"
the character. Examples are given on the Google web page above.
F.6. Use Online Chinese Dictionary (在线新华字典词典) to Find Your Desired Chinese Character
An Online Chinese dictionary 在线新华字典词典 is available at the following website:
It can produce your desired Chinese character by using either 按部首检索 or 按拼音检索 (Pinyin method).
For example, if you click on 按部首检索, it produces a big table of all 部首 listed according to number of 笔画 in
the 部首. Then you click on a 部首 that is part of the Chinese character you are looking for. Then it will produce
a table of many Chinese characters that has this 部首 and these Chinese characters are listed according to the
number of 笔划 in the Chinese character. Then you stare at this table to find the particular Chinese character
that you are looking for.
Part G - Cantonese Input on Smartphones
Some people speak Cantonese dialect but not Mandarin. The Cantonese speaking people cannot use the
Mandarin based Pinyin Input method because of the drastic difference in the pronunciation for each Chinese
character. The following Google Play Store web page indicates that there are several Apps for Cantonese
Input on smartphones:
Furthermore, the Chinese Input Method by Voice described in Part D above for iFLYTEK (訊飛語音輸入法)
includes Cantonese dialect plus 22 other Chinese dialects as options in Voice Input to get output in Chinese
Part H: Free App of Speechnotes for Chinese Input by Voice.
This free App was introduced to me by my friend Andrew Soong in May 2020. It appears to be quite useful.
H.1. Speechnotes App On Android Play Store for Smartphones and Tablets
For Android based smartphone or tablet, you can download the free App, Speechnotes, from Android Play
Store and install it on your Android based smartphone or tablet. Then you can tap on the pink colored
microphone icon on the screen to activate the Voice Input mode for you to do Chinese Input by Voice.
But on my Android based smartphone and tablet, I prefer to use Google Pinyin soft keyboard instead of
Speechnotes for Chinese computer voice input as described in the Part C. The reason for such preference is
that the small microphone icon (for voice input) and Chinese hand-writing pad are very well integrated on
Google Pinyin soft keyboard on Android based smartphone and tablet. Such nice integration makes it much
easier to switch between voice input and hand-writing input on the smartphone and tablet.
However, Speechnotes is not available on Apple Store for iPhone or iPad. I assume that iPhone and iPad have
other equivalent Apps for Chinese voice input. Or iPhone and iPad users may consider iFLYTEK as described
in Part D above.
H.2. On PCs with Built-In Microphone or add-on Microphone
The Web based SpeechNotes for PCs running Windows 10 as described in Section H.2 works well prior to
However, in early August 2020, when I tried to use Speechnotes on my laptop PC again, the web page of
Speechnotes show a large advertisement saying that Speechnotes is for sale and Speechnotes App on that
website for PC users is not functioning any more while it is on sale.
But the SpeechNotes App downloaded from Google Play Store and installed on my Android based smartphone
H.2.1. Open the following website of Speechnotes for free tool of Chinese Input by voice into PCs running
The free tool, Speechnotes, is based on Google's high-end speech-recognition engines. It works entirely online
in Google Chrome web browser.
I bookmark (save) this URL of Speechnotes website in the Google Chrome web browser on my laptop PC so
that I can open this Speechnotes website easily when I want to do Chinese computer input by voice on my
H.2.2. On the horizontal language selection box near the top on the website of Speechnotes, select the
Chinese language that you want to use for computer input such as 普通話 or 中文 or Cantonese dialect。
Choose 普通話 for output in Simplified Chinese Text or choose 中文 for output in Traditional Chinese text.
(This App can handle many different input languages such as English, Chinese, Cantonese dialect, Korean,
Japanese, Turkish, Thai, etc. )
H.2.3. Click on the red colored microphone icon on the upper right corner of the screen to activate the
microphone and Voice Input
H.2.4. The appearance of a red dot near the microphone icon indicates that the system is ready for your voice
input. You just speak in Chinese language slowly and clearly and the corresponding Chinese text will show up
on the screen.
H.2.5. There is a vertical list of tools/icons on the left edge of the screen. These tools enable you to print the
text or to email the Chinese text or to download the Chinese text on to a Word document, etc.
H.3. Hand-Writing Pad to supplement Voice Input
As described in Section A.4. that there are situations where Chinese voice input will run into difficulties and you
need to switch to one of several supplemental methods for Chinese input.
The procedure to access the writing pad and to use Chinese hand writing input are described in Sections B.5.
and C.3. above. Other additional supplemental methods are described in Part F above.
Part I - Chinese Input on iPhones, iPads. Mac and MacBook
I.1. Chinese input on iPhone and iPad using Pinyin and Handwriting
The step by step instruction for Chinese input using Pinyin or handwriting are available in the following
websites. They have output options for either Simplified Chinese characters or Traditional Chinese characters.
How to Type Chinese on an iPhone (+handwriting)
How to enable Chinese handwriting in Iphone
How to type in Chinese on an iPhone / iPad
How to type Chinese using Pinyin
I.2. Chinese Voice Input on iPhone or iPads
Please see the instruction on the following websites:
Additional Language Input & Dictation on iPad
Chinese voice input on the iPad
My iPhone Recognizes What I Say : Dragon Mobile Apps Chinese Demo
Voice Dictation: iPhone & iPad
I.3. Chinese Input on Mac and MacBook
For instruction on setting up keyboard and doing Chinese input on Mac and MacBook, please see the following
How to Type Chinese on a Mac
How to Type Chinese on a Mac
How To Hand-Write Chinese on Mac using Trackpad - tutorial
This is how you install/enable Chinese Handwriting (Trackpad) on your Mac
I thank my friend, Andrew Soong, for introducing to me the excellent Speechnotes App for Chinese Input by
voice on PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
I thanks my classmate, Samuel Wang (王晃三), who introduced another free and excellent App known as
iFLYTEK (訊飛語音輸入法) to me for Chinese computer input by voice for iPhone, iPad, MAC in addition to
Windows PCs, smartphones and tablets.
I thank my friend, Edmond Hong, for (1) introducing to me the powerful capabilities of Google Pinyin
IME (谷歌拼音输入法) and (2) pointing out that Version 2007 (or newer) of Microsoft IME also has the
capability for Whole Sentence Pinyin Input (整句拼音输入) using abbreviated Pinyin spelling (使用简
拼) and the website for information and to download Version 2007 of Microsoft IME. His demo and
consultation to help me in installing and learning to use Google Pinyin IME are highly appreciated. I
thank another friend, Chi-Sing Chang, for bringing my attention to this new feature of Voice Input in
the new version of Google Pinyin IME.
I thank my friends, Chuan Chang and Di Chou, for the procedures to set up Android based smartphones for
I thank my late friend, Chih-Kwan Chen, for introducing to me this Google easy Hand Writing Method for
I thank Andy Liu for introducing to me this Online Chinese dictionary in Section F.5.
This web page originally appeared on December 5, 2009. The most recent update is on August 15,
In case if you see overlapped lines of text or some lines of text become obscured behind a picture on this
web page, please change the page magnification (zoom) factor to eliminate such problems by pressing these
two keys "Ctrl +" simultaneously or these two keys "Ctrl -" simultaneously. Depending on your PC setting, it
may be necessary to reduce the magnification factor several steps down in order to eliminate the overlap and
obstructed text lines.
Please press the F11 key (Fn key and F11 key on laptop PC) on your keyboard to get full-screen view of
photos and web page. Pressing F11 key again will return to your normal screen with various tool bars.
Picture 1 - EN icon on the taskbar on the lower right edge of PC screen running Windows Operating System
(OS). EN stands for English as one of the options among many languages that can be used on the Windows
Picture 2 for Language portion on right side of PC taskbar for Chinese Computer Input for Simplified Chinese
characters using free Microsoft IME
Picture 3 for icon of a small soft keyboard next to the icon of 中 on the taskbar for Chinese Computer Input for
Simplified Chinese characters using free Microsoft IME
Picture 4 for half-screen sized soft keyboard on the PC screen. The small microphone icon on upper left corner
is used for computer voice input. The soft keyboard is used for Microsoft Pinyin input of Chinese character.
Picture 5 for Windows Logo Key on the left side of regular computer keyboard.
Picture 6 for activated Voice Input mode with a horizontal bar on the top of PC screen, a small microphone
icon in the middle of the bar and a word "listening" indicating that the PC is listening and is ready to take your
voice input. This voice input mode on PC running Windows 10 is activated by pressing the Windows Logo key
and the H key simultaneously on the keyboard.
Picture 7 Microsoft IME Toolbar with 6 small icons just above the PC taskbar on the lower right corner of PC
screen. These 6 small icons enable a user to specify various features of Microsoft IME. The small gear
shaped icon on the right side is the Setting button for the Microsoft Pinyin IME.
Picture 8 for a cluster of small icons on the upper left side of the half-screen sized soft keyboard. The small
blue icon on the upper right corner of this cluster is the icon for hand writing pad which looks like a pan on a
piece of paper.
Picture 9 for Hand Writing Pad on PC screen for Chinese Computer Input by Hand Writing using PC mouse
and Microsoft IME. Notice that the small microphone icon on upper left side for input by voice.
Nice Integration - Having both hand writing pad and microphone icon for voice input integrated very well on the
same screen by Microsoft IME makes it very easy and convenient to switch between voice input and hand
writing input as the two complementary methods for efficient Chinese computer input.
Picture 10 for Microsoft IME Toolbar above the PC taskbar when the option of CH Chinese (Traditional,
Taiwan, Bopomofo) is selected. On the upper row of small icons, the second small icon from right side next to
the gear shaped icon is the hand writing pad for output in Traditional Chinese characters.
Picture 11 for Google Pinyin IME Toolbar just above the PC taskbar on the lower right corner of PC screen.
Picture 12 for Chinese Language Toolbar in older version of Microsoft Windows OS
Picture 13 for Windows Logo icon on lower left corner of PC screen running Microsoft Windows 10 OS