|New Free Tools for Faster Input of
Chinese Text into PCs and Smartphones
Table of Contents
Part A is on Modern Pinyin Based Chinese Input Methods on PCs.
Part B Google Pinyin to Input Chinese Characters on Android Based Smartphones
Part C Input Chinese Characters on Android Based Smartphones without Google Pinyin
Part D is on easy Hand Writing Chinese Input Method using PC mouse.
Part E is on using Google Translate Web Page to get desired Chinese Character from the corresponding
Part F is an Online Chinese Dictionary 在线新华字典词典
Part G Cantonese Input on Smartphones
Part H Summary of Procedure to Set Up Google Pinyin IME on PCs
Part A - Modern Pinyin Based Chinese Input Methods on PCs
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.
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 as described in Section
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 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) 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 at least five free supplemental methods/options that
can be used to overcome such special obstacles as described in Section 9.2.
Section 10 provides information on Google Pinyin Input Method for Apple's Mac Computers.
2. Sample Chinese Inputs
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 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, 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.
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 can 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
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.
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 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 that
has the Free Google Pinyin IME installed and has Internet access for you to synchronize the personalized
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.
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.
Sometimes this small Google 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 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 4.2.8. to solve the problem.
4.2.3. Toggle Switch Between English Input and Chinese Input
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.
For Android smartphones and Android tablets, the instruction on how to switch between English Input and
Chinese Input is described in the following website:
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 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
4.2.5. More Information on Google Pinyin IME
You can also click on other small icons in this Google 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 users.
Help menu and support for Google Pinyin IME are available at:
4.2.6. Toggle Switch Between Traditional Chinese Character and Simplified Chinese Character
If you click on the right most 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.
4.2.7. 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.
4.2.8. 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 Tool Bar 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 Tool Bar 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 Task Bar 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
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 Tool
Bar 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
4.3 Sogou Pinyin IME
Sogou Pinyin IME is available for free download at:
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 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.
6. Speed of Chinese 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 may
become faster than English input.
7. Zhuyin (注音)-To-Pinyin Mapping Table:
Some people are familiar with Zhuyin (注音) 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
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 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 Tool Bar. 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 Tool Bar, then a vertical list of many different soft
keyboards, including Zhuyin soft keyboard, will show up for you to choose.
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:
4. Free Download and Installation:
4.1. Microsoft IME
Microsoft English Windows Operation Systems (OS), such as English Windows XP, English Windows Vista,
English Windows 7 and English Windows 8.1 come with Free 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 Microsoft IME. The
procedure to activate (install) Microsoft IME are described in the following websites:
If you have already activated Microsoft IME and have been using Microsoft IME, then you are familiar with the
small Icon of EN at the lower right corner of the tool bar on your PC screen. EN stands for English as one of
the language options. 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 choose.
4.2. Google Pinyin IME
4.2.1. Website to Download Google Pinyin IME
The free software of Google Pinyin IME (谷歌拼音输入法) can be downloaded at:
Although the second line below the download button indicates that "支持 Microsoft Windows 7/Vista/XP 系统 "
which means that it supports only Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, if you click on the third line on the
software version 最新版本: 18.104.22.168, the opened page indicates that this new version also supports
Windows 8. I tried it and it also works on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. However, on Windows 10, some of
the features, such as synchronization of personal database, of Google Pinyin IME do not work as of March 15,
The following web page provides some brief description of various versions of Google Pinyin IME and indicates
that the newest version supports Windows 8.
For Android based tablets and smartphones, the Google Pinyin IME is available for free download from Google
Play Store at:
My Android tablet (Google Nexus 10) came preloaded with Google Pinyin IME such that I did not have to
download and install it.
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 up on the PC screen as a new big 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 you may see the small Google IME Toolbar at the right lower part of task bar on the
PC screen that looks like:
9. Some Tips for Faster Chinese Input:
9.1. 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 quickly. The
temptation is to try to spell out the entire Pinyin as accurately as you can to try to get that difficult character.
However, it is well known that many Chinese characters have tens or even hundreds of homonyms (同音字).
This means that even if you carefully spell out the entire Pinyin accurately, you are still facing a very long list
of homonyms for you to scroll through carefully and patiently and to stare at each homonym to try to find the
correct character that you want. This process is often tedious, time consuming and frustrating. What this
means is that going from abbreviated Pinyin (簡拼) to complete Pinyin (全拼) is NOT an efficient and fast
method to try to input that particular Chinese character.
Instead, a more efficient method is to use a popular, commonly used Chinese phrase or sentence that
contains that particular Chinese character to get it by (1) using the abbreviated Pinyin 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 more efficient and faster to find that
For example, if you want to input the Chinese character, 誼, by typing yi, then you will have to scroll through
and to stare at a very long list of hundreds of homonyms (同音字) to try to find the correct one. But if you
type lyh, then 聯誼會 pops up as the first choice immediately. You take this first choice of 3-character phrase
and delete 聯 and 會 leaving 誼 as your desired character. In this way, you avoid having to spend a lot of time
and effort to deal with the long list of hundreds of homonyms (同音字).
9.2. Free Supplemental Methods to Input Chinese Characters
There are some special Chinese characters that you do not know how to pronounce those characters and,
therefore, do not know the Pinyin for those characters. In such special case, Pinyin is useless for inputting
such special character. There are five free supplemental methods/options for users to overcome such difficult
case as listed in the following:
9.2.1. Use Google Input Method by Handwriting on PC using PC Mouse
This method is described in details in Part D below.
9.2.2. Use Google Translate to Translate an English Word into a Chinese Character
This method is described in details in Part E below.
9.2.3. Use Google Voice Input to Input Chinese Text
This method is described in details in Section 11.
9.2.4. Use Google Method of Pen-Stroke or Radicals to Input
Google Pinyin IME provides a supplemental method to input such 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.
9.2.5. Use Online Chinese Dictionary (在线新华字典词典) to Find Your Desired Chinese Character
This method is described in more details in Part F below.
The Google Pinyin Input in Part A is very efficient to input many Chinese characters quickly. But there are
special situation(s) where we get stuck. Then these free supplemental methods or options can be used to
overcome such occasional difficulties.
10. Google Pinyin Input Method for Apple's Mac Computers
Originally, the free Google Pinyin Input software was available for Windows Operating System based
computers only. On November 7, 2010, the following website indicates that free Google Pinyin Input software
is now also available for Apple's Mac computers:
This website also provides a button for free download of Google Pinyin Input software for Mac.
The Wikipedia web page at:
also provides some information on Google Pinyin Input software for Mac computers.
However, I have no experience in using Mac computers.
11. New Voice Input Feature in Google Pinyin IME
Beginning in March 2012, the new version of free Google Pinyin IME has an important new feature of Voice
Input which is network-based in order to provide highly accurate matches. The Google Pinyin IME Tool Bar
also changed slightly and becomes the following:
The second small icon from the right side of the Google Pinyin IME Tool Bar is now a microphone icon. If you
plug a microphone with USB connector into the USB connector port of your PC and use PC mouse to click on
this small microphone icon, then a short line of text will show up just above Google Pinyin IME Tool Bar
inviting you to talk and the computer is ready to take your voice input. You may speak in either English or
Chinese depending on whether the small language icon is 英 or 中 on the Google Pinyin IME Tool Bar. If the
small language icon is 中 and you speak Chinese into the microphone, then the computer screen will show the
Chinese character, or the Chinese phrase or the Chinese sentence that you have just spoken. Similarly, if the
small language icon is 英 and you speak in English into the microphone, then the computer screen will show
the English word, or the English phrase or the English sentence that you have just spoken.
Once it is installed, Google Pinyin IME updates itself automatically and periodically. This new version with
Voice Input feature came into my PC through this automatic update process. I did NOT have to download and
to install this new version manually.
Part B - Google Pinyin to Input Chinese Characters on Android Based Smartphones
This procedure enables you to use either Google Pinyin method or handwriting method or Voice to input
Chinese characters on Android based smartphones
I am using Samsung Galaxy S5 (GS 5) smartphone with Android Operating System (OS). So, I use GS 5 for
illustration in the following procedure.
B1 - Chinese Input by Pinyin Method on Keyboard
1. Tap on Play Store on your smartphone to try to get the free Google Pinyin APP into your smartphone
2. Type “Google Pinyin” in the search box on the top of screen, then tap the search symbol on the lower
right corner to find Google Pinyin APP quickly
3. Tap on “Google Pinyin Input”
4. Tap “Install” to download and install the free Google Pinyin
5. Follow the instructions on the screen to go into Settings in GS 5 -> “Language and Input” to select
Google Pinyin keyboard to replace the default Samsung keyboard.
6. Follow the instructions on the screen to select various nice features that you want in Google Pinyin
7. Among many features for you to select, you can select either Traditional Chinese characters or
Simplified Chinese characters for the output.
8. After you finished selecting all the nice features of Google Pinyin, then back out of the Settings of the
9. When you want to input text on this smartphone for E-Mail, or message or LINE message, etc., the
Google Pinyin Keyboard will show up on the screen of the smartphone for Google Pinyin Input on the
10. There is a horizontal line in the middle of screen with two icons of [中] and [EN]. Tap [中] if you want
to do Chinese input, or Tap [EN] if you want to do English input. When you tap [中], the space bar at the
bottom shows [拼音] indicating that it is in Google Pinyin mode for Chinese input. If you tap [EN], the space
bar shows [English] indicating that it is in English input mode.
11. The Globe icon to the left of space bar is a toggle switch providing another method for you to switch
between Chinese Input and English Input.
B2 - Chinese Input by Handwriting
12. But if you prefer handwriting method for Chinese input, then Tap [中] again which will bring up four
keyboards for you to choose.
13. The “blank” keyboard on the lower right side is the icon for touch sensitive handwriting pad. So, tap
on this icon for handwriting pad.
14. Then a larger touch sensitive handwriting pad shows up. You can use your finger tip to write Chinese
characters on this writing pad to input Chinese characters.
B3 - Chinese Input by Voice
15. If you want to input Chinese by Voice, tap the green colored check mark at the lower right corner of
the Google Pinyin keyboard, then a microphone icon will show up on the right side of tool bar of [中] and [EN].
16. Tap on this microphone icon will bring up a Voice Input screen with a green colored microphone icon
plus a line of "Speak now" indicating that the smartphone is now ready to take your Voice Input.
17. Finger tap on this voice input screen will switch between Chinese Voice Input or English Voice Input.
Part C - Input Chinese Characters on Android Based Smartphones without Google Pinyin
But if you do not want to use Google Pinyin Input Method, and want to use the regular Pinyin Input method or
handwriting method or Voice Input, it is described in the following. However, in my Samsung Galaxy S5
smartphone, this second method provides only Simplified Chinese characters, but no Traditional Chinese
characters for the output.
C1 - Chinese Input by Pinyin Input on Keyboard
1. Tap Menu (Apps) button on your smartphone GS 5
2. Tap Settings of GS 5 smartphone
3. Tap on “Language and input”
4. Tap on “Samsung Keyboard (Multiple languages)” line
5. If Chinese language (中文), in addition to English, is on the list of activated languages in this
smartphone, then it is good and ready for Chinese input. But if Chinese language (中文 ) is not on the list of
activated languages, you need to add Chinese language by the following procedure
6. Tap on “+ Select input languages”
7. Look at the long list of available languages and Tap on Chinese language (中文), which is near the
bottom on the list in my GS 5. This will download and activate the Chinese language in this smartphone. After
completion of downloading and installing, the Chinese language (中文) should show up on the list of
“activated” input languages in this smartphone.
8. Then back out of the Settings of the smartphone.
9. When you want to input text on this smartphone for E-Mail, or message or LINE message, etc., the
Samsung Keyboard will show up on the screen of the smartphone.
10. The Space Bar at the bottom of the Samsung Keyboard now has two horizontal small arrows: one
points to the right and the other point to the left (after the Chinese language is activated as described above).
You can switch between English language and Chinese language by sliding this Space Bar to the right or to
11. After you slide the Space Bar for the Chinese language, the keyboard then becomes the Chinese
Pinyin input keyboard so that you can input Chinese by Pinyin method on the keyboard.
C2 - Chinese Input by Handwriting
12. But if you prefer handwriting method for Chinese input, then press down on the small microphone
icon (between [Sym] and [,] keys) on the lower left side of the keyboard and hold down the microphone icon
for 2 seconds.
13. A tool bar with five icons will show up on the screen for you to choose.
14. Tap on [T/] icon
15. The keyboard then becomes the touch sensitive writing pad. You can use your finger tip to write
Chinese characters on this writing pad to input your Chinese characters.
C3 - Chinese Input by Voice
16. After Step 11, tap on the small microphone icon on the keyboard
17. The Voice Input screen will show up with "Speak now" on the top and a microphone icon in the
middle indicating the smartphone is now ready to take your Voice Input.
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.
Part D - Google Handwriting Input Method on PCs for Chinese and Japanese
Google now provides an easy way to input Chinese (and Japanese) by handwriting on PCs. With this new
easy way using PC mouse, you do not need any special external tool(s) for handwriting input for Chinese
(and Japanese) 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.
The instruction with 14-step procedure is the following:
1. Open up Google Search website at www.google.com
2. On upper right side of Google Search website, click on the 9 dots square on right side to pull down a
menu, then choose (Google) Translate
3. The (Google) Translate web page shows up with input window on left side and output window on
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.
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.
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,
7. Click on the small down-arrow and choose "handwriting input method".
8. A new hand-writing input window appears below the original input window for handwriting input.
9. Just use the PC mouse and hold down the left button to write Chinese characters in this hand writing
10. As you write, several possible candidate Chinese characters appear horizontally at the bottom of
this hand writing input window for you to choose.
11. Click on the proper one that you want. The desired Chinese characters will appear in the original
input window on upper left side.
12. The input window can hold up to like 100 to 200 Chinese characters.
13. When you finish or fill up the input window, highlight them, copy and paste them into Notepad or a
blank Word file.
14. Start over again the same process to continue your long writing.
Part E Input English Word to get Desired Chinese Character Through Google
Translate Web Page
The Google Translate web page described in Part D is also useful for Chinese input in a different way.
For various reasons(s), sometime it is just difficult for us to input certain Chinese characters into the PC. If
you know both Chinese and English languages, one way to overcome such special difficulty is to use Google
Translate web page by inputting English word on the Input Window on left side and get the desired Chinese
character on the output window on right side.
To use Google Translate service, open up the Google Home page on the Internet, on upper right side of
Google Search website, click on the icon of 9 dots square on right side to pull down a menu, then choose
(Google) Translate, then click on "Translate" to open up the Google Translate service page.
For example, if you type "Home", Google Translate will translate it into 家。
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 同音字 such that the 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.
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 Play Store web page indicates that there are several APPs for Cantonese Input on
But I have no experience in these APPs because I do not speak Cantonese.
Part H - Summary of Procedure to set Up Google Pinyin IME on PCs
H1 Google Pinyin Input on Keyboard of PCs
1. Download and Install Google Pinyin IME for free from the following website:
2. After the download and installation are completed, the PC is ready for Google Pinyin input on the
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.
4. On Google Pinyin IME Toolbar at the lower right corner, click on the 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.
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 various sections in this web page and its associated
reference links to get full understanding of various features on this menu.
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.
H2 Google Chinese Input by Handwriting with PC Mouse
7. If you prefer handwriting for Chinese input on a PC, the procedure is described in Part D above
H3 Google Chinese Input by Voice
8. If you want to do Chinese Input by Voice on a PC, the procedure is described in Section 11.
Note: Google Pinyin IME works well on Windows 8, Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows. But some
features, such as synchronization of personal database, of Google Pinyin IME do not work in PCs running
Windows 10 as of March 15, 2017. I do not know when will newer version of Google Pinyin IME be available
to overcome such problems.
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 Part D.
This web page originally appeared on December 5, 2009. The most recent update is on March 15,
2017. As of December 1, 2014, this web page has been accessed 6,743 times by my friends and
strangers all over the world.