Chinese Typing, Chinese Input, Chinese Reading, Chinese Editor, Chinese Learning, Language Tool

I. Chinese Input Examples

For illustration purposes, here we assume that HanWJ Chinotes is being used. If you don't have one, please visit to download a demo version.

Launch Chinotes. Open a new document. Change Input Mode to Chinese if not already. Make sure input method is PinYin.

Character is the smallest unit of Chinese language. Now let's input a character using pinyin.

Type "zhong". Then you see the following:

Chinese typing tutorial

HanWJ displays your typing on the first prompt line. On the second prompt line, all possible Chinese character matching that pinyin pattern are shown.

The first choice can be entered by pressing spacebar or number key '1'; the second choice can be entered by pressing '2';and so on.

If what you are looking for isn't shown, type "<" or ">" keys (no shift) to scroll the prompt content left or right to see more choices.

Word is the second smallest unit of Chinese language. It consists of two or more characters(usually 2-4). Now let's input a word using pinyin.

Type "zhongguo". Then you see the following:

Chinese Typing Software

Again, your typing are shown on the first prompt line. On the second line, possible words and characters matching (in some degree) your pinyin inputs are shown.

Type spacebar, then you got word "中国" entered.

Here is briefly what happens when you type in the pinyin. Inside the software, there is a database containing collected or pre-installed words. It is called WordBase. When you type in pinyin, HanWJ takes your input;If the input is pinyin for character, HanWJ will list all characters for that pinyin; otherwise, HanWJ will try to find close-matches in WordBase,and shows them onto the prompt line. The word you are looking for may not be in found in WordBase; if that's the case, you have to "construct" the word yourself (once constructed, the word will be put into WordBase). You usually "construct" a word by finding its components, character or sub-word.

That's why on the second prompt line, you'll notice that some characters are also listed.

Let's construct a word now.

Type in "xuehanyu"(学汉语):

Chinese Learning Software

On prompt line, there is no "学汉语" listed. But character "学" is there. Select it:

Chinese Input

Now that "学" is there. HanWJ takes the rest of the input sequence, and found it! Just type spacebar then we're done!

One More example. Type in "xueshengci"(学生词):

Chinese Input Software

HanWJ didn't find the word, but found "学生". Enter it:

Chinese Input

Again, after you input, HanWJ takes the rest of the pinyin sequence, and lists character choices for it!

Using number key, enter "词", then we're done!

All words constructed and entered will be put into WordBase automatically.

HanWJ Chinese Input Method allows you to simplify pinyin input in various ways (HanWJ Chinese Pinyin Simplifications).

For example, instead of typing "liang", you can use "liag"; instead of "hang" you can enter hag. Basically you substitute "ng" with "g".


“中国” input as  "zhogguo"
“红楼梦” input as   "hogloumeg"
“富丽堂皇” input as "fulitaghuag"

Other simplification rules are: "iao" can be input as "io"; "uang" be input as "ug". For example, you can input "tiao" as "tio" and "zhuang" as "zhug".

You can also input a word using each character's first pinyin letter.

For example,
“中国” input as "zg" (zhongguo-->zg:first letter of each character's pinyin) or "zguo" (still 1st letter of pinyin,but the last character's pinyin is spelled fully. This is useful when choices are too many)
“红楼梦” input as "hlm"(hongloumeng-->hlm)or "hlmeg"(last character spelled fully)
“富丽堂皇” as "flth"

Advanced methods.

When inputing character, we often get too many choices. One way to eliminate those extras is to use Tone.

Chinese character has five possible tones (Please skip this part if you can not differentiate them. This is not absolutely necessary when inputing Chinese). HanWJ uses the leftmost column of keys(four keys) and the right-shift key to denote them. i.e., tone 1-5 are represented by " ` " key,Tab key,CapsLock key,Left-Shift key, Right-Shift key, respectively. You can find out these key-tone assignments by first pressing and holding down right-Alt key and then press the letter K.

Now let's try examples.

“诗”inputs as "shi". Not in first page of prompt. Instead of scrolling down using ">" key, type in tone-1, i.e., the " ` " key.
Now“诗”is in prompt line. You can now enter it by using number key:

Input Chinese Software

“己”input as "ji". Not in first page of prompt. Instead of use "<" to scroll the prompt pages, type in tone-3 key, i.e., CapsLock key. Now “己” is on first page of promt:

Input Chinese Software

Not only choices for character can be narrowed down using tone keys, choices for word can too.

e.g.,“诗集”inputs as "shiji"; type in tone-2, i.e., Tab key. Now “诗集”becomes on the first prompt page.

How to Input Chinese

That is, for word, you can use last character's tone key to narrow down choices.

Now try another technique.

Let input name "施记平". Type in "shijiping". Not found on prompt. Now press right Alt key(don't hold it) or Enter key to enter Manual Word Construction process:

How to type Chinese

Notice that vertical divider bar between "shi" and "jiping". All letters before the divider bar are said to be in Match-Window. The choices prompted are for the pinyin within this window.

Type in tone-1, i.e., " ` " key. Now “施”s shown on first prompt page.

How to input Chinese Software

Type in number key to enter “施”:

Chinese input - how to

Now we need to find "记".But it's not in the prompt. Again, press right Alt key or PageUp key to narrow down Match-Window to enclose 'ji':

How to do Chinese typing

Type in tone-4, i.e., Left-Shift key; "记" now is on the prompt line.

How to input Chinese characters

Enter "记". Now "平" is shown. Enter it using number key. We're done!

Chinese Character input

Here are a few tips for inputing Chinese under HanWJ.

(1) After just inputing a word, if you just want, say, the second character, you can get it by holding down Right-Alt key and pressing number key 2. This technique is useful because sometimes a character is more difficult to find than finding a word containing the character and removes the rest.

(2)After just inputing a character or word, you can change your selection by holding Right-Alt down and pressing letter "I" or "-".e.g., if after inputing the 1st choice you'd like to change to the 2rd choice, just holding Right-Alt down and pressing letter "I" twice.

(3) To speed up input, each key has been assigned a commonly used character. You can input these character by just type that key and then spacebar.

(4) You can edit your pinyin input by moving the little red caret above your pinyin sequence:
Chinese Character typing
You move caret by using arrow keys. Up and down arrows move caret faster.

(5)Chinese punctuation characters are usually twice as wide as puctuation characters in western languages. In the input toolbar, there is a pushdown button to control whether inputing punctuations full-size or half-size.

(6)In PinYin mode, if the first letter entered is "i", HanWJ will enter so-called i-mode. In i-mode, you can type in English letters directly. You exit from i-mode by typing Esc key.

HanWJ has Word-Forecast feature. In Chinese language, in many situation, by looking at the input already done, the following elements can be forecasted. HanWJ utilizes this feature to further boost the Chinese input speed.
When HanWJ prompts the forecasted language elements,you can either ignore it or type F8 (Left-Alt+P) to input it.
Chinese Word Suguest

HanWJ has utilized some Artificial Intelligence principles when matching pinyin input to words in WordBase. That means ,sometimes, HanWJ can tolrate some mistyped pinyin letters and still find the word you are trying to input.

For word, HanWJ will automatically adjust the order they show up on prompt line depending on frequency of usage.
For character, you have to select it on the Input Options dialog.

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