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How to write in Chinese on the computer

February 22, 2011

For when you want to write China as 中国 and not just Zhong guo, here are a variety of web pages that explain how to do it. It’s really not that hard and once you’ve got it installed it’s very easy to input – and kids love to write things in Chinese on the computer. Different operating systems use different methods to set it up, but the pages below should walk you through it. If you still get lost, hop on one of the MIPC email lists and someone can talk you through your specific program.

For an overview, Wikipedia has an article on Chinese input methods for computers


Writing Chinese on the Windows Platform

A nice overview from the East Asian Studies Dept. at the University of the Redlands, Calif.

How to Write With Chinese Characters in Microsoft Word

This article walks you through the set up.

Reading and writing Chinese with Microsoft Windows

Lots of details in this page.


Character Activation: Chinese Simplified

This article walks you through it page by page.

How to type toned pinyin on a Mac

This article also shows you how to get the tone marks over the vowels.

How do you type in Chinese on a Macbook?

This article has no images, but nice text description of how to set your Mac up to type in Chinese.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Conte permalink
    February 23, 2011 2:45 pm

    And if you’d like to actually write Chinese characters using a stylus instead of the keyboard/mouse, PenPower makes a bunch of input devices including some mini-tablets that plug into your USB port and a pen scanner that can translate Chinese characters on the fly.

    I got my Chinese in-laws the Penpower EZ GO Jr. and they love it. It goes for about $60 at Central Computers down near Moscone Center. Here’s the link:–usbwin-zrlapp08ghrc.htm

  2. March 6, 2011 3:08 pm


    I love your site and wholeheartedly support it. I too am reaching out to school districts and anybody else interested in learning Mandarin with my free–totally free–Website in which I have a video series/textbook chapters for download to teach people Mandarin. At first glance, as I am dressed in Hawaiian shirts and bandannas, the lessons may seem silly. However, I have a worldwide following, and many have told me that my lessons are logical, funny, and clear. Please have a look, and perhaps you can help me extend my invitation to school districts who could incorporate my lessons in their classrooms for free. If that is not possible, would you mind including my site under your “Links” section? Thank you for your time. Here is the link:

    Thank you again,
    Mike Hainzinger

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