Chinese Input Software for Windows

December 11, 2009, 06:40 AM posted in General Discussion


Sorry if this has been answered many times already, I tried searching the posts , but didn't see anything.

So my question is, what's the recommended Chinese input software for Windows? (and while we're at it, might as well include OSX and Linux as well)

Thanks and cheers,


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December 11, 2009, 08:04 AM

For Windows you go to the "Regional and Language" control panel and find the dialog that lets you click on add an input method.   Once you pick one or more of the Chinese options, Windows will install some software and you will press alt+shift to toggle between input methods, after it does its thing.   ...probably too terse, but that is the outline.

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December 11, 2009, 09:43 AM

Thanks Mark.  Right after I posted I searched and found these useful links.  They go into step by step detail of what you mention.

In my research, I also came across njstar software but it wasn't free so the native windows option seems like the best one.

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December 12, 2009, 09:06 AM

If you really want to do it properly and you have a modern MS OS you can use the tablet input panel to write your chinese.  It is slower but it does help me to remember the 汉字。 i'm lucky because I have a tablet PC to use, but keep watching the market 'cos these are going to be dropping in price very quickly now especially if apple does release one in spring!

I try to write every thing but if I remember the words but not the character then I switch to pinyin type in the words to find the character, then go back and write them.  This works for me but then I'm learning this so slowly!  As one word goes in another goes out.



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December 12, 2009, 10:20 AM

 you can download sogou Chinese input ,its very popular in China,and i am Chineses.

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December 12, 2009, 11:57 AM

Hi marktemp,

for Windows, here are alternatives to MS Pinyin:

Google Pinyin --

or in case 五笔输入法 is an option for you,

freeime Wubi --


For most Linux-based distributions, there is either


or, superseding SCIM, the newer

IBus --

at least one of which should be readily available in any distribution.  They support both Pinyin and Wubi input methods, although I find the Wubi support to be far inferior to that available for Windows-based systems.

As for a recommendation, you might want to follow godfrey09's advice first.  I haven't used Sogou software myself yet, but I hear they are a leading instance in input method technology.  As for my personal experience, I can recommend Google Pinyin, which works fine for me and simply has an interface that is easier on my eyes than that provided by MS Pinyin.  I am not too experienced with Wubi, but as a learner, "freeime" is pretty helpful, offering mixed Wubi/Pinyin input, which allows you to enter Pinyin and be offered suitable Wubi codes.