Installing the Chinese Keyboard (Windows XP)
Using the Chinese keyboard (Windows XP)
The active keyboard is indicated on the Taskbar (e.g., the English keyboard is represented by the letters EN) . To select the Chinese keyboard, first open the software you intend to use (e.g., Microsoft Word) and make sure that the software has the focus (click inside the window for the software). Then click the letters on the Taskbar (EN in the example illustration above) to open the keyboard selection menu. Select Chinese (PRC) from the keyboard selection menu. The Taskbar should now appear as illustrated below (the actual buttons on the Taskbar may vary but the letters CH should appear):
Right-click on CH to open another menu. Click on Restore the Language bar on the menu. The Language bar should now appear on the screen, probably docked to the title bar of the software window (Language bar is illustrated below).
Your Language bar may not look exactly like the one
above, depending on your button settings. Click on the
button and select the buttons needed from the menu: Conversion Mode,
Charaset, and Help. The Taskbar should look like the illustration
above after you have selected the proper buttons.
The default input mode is
Chinese, as indicated by the
button. Click on this button to change to English input mode
(the input mode toggles each time you click the button and allows you
to enter Chinese and English text in the same document). There are two
character sets available in Chinese: simplified
and traditional . In
these instructions, we will use the simplified character set (if the traditional
character set button is displayed, click it to change to simplified).
The default input mode is Chinese, as indicated by the button. Click on this button to change to English input mode (the input mode toggles each time you click the button and allows you to enter Chinese and English text in the same document). There are two character sets available in Chinese: simplified and traditional . In these instructions, we will use the simplified character set (if the traditional character set button is displayed, click it to change to simplified).
In the example that follows, we will write the sentence "I am Chinese" in Chinese (wo shi zhongguo ren) in Microsoft Word.
Type wo, which will appear like this: then press the Enter key to display this: . Note that the character has a dotted underline, which indicates that the character is provisional. In this case we want this character, so press the Enter key again to accept this character, which will now appear without the underline, like this: . If we wanted another character instead, while the underline was displayed, we could press the left arrow on the keyboard (not the backspace) to open a list of alternative characters, which would appear like this: . To select an alternate character, click on the character or enter the associated number with the keyboard. Let us now continue to work on our sentence.
Type shi, which will appear like this: and press the Enter key to display this: . Then press the Enter key again to accept the character, which will now be displayed like this: .
Type zhong, which will appear like this: and press the Enter key to display the provisional character like this: . In this case we must leave the provisional character displayed and continue by typing guo, which will appear like this: . Press the Enter key to display this: . The two provisional characters now displayed are those we need, so press the Enter key to accept them and the display will look like this: .
Type ren, which will appear like this: and press Enter to display this: . Then press Enter again to accept the provisional character to display this: . We are now finished with the sentence, so add the period to display this:
Anyone who is reasonably proficient in Chinese language input will take far fewer steps than the example given here. In fact, typing in woshizhongguoren and then a period, and hitting the Enter key will produce the same outcome. What we are demonstrating here is not the most efficient way to achieve the result, but rather some general principles: (i) with each syllable typed in in pinyin format, and the provisional character displayed, a prompt line interface is available by pressing the left arrow key. This offers alternative characters that the user can accept by typing in the number corresponding to the desired character. (ii) The editor will anticipate possible word combinations on the basis of what has been typed so far to save time for the user. (iii) For a provisional choice indicated by a dotted underline, the user needs to press the Enter key to save it.
You can learn more about using this keyboard by opening Help on the Language bar (the button with a question mark).
When you are finished with the Language bar, you can minimize it to the Taskbar by clicking the minus button on the right side of the Language bar.