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QuickPinyin - Type pinyin with tone marks (portable)


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#1 Manuel

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:40 PM

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QuickPinyin

QuickPinyin is a small app for typing pinyin with tone marks quickly and easily. It works in any Windows program and with any keyboard layout. QuickPinyin's greatest advantage over other pinyin typing programs is that it is not an input method, which has several benefits including portability, simplicity and improved ergonomics, as detailed below.

I provide QuickPinyin free of charge for anyone to use, share and modify. If you like QuickPinyin it would be rather nice if you could leave a thank-you message on this thread!

Download:
Attached File  QuickPinyin v1.14 Setup.zip   724.41KB   1317 downloads Released on 25 September 2013
(Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8 - both 32-bit and 64-bit)
main.giftraymenu.png

Usage:

Launch QuickPinyin and then type each pinyin syllable with a tone number e.g. hao3. As soon as you type the tone number QuickPinyin will immediately convert hao3 to hǎo (not haǒ), and so on, one syllable at a time. QuickPinyin can be temporarily disabled by double-clicking its system tray icon or via a customisable keyboard shortcut. Full usage instructions are available in the included Readme.txt document.

Advantages:

  • Portability: Run it on any computer directly from a USB stick without installing anything, unlike other pinyin typing programs which must be installed first to work.
  • Fewer clicks & fewer keystrokes: Run it alongside your normal input methods without interference and without the need to manually enable/disable QuickPinyin. In addition, unlike input methods, QuickPinyin adds tone marks as soon as tone numbers are typed, without the need to press Space or Enter to commit.
  • Mixed-case: Any combination of mixed-case pinyin supported, e.g. GuAn1 becomes GuĀn, etc.
  • Erhua: Full erhua support e.g. menr2 becomes ménr, etc.
  • 64-bit support: Works on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.
  • Open source: QuickPinyin was written in Autohotkey_L and the source code is supplied below as an optional download for anyone to verify and modify.

Optional downloads:


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#2 skylee

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:05 PM

How is it different from the online type pinyin facilities provided by, say mdbg.net?

One that I can think of is that if you use mdbg, you have to copy and paste the output to your document. Another is that mdbg requires internet connection. What else?
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#3 Manuel

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:49 PM

Actually, I wasn't aware of MDBG's pinyin input tool but it's functionally the same. QuickPinyin, like MDBG, also works with mixed-case pinyin. So, yes, the only differences would be that with QuickPinyin you don't need to copy-paste the output and that it works off-line, which in my opinion is a significant advantage no web-based tool is able to provide.


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#4 tooironic

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 06:10 PM

Would love to see something like this on Mac OS X.
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#5 Manuel

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 06:21 PM

Autohotkey is only available for Windows, hence no Mac support. Autohotkey is one of the reasons why I use Windows.
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#6 Manuel

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 12:56 AM

I notice QuickPinyin has been downloaded a few times since I made it available, I wonder if anyone is using it regularly, and if so I'd like to hear about any problems encountered or things that could be improved. Cheers,

Manuel
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#7 scoopneals

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:27 AM

very helpful, thank you!
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#8 Manuel

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 12:45 AM

Has anybody tested QuickPinyin on a 64-bit computer? I wonder whether it works...
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#9 LanLiBei

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 04:35 PM

thanks for this... no more writing tone marks on after printing, or switiching to the french keyboard. no 64bit pcs in the house but will steal the boyfriend's next time i'm down to try it on his
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#10 Manuel

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:16 PM

You are very welcome! Remember if there's anything that does not work correctly let me know and I'll be more than happy to fix it.

M.
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#11 danny1997

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 01:00 AM

I am runing a 64-bit pc and just clicked QuickPinyin.exe. It is working like a charm. Microsoft should consider to include it in Windows system.

Thanks for sharing, Manuel.
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#12 oioioi

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 10:09 PM

Love QickPinyin (using in on XP) but I still haven't figured out how to type a simple ü without tone mark. Is this possible? If not, can it be added? Otherwise this is a great little application. The best one out there in my humble opinion. Cheers, Oioioi
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#13 Manuel

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 06:05 PM

Hi Oioioi, thanks for bringing this up. You are absolutely right. I just realised that QuickPinyin does not correctly translate lue and nue, or lve and nve. Interestingly, I never noticed and that's probably because, according to my dictonary, there are only 4 characters whose pinyin is lve and just 2 whose pinyin is nve! In addition, I have never come across any instances of lv or nv in the light tone, but it doesn't mean that they are not possible in spoken Chinese and so I think QuickPinyin should indeed be able to type "ü".

Regarding nve and lve, I find it rather strange and a little irritating that in pinyin we are supposed to write juē and NOT jüē, but we cannot write nuē and instead must write nüē. This is one of those WTF moments for me. I am sure there are some phonetic reasons behind this nonesense, but if I see nuē I know exactly how to pronounce it, and personally I prefer to type nuē over nüē because the umlaut is distracting. The next version of QuickPinyin will enable users to type both nuē and nüē (with and without umlaut) depending on whether the user typed a "u" or a "v", to suit everybody's taste.

Anyway, here is my proposed solution, which will be available in QuickPinyin v1.05 probably tomorrow:

1. The following already works in QuickPinyin v1.04:
  • lu1 = lū, nu1 = nū, etc
  • lv1 = lǖ, nv1 = nǖ, etc
2. The following will definitely be added to QuickPinyin v 1.05:
  • lve1 = lüē,nve1 = nüē, etc
  • lue1 = luē, nue1 = nuē, etc (Note that these syllables don't actually exist in official pinyin, more on this below)
3. The following functionaly pertains to the light tone for ü and it will be implemented in QuickPinyin v 1.05 according to your suggestions:
  • vvv (three consecutive Vs) = ü
I don't think it would be practical to automatically convert all instances of lv to lü and nv to nü because QuickPinyin would get in the way when typing words such as alveolar or envelope.

Another solution would be to type nv5, nve5, etc, for these "special cases", but this would not be consistent with the way QuickPinyin works with the other "normal" syllables, because to type a light tone you simply type the pinyin without the numbers, and QuickPinyin does not modify the text at all. In other words, QuickPinyin only kicks in when you type a number after the pinyin. In my opinion "special cases" should be avoided because they force the user to stop and think, and to learn counterintuitive habits. By contrast, typing "vvv = ü" solution keeps things consistent.

Other features for QuickPinyin v1.05:

I also want to add the ability to toggle QuickPinyin from the keyboard, for example by pressing RAlt-Space or whatever. This will enable users to toggle QuickPinyin without having to reach for the mouse. Again, your thoughts will be appreciated.

Finally, I would also like to know if the beep-beep sounds work on everybody's system, and if you think they are annoying, pointless or useless. That's all for now.
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#14 imron

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:46 PM

Regarding nve and lve, I find it rather strange and a little irritating that in pinyin we are supposed to write juē and NOT jüē, but we cannot write nuē and instead must write nüē. This is one of those WTF moments for me. I am sure there are some phonetic reasons behind this nonesense

It's definitely not one of Pinyin's greatest moments, but the logic behind it is that any -u or -ue following the initials j, q or x is unambiguously -ü or -üe. Although this is also true for -ue with the l and n initials, the same is not true for 'u', and I guess they decided it would be more consistent to have nüe matching the spelling of nü (and lüe with lü) rather than nu and lu.
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#15 Manuel

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 01:35 AM

QuickPinyin v1.05 is out now! This release includes the features and fixes I outlined in my last post and a few small improvements. Please refer to the attached Readme.txt file for full details. The previous v1.04 release is still available for download just in case. Have fun and please report any bugs.

M.
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#16 Manuel

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:51 AM

I've just spotted a small yet very embarrassing bug which results in un4 being converted to ù instead of ùn. This will be fixed in the next release, soon. My apologies to any existing users.
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#17 Manuel

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:06 AM

QuickPinyin v1.06b released! Once I am sure it's bug-free I'll rename this to v1.06, but for now it will stay as a beta release.

So what's new then?
  • Added: Full erhua support (nir, nar, mer, etc).
  • Added: Option to automatically check for Quickpīnyīn updates.
  • Fixed: un4 converted to ù, should be ùn
  • Fixed: Red-yellow system tray icon not the same as 16x16 Explorer icon.
  • Change: Dynamic system tray menu labels replaced with checkmarks and fixed labels.
  • Change: Complete overhaul of About dialogue box.
  • Misc: Amended quite a few typos in Readme.txt

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#18 Manuel

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:07 AM

Just uploaded QuickPinyin v1.06b2. The following changes are now in place:
  • Added: Compatibility with all Microsoft Chinese input methods. The compatibility feature automatically bypasses QuickPinyin if another input method is currently active. This had already been implemented in QuickPinyin v1.03 but only for compatibility wth Sogou and Google Pinyin. Thanks to this feature, QuickPinyin can run alongside other input methods without the need to constantly toggle QuickPinyin on/off.
  • Added: Quiet updates. No update available = no pop-up.
  • Misc: Improved and simplified updater code.
  • Misc: General code tidy-up.
  • Misc: Readme.txt tidy-up.

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#19 therearenights

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 04:17 PM

Hi, Manuel!
Just dropped in to thank you for QuickPinyin, it's seriously helpful and saves a lot, and I mean A LOT, of time :) I've been using it for a couple of months and on various systems and never have had any trouble.

So, thanks again!

A.
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#20 Manuel

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 03:24 AM

Cool!
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