Learn Chinese in China
imron

Pinyinput - Type Pinyin with Tone Marks

378 posts in this topic

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Cool stuff! I noticed a few things:

1. The installation program hung and bringing up task manager revealed that it was taking up 99% of system resources. After killing it and running it again, though, it said that Pinyinput was already installed(which it was).

2. Not a problem, but for anyone who has no experience with other IMEs like me, you can access Pinyinput by clicking on the MSPY icon in your language bar and selecting it from the list.

3. I noticed that in unchecked input, if you delete a letter with a tone mark over it, the tone mark will somehow remain "floating" and attach itself to other letters you type underneath it. Not sure exactly how to reproduce it.

Great tool though and very useful! Thanks for releasing this free!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's strange that the installer would hang. There are no loops in the code, so I can't imagine what's causing it. It pretty much just copies the file, sets a few registry settings and exits. What version of Windows are you running?

Also, regarding the floating tones, what program were you typing in? If you do manage to figure out a way to reproduce it let me know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I just tested it out on a couple of other machines, the first one had no problem, but the second one produced the same hang in the installer. It seemed to be being caused because I was loading and activating the IME in the installer, and activating it there seemed to cause problems. So now it doesn't do that, and it shouldn't hang - at least it no longer hangs on the other machine I tested it on. If you wouldn't mind downloading it again and trying to see if it fixed the problem, it'd be much appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there!!

This sounds so great!!! i´m afraid i´m a complete beginner with computer´s stuff (although i´ve been using it for 15 years now) and don´t know how to work with it. It said "installation completed" but I can´t make it work!! Could you please explain all the steps I have to follow in a very basic way?

Thanks for your help guys,

Lalibela

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-moved this post and pictures to the first post-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One other thing, if you can't see the second icon displayed on the language bar, you can right click on the first icon, and one of the options should be something like "Adjust language bar position". This will make sure that all icons on the language bar are fully displayed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First post - thanks for that tool, very handy. It installed fine for me (XP Home) and works fine with the little bit of playing I've done so far. I'm just getting back into learning Chinese and this will help a lot making up my own notes.

Cheers!:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Imron,

I tried to install your Pinyin Input on my work computer (XP Pro) and got a message - "You need admininstrator priviliges to install Pinyininput". I know I do on that PC - can change registry and can install other IME's, etc. Do you think, you can address this issue?

Thanks for your wonderful work,

Regards,

Anatoli

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are two things Pinyinput requires administrator privileges for. 1) write access to the windows system folder (usually c:windowssystem32), and 2) write access to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry subkeys (which usually have a different level of access to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER subkeys).

If you are certain you have access to these things, then you can try manually installing it using the files I've attached to this post. There are 2 files in the zip, one is pinyinput.ime which is the actual IME, and the other is an installer that will copy the file to the system folder and also update the registry so that pinyinput will appear in the text services and input methods dialog box.

To use them, unzip the files to a temporary directory, and run "installer.exe". It's best if you run this from the command line, so you can see the output (this will let you know if there were any errors). The installer doesn't check for administrator privileges and just assumes it can copy and setup everything. It also doesn't setup the uninstaller, so if you want to uninstall Pinyinput, you will have to delete the ime file and remove the relevant registry entries manually. Anyway, if everything was ok, you should see something like this:

-------------- Installing Pinyinput ---------------

Copying pinyinput.ime to c:windowssystem32pinyinput.ime...OK

Installing Pinyinput...OK

---------------------- Done -----------------------

(if there were any problems, it will say Error instead of OK).

Once that's done, you now need to set Pinyinput as one of the available Input Methods, so pull up the text services dialog box (the easiest way is to right-click on the language bar and choose settings).

In this dialog box, click add, and then choose Chinese (PRC) for the input language. Pinyinput should now be one of the choices displayed in the keyboard layout/input method combo box. Select it, and click ok, and Pinyinput should now be available for use in the language bar.

Let me know if you can install it using this method.

Edit:Removed zip file, as it contained an older version of pinyinput, without any of the recent bug-fixes.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

xièxie nǐ. gōngzuò le hěn hào! :) wǒ juéde nǐde shūrùfǎ hěn búcuò a.

Thanks a lot. I had no problem with manual install, it proves I have Administrator rights. Maybe the way the application does it causes this error (is it using the same account?). In case you have some issues with some other users, you might want to check.

I see a lot of benefit from the tool for Chinese learners, teachers and forera :)

Cheers,

Anatoli

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It makes a pretty standard Win32 API call for checking privileges - NetUserGetInfo(), which returns privileges as either USER_PRIV_ADMIN, USER_PRIV_USER or USER_PRIV_GUEST. I'm calling it to get the user info of the currently logged in user, on the local machine. Out of curiosity, can you confirm whether or not your work account is an actual administrator account, or just a power user account? (This can be done in Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Computer Management, and then checking to see which user groups your user name is part of). I wonder if this is responsible for causing the false-negative.

In any case, I'll change the installer to check instead specifically for write access to the system dir, and registry, rather than just doing a blanket check for admin rights.

Anyway, I'm glad you like it. Be sure to tell your friends :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are using Novell system, which hides a lot of information (I think) because I couldn't find my user ID in the list of users (under Local Users and Groups -> Users folder). I haven't installed it at home but I am sure I won't have this security problem :)

If you change the installer and reattach it to your first post, let me know if you want me to test it.

Be sure to tell your friends :-)

Yes, of course :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very useful! Thanks imron!

I'd be great to get the various local governments in China to use this software when they put the pīnyīn on the street signs. It'd make it a lot easier to remember the tones of strange characters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anyway, I'm glad you like it. Be sure to tell your friends :-)

Friends? I'm telling everyone. :o)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a bit late but this is great software. I like the integration a lot, much better then Nj Star.

Thanks

P.S. A quick note on the forced rule based typing (not sure what you called it).

When I want to type biān I have to check the little check mark to deactivate the forced check on spelling and tones. With the check mark active I can only type b, I can't input the ian.

Also, I noticed that when I enter a tone it get's entered on the last letter typed. If you ever do an upgrade a good idea would be to have Pinyinput place the tone over the correct character automatically. Should be easy since it just follows a,e,i,o,u sequentially.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and also allow a zero to remove the tone mark again! (Sorry if it already does this. Haven't checked lately)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my coworkers just arrived in China from England and she's been studying hard. This morning, she asked me if there was such a thing as a pinyin keyboard, to which I replied, "nothing convenient".

Strange coincidence I read this post today. I'll be able to share with her tomorrow and her Mandarin will improve thanks to you. Greatly appreciated imron!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Late to the party as ever... many thanks for a useful tool...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hero Doug> There was a bug with the checked version where it would randomly refuse correct input. I've fixed this now, and will upload a new version shortly.

Regarding the placement of the tone, in checked mode (the one with the tick) the tone should already be placed automatically on the correct letter, so typing xiang3 will output xiǎng, and dei3 will output děi. In unchecked mode the tone is placed on the last letter typed, so xiang3 will output xianǧ, and dei3 will output deǐ.

Also, tone placement doesn't follow the vowels sequentially (compare duī and diū). A good description of the rules for tone placement can be found here. This is the algorithm pinyinput uses for placing tone marks.

StephanHodges> You can press backspace to delete the tone. Tones are deleted before letters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now