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Does using the IME to type Chinese have to be a PITA?


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I have more and more friends that require that I use Chinese to chat with. Right now I am using win 7 with the ime that comes with it. I find it really annoying to have to keep going down to the tray to change the language from English to Chinese, and back again.

Is there any easy solution to this?

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Use Google Pinyin, and you can use the 'Shift' key to temporarily switch between English and Chinese without leaving the IME. This may or may not also work in the default Win7 IME.

Alternatively you can use the default windows short cuts for changing IMEs:

Alt-Shift - Change Locale

Ctrl-Shift - Change IME within current Locale.

Also, there is usually a quick shortcut of Ctrl-Space for most Chinese IMES that will switch between English and Chinese.

Any one of those 3 methods should sort things out.

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Google pinyin for PC -> http://www.google.com/intl/zh-CN/ime/pinyin/

Google pinyin for Android -> https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.inputmethod.pinyin

PS - I think google pinyin is excellent for typing standard Chinese. And on PC it is very easy to switch between google pinyin and the ordinary keyboard for English (my setting is Ctrl+Shift). But when I type in English on my phone the Android app is kind of stupid (it automatically selects words that I don't want and it does not seem to be able to learn my vocab) so I don't use it that often on my phone.

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I'm surprised Sogou hasn't come up yet. I haven't used Google's Chinese IME, so I don't know what it's like, but the Japanese one is pretty good. I do like Sogou, though. Switched between Chinese and English is fairly easy (Shift), although sometimes that's a drawback. But if you ever wanted to, switching between simp and trad is a snap -- Ctrl+Shift+"f".

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  • 2 weeks later...

Using google pinyin you can input by stroke order by first pressing u and then the letters representing the strokes, ie, h for 橫,s for 豎,d for 點,p for 撇,z for any strokes that bend. It is the same stroke input system used by cell phones and is convenient for inputting words that the users occasionally don't know how to pronounce. I think that people who use a pinyin input method are those who can and have little need for handwriting input.

Its Android version does support handwriting input.

PS - but of course if you find handwriting input useful you should use an IME that supports it.

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