typing in Pinyin on a Windows 2000/XP system

Jason Frazier has used the free Microsoft keyboard layout creator to devise a keyboard method for entering Pinyin texts with tone marks. This will work on Windows 2000 and XP systems.

Basically, to type a vowel with a tone mark, first press the key corresponding to the tone you want and then the vowel (or “v” for ü). Many may find this method preferable to using an online tool that converts Pinyin tone numbers to tone marks (my own online converter being desperately in need of an update) or a separate program such as Wenlin (or its free but tremendously useful demo version).

To download and install this Pinyin-entry tool, follow the directions on Jason’s Web page. I’ve added a screenshot below to help clarify part of the installation process.

screenshot of method to add pinyin keyboard layout

11 thoughts on “typing in Pinyin on a Windows 2000/XP system

  1. Excellent work! Of course this assumes everyone knows where to put the tone mark: on the first vowel unless the first vowel is “i”, “u” or “ü”. I sure never learned that in school. I had to look it up on my own years later, promptly forgot it, and looked it up again when making a Word macro for pinyin. Other helpful shortcuts are in the Wikipedia entry on Pinyin, under “Rules for placing the tone mark”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinyin

  2. This worked out perfectly for my XP system. In fact, I sent it on to a number of other students (xuésheng) in my class.

    Do you have a similar tool for Vista? I recently installed Vista and went to install your keyboard. Unfortunately, Vista would not allow it to be installed. Do you have a work around? Are you planning on providing a work around? If not, do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you so much for this tool.

  3. This is a really easy-to-use tool for typing Chinese pinyin characters! On my Windows XP machine the setup was different than the directions given–maybe I have some different version of control panel. Here’s what worked for me: After running the intallation file, open Control Panel. Open “Regional and Language Options”. Select “Languages” tab. Click “details” button. Click “add” button. Select checkbox “Keyboard layout/IME:”. Select from now activated pull-down menu “US (Pinyin)”. Click OK.

  4. The 1 and 3 do not produce the tonal marks over the vowels when used with Chinese Homework Trainer version 3.5.6. 2 and 4 DO work. I don’t know how to contact the author.

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