Chinese Keyboard Entry (Win)

Setting Up a Chinese Keyboard in Windows 10

Windows Regional and Language Options control several options on your computer that may vary by region. Formats, Location, keyboards and Languages and Administrative Options. You can edit documents in multiple languages by changing the language (the input language) in which you type. Input languages are included with Windows, but you need to add them to your list of languages before you can use them.

Important Note: Whenever changing languages, be sure you have "English (United States)" selected as your default Windows Display Language!!! If not, your Windows system will render in the language you defaulted to or the language that is at the top of your selection list!

  1. Click the Start button then clicking the Control Panel icon (the Gear Icon).

    Windows Keyboard Setup

  2. In the Windows Setting window, click on the Time & Language menu item.

    Windows Keyboard Setup

  3. In the left-hand sidebar of the Time & Language menu item, select the Language option.

    Windows Keyboard Setup

  4. In the Language menu option, go to the approximate center of the window, and choose the ADD A LANGUAGE option by clicking on the "+" button.

    Windows Keyboard Setup

  5. In the search bar at the top of the “Choose a Language to Install” menu option, type in your language and select the main keyboard for that language. In this example, we typed in "Chinese".

    For beginning Chinese Mandarin learners, we recommend that you select the "Chinese (Simplified, China)" keyboard option.

    For advanced Chinese Mandarin learners who are learning traditional characters, we recommend that you select the "Chinese (Traditional, Taiwan)" keyboard option.

    Press the NEXT button to continue.

    Windows Keyboard Setup
  6. If your selected language provides for it, make sure that “basic typing” is checked, and choose optional add-ons such as Speech and Handwriting. Make sure the “Install Language Pack” checkbox option is set as well. Press the NEXT button to continue.

    Windows Keyboard Setup

  7. Once the language pack is installed successfully, the Language window will display both English and your selected Language options.

    Windows Keyboard Setup

  8. For the Chinese (Simplified, China) keyboard selection, your default keyboard will be the Microsoft IME layout (Input Method Editor).

  9. Close out the Settings windows.

  10. In the lower right-hand corner of your Windows desktop, you should see a language option entitled ENG. This means you have English set for your keyboard. Click the ENG button on your system tray to change the language. The Chinese Microsoft IME icon will have a stylized "" symbol.

    Windows Keyboard Setup
  11. To the left of the IME selection you will see either a "中" symbol or a "英" symbol. For English letter input, select the 英 mode. For pinyin input, select the 中 mode.
  12. When you right-click on the Microsoft IME 拼 icon, you can select between various options, such as setting character width to half or full, selecting various charater sets, using Emoji, etc. There are also several Windows keyboard shortcuts to speed up character entry as you become more proficient in using the Microsoft IME.

    Windows Keyboard Setup
  13. By clicking the "Settings" option, the Windows Preference pane appears and allows you to customize general settings, key and touchbar settings, Dictionaries, and Appearance of the input bar.

    Windows Keyboar Setup


Here are some general keyboard shortcuts as you work within the Microsoft IME:

Press this key

To do this


Switch between English and Chinese mode.

Shift + Space

Switch character width between full-width and half-width.

Ctrl + symbol (e.g., Ctrl + comma)

Insert the corresponding full-width symbol.

Note: If a symbol corresponds to a shifted key, you need to press Shift before pressing the symbol key. (e.g., Ctrl + Shift + ? to insert “?”)

Backquote (`) + symbol key (e.g., Backquote + comma)

Insert the corresponding full-width symbol.

Note: If a symbol corresponds to a shifted key, you need to press Shift before pressing the symbol key. (e.g., Backquote + Shift + ? to insert “?”)
Effective in Chinese mode.

Ctrl + Alt + comma

Show the symbol keyboard. You can insert a symbol by continuously pressing a corresponding key.

Note: Effective in Chinese mode.

Backquote (`) + U + Unicode + Space

Insert a corresponding character (e.g., Backquote + U + “4e00” + Space to insert "一").

Note: Effective in Chinese mode.

Backquote (`) + B + Big5 codepoint

Insert a corresponding character (e.g., Backquote + B + “A440” to insert "一").

Note: Effective in Chinese mode.

Using Pinyin

For this input mode, you will want to select the Microsoft IME input source and then select the "" symbol.

As you begin typing in Chinese Mandarin phonetically, a candidate window appears to give you various options of Mandarin. When you see the candidate you need, press the numberr key corresponding to the candidate and then press the space key to confirm the candidate. Your conversion then appears on the page you are typing in.

When you type, apostrophes are automatically inserted separating kanji, and the candidate list appears by default. To navigate the candidate list, there are just a few things to remember:

  • To accept the highlighted choice, press Space or click/tap on that choice
  • or type the number next a character, or click/tap on any character in the list
  • To move through the list one-by-one, use the "down arrow" and "up arrow" keys
  • to move through the list page-by-page:
          hover over an end to reveal an arrow button and click there, or
          press the "[" and "]" bracket keys, or
          press the "Page up" and "Page down" keys
  • Click on the smiley face at the far right end of the candidate list or press Ctrl-Shift-B to bring up the list.