Chinese Input - Step by Step Instruction on How to Input Chinese Characters in English Windows XP

Enabling Chinese input is quick and easy, there are only a few steps you need go through to install the Chinese Language support and input method before you can type Chinese in your word processor or other program.

We have broken the steps to 3 different sections for your easier to read and follow. The steps are written based on Windows XP, and the configuration is similar with other version of Microsoft Operating systems.

Step I - Install East Asian Languages

Depending on the selections you choose when installing Windows XP, you may or may not have East Asian Languages installed. Follow these steps to check whether or not your computer supports East Asian languages.

* From Start -> Settings -> Control Panel

* Double-click Regional and Language Options

* Click on the Languages tab

- If "Install files for East Asian languages" under "Supplemental language support" section is checked, then you can skip to the step II.

- If the box is NOT checked, you need check on the box of "Install files for East Asian Languages", then click Apply button to do the install.

You may need your Windows XP CD. Installing these files will allow you to use Chinese, Japanese, and Korean in your computer

Step II - Add Services for Typing Chinese

* After East Asian Languages pack is installed, click "Details" button under the Languages tab of Regional and Language Options.

* On the Settings tab of the new window, Click Add.

* In the "Input language" list, select Chinese (Taiwan) for traditional Chinese characters or Chinese (PRC) for simplified characters. You can add other input languages as well

* To install Chinese Pinyin Input Method In the same window, from the "Keyboard Layout/IME" list, select Chinese (PRC)- Chinese (Simplified) - Microsoft Pinyin IME 3.0

* Click Apply

After this step, your settings configuration should look like the screen shot displayed on this page:

Step III - Use Your Keyboard to Type Chinese Characters

After installing East Asian support and adding services for Chinese, you are ready to input Chinese into your word-processor or email programs.

* On your Toolbar at the right hand side, you should see a language bar, letters "EN" for English, "CH" for Chinese

* Click this button to change languages or use ALT+SHIFT key combination to switch between languages.

- By switching to the Chinese setting, you can now type Chinese characters in most software applications and browses using Pinyin and accent numbers(1-4).

- Use the ARROW KEYS to toggle between characters until you find the character you need.

- To temporarily switch between typing Chinese and English, you can simply press the SHIFT key on your keyboard.

And that's it! You're ready to work on Chinese now!

Later on when you learn about new Chinese input method, you can add other Keyboard Layout/IME options, e.g. Chinese(Simplified) - Neima, Chinese(Simplified) - Quanpin, Chinese(Simplifed) - Shuangpin, etc.

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The goal of Learn Chinese Language Online (LCLO) is to reduce the Mandarin Learning curve, promote and introduce the most efficient way to grasp the broad foundation of Chinese language.

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