Pinyin Input on XP

Adding Pinyin input to Word and other Windows applications.


Firstly ... with regards umlaut-u, ü & Ü

On the standard US layout umlaut-u, ü and Ü can be entered by using the keys

  • ctrl-alt-y for ü, and
  • ctrl+alt+shift+Y for Ü

Alternatively by using the numeric keypad (with the num lock on) and 

  • holding down alt and typing 129 and releasing alt  to get ü, and
  • holding down alt and typing 154 and releasing alt  to get Ü

Pin yin input - Method 1: Mapping shortcut keys within Microsoft Word

This method involves mapping short cuts to insert the appropriate symbols from a Unicode font into your Word document. This method only works for MS Word, and is not overly transportable.

To start with you may need to capture the current shortcut keys to work out what keys you want to use ...

To Save or Print a list of Word keyboard shortcuts [Optional]

  1. Select the menu item Tools > Macro > Macros...
  2. Select Word commands from the Macros in: drop-down list
  3. Select ListCommands from the Macro name: list box
  4. Click Run
  5. In the List Commands dialog select All Word commands
  6. Click OK
  7. Save or print at your leisure!

To set-up Word keyboard shortcuts for pin yin input

  1. Have a think and choose the keyboard shortcuts that you wish to use
    I use ctrl+1, ctrl+2,ctrl+3,ctrl+4 - matching the standard tone numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 - 1234 are also next to the ` key and what I have used for the pin yin input keyboard described below
  2. Select the menu item Insert > Symbol...
  3. Select a Unicode font such as Arial from the Font: drop-down list
  4. Select  Latin Extended-A from near the top of the Subset: drop-down list
  5. The following needs to be repeated for each tone, tones 1 through 4 ...
  6. The following needs to be repeated for each vowel, aAoOeEiIuUüÜ ...
  7. Find and select the vowel and tone such as ā
  8. Click Shortcut key...
  9. In the Press new shortcut key: text entry line enter the series of keys you want to use for this tone and vowel (for example press Ctrl+1 then A, this will appear as Ctrl+1,A in the text field)
  10. Click Assign
  11. Click Close
  12. Reapeat until done ...

Here is a Microsoft Word Normal template with the keys already defined as

  aA oO eE iI uU yY
ctrl+1 āĀ ōŌ ēĒ īĪ ūŪ ǖǕ
ctrl+2 áÁ óÓ éÉ íÍ úÚ ǘǗ
ctrl+3 ăĂ ŏŎ ĕĔ ĭĬ ŭŬ ǚǙ
ctrl+4 àÀ òÒ èÈ ìÌ ùÙ ǜǛ
` Standard dead key  

Normal document template (zipped) ...

This will need to be unzipped and copied into your templates directory ...

for example

  1. Close Microsoft Windows 
  2. In Explorer go to C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates
  3. Copy your old file and name it something like
  4. Open the file and copy the file next to
  5. Restart Word
  6. Fin!

Pinyin input - Method 2: New keyboard layout

Microsoft supply a Keyboard layout editor, you can find it the Microsoft Download Center: Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator... With this tool it is possible to build a new keyboard layout with te additional dead keys and unicode input defined.

The disadvantage is that these keys may be overriden by other applications ... like MS Word for instance (sigh) ... making some of the key strokes unavailable. In such cases either reconfigure the application (by reallocating shortcuts for example) ... or copy and paste out of less sophisticated  application such as Notepad.

For those who don't want to build their own layout ... I have included my own layout here which has the keys bound as defined above for the Word shortcut keys. Download now. You will need to run the zipped installer and restart. Thus for XP:

  1. Download the
  2. Open the zip and run the installer
  3. Open the Text Services and Input Languages control panel; either from
  • from the Languages Tab of the Regional and Language Options contol panel, Click Details... ; or
  • From the Languages tool bar, select Settings...
  • Click Add...
  • From the Keyboard layout/IME: drop-down list in the Add Input language, select United States - International (Pinyin)
  • Click OK, to add the keyboard layout
  • Click Apply
  • Click OK to dismiss Text Services and Input Languages
  • Restart, to make sure that the new keyboard layout is available to all applications
  • Upon starting, open your favourite application
  • On the language tool-bar select the keyboard layout United States - International (Pinyin)
  • Try it out ...
  • Which for me ... works for most applications, except Word of course ... which has so many keyboard shortcuts already defined as to be next to useless. (See the previous method).

    Best of luck!