How to Type Chinese on a Computer

April 13, 2015


Learning Chinese? You need to learn how to type pinyin on your computer. Here's how:


  1. Go to System Preferences
  2. Choose Keyboard
  3. Choose Input Sources
  4. Click +
  5. Select Chinese (Simplified) - Pinyin - Simplified then click Add
  6. Make sure 'Show Input menu in menu bar' is checked.
  7. Use the language icon in the menubar at the top to switch modes.


  1. Click on the Windows Start menu button, then click 'Control Panel'.
  2. Find 'Clock, Language and Region' and click on 'Change keyboards or other input methods'.
  3. Click on 'Change Keyboards' (don't worry you'll still be able to use your English keyboard!).
  4. Click on add
  5. Scroll down and click the checkbox next to  'Chinese (Simplified) - Microsoft Pinyin IME'.
  6. Click ok here and in Region and Languages as well.
  7. You can now change to Chinese pinyin entry using the Language Bar in the lower right of your screen


To type Chinese, simply select 'Chinese' language and then type pinyin using your keyboard. You'll be presented with a number of different characters. Select the number of the character/s you want. E.g. If I want to type 'hello' in Chinese (see below), I would press '1' on my keyboard and the characters '你好' will then appear where you're typing. If you can't see the character you want, press the arrow down key to see more options.

typing characters