Character Introduction 3 – Writing vs. Typing

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How to Type Chinese Characters with Pinyin Input?

Thanks for joining ChineseFor.Us Hands-on Writing Course. In this introduction we will talk about how to input Chinese characters using Chinese Pinyin input. Nowadays even native Chinese speakers type Chinese characters a lot more than they would write them, so you don’t necessarily have to memorize how to write them by heart. And as long as you can recognize Chinese characters and know their pronunciation (Pinyin spelling), typing them cannot be easier. Let’s watch this video lesson and learn how to input Chinese characters right away!



  • type Chinese characters
  • Chinese Pinyin input
  • Chinese input
  • recognize Chinese characters


  1. How to input Chinese characters?
  2. Why is it important to recognize Chinese characters?
  3. What’s the difference between typing Chinese characters and writing them?
  4. How to use Chinese Pinyin Input?


How to input Chinese Characters?

When you write Chinese characters, you write them stroke by stroke (unless you’re writing 草书 [cǎo shū] cursive style).

When you type Chinese characters, you use Chinese Pinyin Input: type Chinese Pinyin syllables, get a list of all characters sharing this Pinyin sound and select the character you want.

How does writing help us recognize Chinese Characters?

To input Chinese characters cannot be easier, but for you select the correct Chinese characters, you will have to be able to recognize Chinese characters at least.

Memorizing the look of the characters could be easy as long as:

  1. you know the stroke and element construction of the characters—this is the understanding part
  2. you practice writing each character a few times—because this helps in memorizing them.

Typing in Chinese

How to Type Chinese Characters on Any System

For those who are just starting to learn Chinese, we recommend using the default Chinese Pinyin Input that comes with your device. Most devices already have this input method installed and it is easy to use, making it a great option for beginners.

When selecting the input language, be sure to choose "Chinese Pinyin (Simplified)" to ensure that you are using the correct input method for simplified Chinese characters.

If you are already familiar with the Chinese system and want to explore other input methods, there are some third-party input methods that work well. However, these input methods may not have English settings, which can be difficult for complete Chinese beginners to navigate. As a beginner, it is recommended that you stick with the default Chinese Pinyin Input on your device to make it easier to operate the input settings in your own language.

For those who are more experienced with the Chinese language, there are other desktop/laptop Pinyin input methods that we recommend, including Google Pinyin Input, Baidu Input, Sougou Input, and QQ Input.

In addition to Pinyin input, there is also the Wubi method (五笔输入法, wǔ bǐ shū rù fǎ), which is another popular Chinese input method. This method places different Chinese character components onto the computer keyboard, allowing you to type any character by typing its components. While the Wubi method may take more time and practice to pick up than Pinyin input, it can be a great option for those who are more comfortable with this method.

Remember, as you continue to learn Chinese, it is important to explore different input methods and find the one that works best for you. With the right input method, you'll be typing Chinese characters with ease in no time.

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