Chinese Computing
in MS Windows


1. System Requirements

2. Chinese Inputting Software

2.1. Chinese Font Packages
2.2. Microsoft IME for Simplified Chinese

       2.2.1. Windows 95/98/ME/NT/ + MS Office 2000
       2.2.2. Windows 95/98/ME/NT/ + MS Office XP
       2.2.3. Windows 2000
       2.2.4. Windows XP
2.3. Other Chinese Softwares
3. Word Processing in Chinese

4. Viewing Chinese Online


1. System Requirements

Note: For the purpose of Chinese computing, it is preferable to use MS Internet Explorer as your Web browser because of its better support of Chinese capability than other browsers such as Netscape.


2. Inputting Software: Microsoft Global IME for Chinese

To display and input Chinese characters in Windows, you need to have two things installed on your computer: 1) Chinese fonts and 2) a Chinese inputting software  (the so-called IME or Imputing Method Editor). Microsoft provides both as free Windows updates, but there are different downloadable files for different Windows systems and different versions of MS Office Suite. You should get the right files for your system.


2.1. Font Packages for Users of Windows 95/98/ME/NT

There are two font packages, one supporting simplified Chinese and the other traditional Chinese. They install Chinese fonts in your Windows system so that your MS applications, especially Internet Explorer and Word, can display Chinese characters. You need both for the work of this class. Read the instructions at the two Microsoft download sites (for simplified Chinese;for traditional Chinese). Or simply click the following links to download the files.

You don't have to download these files if you are running Windows 2000 or Windows XP, because both Windows come with the fonts on the CD-ROM (see sections 2.2.3 and 2.2.4 for details about installation).


2.2. MS IME for Simplified Chinese

Because this IME uses Pinyin method to generate Chinese characters in English Windows, it is called MS Pinyin IME (shortened as MSPY).  I recommend this software not only because it is free, but also because it works well with major Microsoft applications such as MS Word and Internet Explorer, which are what we will use in this class. At this point, there are two versions of MSPY for MS Office 2000 and MS Office XP respectively. Make sure which Office Suite you are using.

2.2.1. For Users of Windows 98/ME/NT + MS Office 2000
  • After you download the file into a specific folder on your computer, double click on it to install. You need to restart your computer after installation.
2.2.2. For Users of Windows 98 /ME/NT + MS Office XP
2.2.3. For Users of Windows 2000
  • You don't need to download the IME because your Windows CD-ROM comes with it. Just get your Windows CD-ROM ready, for Windows needs to add files for installing fonts and IME.
  • In Control Panel (from Start-->Settings-->Control panel), select  "Regional Options." On the "General" tab, select "Simplified Chinese" and "Traditional Chinese" in the box of "Language settings for the system," as shown below:

  • Click the "Input Locale" tab. Select "Add," and then select "Chinese (PRC)" and "Chinese (Simplified) - MS-PinYin98" from the list as shown below:

  • Once you click OK, if you have gone through the right procedure, your selection of "Chinese (PRC)" will appear in the box of "Input language" as shown below:

  • Click OK and restart your computer for the reconfiguration to take effect.


2.2.4. For Users of Windows XP
  • Get your Windows XP CD-ROM ready, for Windows needs to add files during installation.
  • In Control Panel (from Start-->Settings-->Control panel), select  "Regional Options." On the "Languages" tab, select "Install files for East Asian languages" as shown below:

  • Now click on the "Details" button. In the pop-up window of "Text Services and Input Languages," click on the "Add" button. In window of "Add Input Language," select "Chinese (PRC)" and "Chinese (Simplified) - Microsoft Pinyin IME 3.0" as shown below:

  • Once you click OK, if you have gone through the right procedure, your selection of "Chinese (PRC)" will appear in the box of "Installed services" as shown below. Now, if you want, you can also configure the language Bar to your preference. Then click OK to exit. You will have to restart Windows for this new configuration to take effect.

2.3. Other Chinese Software

There is a number of Chinese inputting software on the market. The following list includes the most sophisticated ones. These softwares give you both Chinese fonts and Chinese IMEs. All companies offer trial versions that you can download for free. But they are limited either in terms of functions or trial period. 


3. Chinese Word Processing with MS Pinyin IME

3.1. Getting Started

Now your computer should have the two following capabilities:

3.2. Entering Chinese Characters in MS Word

In English Windows, MS Pinyin IME is activated only when Microsoft programs such as Word, Outlook Express, Excel are launched for word processing. It is also activated when you need to enter text in Internet Explorer, such as in the Discussion Board of Blackboard using the Web browser. As the Pinyin IME is activated, you should be able to see an icon with "EN" on the Windows screen:

MSPY 2 with Office 2000

MSPY 3 with Office XP

3.2.1. The "EN" icon sits in the task tray at the lower right corner of your screen:

The "EN" icon appears at the upper right corner, but moves to the task tray when minimized.

3.2.2. Click on the EN icon to select the Pinyin IME

3.2.3. Once you select the Chinese IME, the language control bar pops up. It looks different between MSPY 2 and MSPY 3.

3.2.4. The basic functions of the control bar.

3.2.5. Now, if you are using MS Word, put your cursor at where you want to enter the Chinese characters and start to type the pinyin. At this point, the interface for both MSPY 2 and MSPY 3 is very similar. 

3.2.6. As you enter the pinyin of the character, the bar of candidate characters appear. You may either press the number or click on the desired character for selection. If the character you need is not in the list, click the right arrow on the candidate bar (or press the + key) to get another list. If the character you enter has dots beneath it, that means the character remains editable. Use the right or left arrow key on the keyboard to move between editable characters. Once you have got the right character (or characters) you want, press "Enter" to confirm your choice and the dots disappear. For more information about word processing with IME, read the Help document (right click on the "嶄" button to reach it).

4. Viewing Chinese on the Internet

4.1. Several  Types of Encoding of Chinese characters

4.2. Viewing Chinese Web Pages or Online Documents

Depending on the Web site you are visiting (simplified or traditional characters? authored in Taiwan or mainland China?), choose the right encoding in Internet Explorer to obtain the adequate display of characters as shown in the following picture (View-->Encoding-->More-->Chinese Simplified). Sometimes, even if you have selected the right encoding, the characters will look messed up after you turn to another Web page. In such a case, select the encoding again to refresh the page.

If you have more questions, contact Dr. Lan at