How to type Chinese using Pinyin
Select your operating system for a guide on how to enable Chinese text input.
How to type Chinese on MacOS - El Capitan, Sierra, Mojave, OSX
Go to System Preferences...
Choose Input Sources
, then click +
Select Chinese (Simplified)
- Pinyin - Simplified
then click Add
Make sure Show Input menu in menu bar
Use the language icon in menubar to switch modes.
Typing in Chinese using Pinyin
Type in Pinyin, and select the character.
It is a good idea to create a keyboard shortcut to switch between input modes. Control + Space is a popular choice.
Go to System Preferences... Keyboard Shortcuts Input Sources
Check Select the previous input source
and set the shortcut to ^Space
What native Chinese people actually do:
Most people who live in mainland China install a 3rd-party input method. Sogou Pinyin Input is very popular.
The Sogou input method has advantages:
- It is partially cloud based, and will add new words as they become common in Chinese.
- It learns from what you type. For instance, if your home address uses a rare Chinese character, it will learn this and make it a top suggestion, rather than requiring you to frequently scroll through lists of characters.
- It has other advanced features.
The downside is the software must monitor all keystrokes to function, so you need administrator privileges to install it.