How to type Chinese on a Mac (OS Mavericks)

Typing Chinese on your Mac is easy! OS Mavericks (and most versions of Mac OS) has a pinyin input tool built in already, so all you need to do is set it up and use it!


1. Open up the System Preferences menu:
Screenshot 2015-11-22 11.52.24

2. Select the Language and Region option:Screenshot 2015-11-22 11.52.48

3. Click the + button under “Preferred Languages” and select “Chinese (Traditional)” or “Chinese (Simplified)” as you prefer.

Screenshot 2015-11-22 12.09.03

Screenshot 2015-11-22 12.09.13

4. To alternate between English input and Chinese input you can either select the little flag icon at the top right hand side of your menu bar and check “Pinyin – Simplified” (or “Pinyin – Traditional” if you chose that option):Screenshot 2015-11-22 12.08.34

5. … or you can use the Keyboard shortcut (recommended).  To set this up, go to “Keyboard Preferences” in the “Language and Region” panel:Screenshot 2015-11-22 12.09.41

6. Go to “Shortcuts” in the top bar menu, then “Input Sources” on the  left hand side:Screenshot 2015-11-22 11.54.41

Here you’ll see the default keyboard shortcuts to alternate between input sources.  Change them if you want to whatever you like – the default option I have here to select the previous input source is Ctrl + Space bar.

7.  When you do hit Ctrl + Space bar (or whatever you’ve set the keyboard shortcut to), you’ll see the shadowed box below pop up in the middle of the screen, and you can alternate easily between typing in English and Chinese.

Screenshot 2015-11-22 11.55.22

Happy typing!


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