How To Add Chinese Input Method in Windows 8


I am Chinese. Every computer I use extensively must have an additional input method that allows me to type in Chinese. Windows 8 is no different, since I have started using it on daily basis. Here is how I add it.

To add it

First, press Win + W to bring up Setting Search charm and type in “language”, and choose Language to open Language window.

Language Input Method - launch

Click Add a language in Change your language preferences settings.

Language Input Method - add language

Find your language from the long list, in this case, it’s Chinese (Simplified). And double click to add it. Once it’s done, the Language window looks something like this.

Language Input Method - language added

Now click Option to change input settings. For the input I choose, Pinyin SimpleFast, there are a lot of options for me to check and change. I especially like the UI customization where I can change the font to make my input experience much enjoyable.

Language Input Method - input option

Now, save the change, go back to Language window. It’s time to set up the hot keys to make the switching input methods much easier. Go to Advanced Settings, and click Change language bar hot keys.

Language Input Method - set up hot keys

Highlight the input method from the list, and click Change Key Sequence button. I like to use Ctrl+Shift+0 to switch from English to Chinese input.

Language Input Method - set up hot keys screen

To use it

At any place where I can type, I can simply press Ctrl+Shift+0 to switch to Chinese input, and start typing in Chinese. And press Ctrl+Space to switch back to English. From what I have been using, it works great.

What’s even better is in the Windows 8 app where a balloon pops up at the typing area indicating that you can switch input methods when needed.

Language Input Method - windows 8 app



  1. Hi Kent, hopefully maybe you can help me in this. I’m teaching chinese language in schools. When typing word documents, I used to be able to put the hanyu pinyin on top of the chinese characters I need to, but with windows 8, I can’t seem to find this function in word.

    • It’s a Word feature so it should still work in Windows 8. It’s the Phonetic Guide feature that puts the ruby characters on top of another character. I’ve attached a screenshot that shows where you can locate it in Word 2013.


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