Setting Up Windows XP for Mandarin Input

01
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Open "Regional and Language Options"

Regional and Language Options
Microsoft product screen shot reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation.

Access the Control Panel by clicking on Start --> Settings --> Control Panel. In the Control Panel, double click on "Regional and Language Options."

02
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Install Files for East Asian Languages

Install Files for East Asian Languages
Microsoft product screen shot reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation.

Click on the "Languages" tab. If you have not done so already, you can install files for East Asian languages by clicking on the check box and clicking OK. Follow the on-screen directions for installing these files and then return to this tutorial.

Once the files for the East Asian languages have been installed, click the "Details" button to install one or more Chinese input languages.

03
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Add a Chinese Input Language

Add a Chinese Input Language
Microsoft product screen shot reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation.

In the "Text Services and Input Languages" box, click the "Add" button to add Chinese as an input language.

There are several Chinese input languages to choose from. All of these input languages can be installed, but it is recommended to limit the input languages to "Chinese (PRC)" for simplified Chinese characters and "Chinese (Taiwan)" for traditional characters.

04
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Choose a Keyboard Layout

Choose a Keyboard Layout
Microsoft product screen shot reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation.

Each Input language has its own Keyboard Layout. Choose "Microsoft Pinyin" for simplified Chinese.

There are many input methods for "Chinese (PRC)." You can add them all if you wish, but "Microsoft Pinyin" is the most important for Mandarin learners.

You can also install "Chinese (Taiwan") for traditional characters. Choose "Microsoft New Phonetic" as the Keyboard layout.

05
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Set the Properties for the Keyboard Layout

Set the Properties for the Keyboard Layout
Microsoft product screen shot reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation.

There is no need to change the default settings for "Microsoft Pinyin" but if you have chosen "Microsoft New Phonetic" for traditional Chinese characters, click on the "Properties" button.

Most of the options under the "Setting" tab should be left unchanged. You may wish to change the "Default mode" so that either Chinese or English is selected when you first choose this input language.

Click the "Keyboard Mapping" tab and select "HanYu Pinyin" as the input method.

All done!

Now check out our Pinyin input tutorial for using your newly installed Chinese input language.