Word97/2000/XP Chinese Input Macro
This input method macro is designed as a free alternative to other
Chinese systems that claim to work with Word97/2000. This macro is not a
way to view existing GB or Big5 files (though I'm working on that
also), but rather a way to input Simplified and Traditional Chinese
into Word97 and view and print it using free, high-quality,
downloadable Chinese Unicode fonts. Using Unicode has the advantage
of allowing both simplified and traditional Chinese characters in one
document. It also makes editing Chinese text easier since Word now
treats the character as one unit rather than two bytes.
Though written for Word97, several people have reported success in
using this macro with Word2000. I have had some problems using it
with Word2000 and Windows 98, but not with Windows 2000. I have recently
updated the macro to incorporate the suggestions that users have sent
in over the past few years. Font handling in particular has been
improved. Macro users should never again encounter the "Can't find a
Chinese font" message.
As a bonus, I've also made a separate macro that converts pinyin
with tone numbers at the end, e.g. "wo3 shi4 mei3guo2ren2", to pinyin
with tone marks above the appropriate vowels. Just follow the
instructions below. I have also included a macro that can place
pinyin above characters or bopomofo next to characters. See the
Pinyin/Zhuyin Macro page
for more information.
First close Word if you are running it, then download and run this macro
install program. It will place the macros in the appropriate directory.
Then follow the directions at "Starting It Up" below.
To use the macro on Word XP, you will need to change the security level for macro virus protection
Now when you restart Word it will ask you if you want to enable macros in three files (chinput.dot, addtones.dot, BoPoMoFo.dot). Click yes for all of them and you will be able to use the macros as usual. You will not need to do these steps again.
- On the Tools menu, click Options.
- Click the Security tab.
- Under Macro Security, click Macro Security.
- Click the Security Level tab, and then select the "Medium" security level.
- Exit Word.
- Install the Chinese Input Macro.
Ming-Chuan Wu has written a web page on
installing the macro that I really like. You might want to visit
Before you start installation, please exit Word 97 if you are
To use this macro, first download this self-extracting compressed
file called chinput2.1.exe.
You can probably do this just by clicking on the preceding link and
then choosing to save the file. Or, on Netscape, you can click on the
right mouse button over the link and then select "Save Link As". (If
this file doesn't work, you could try the older
version of the macro.) Either way, once the file dialog appears,
save chinput.exe in this directory:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\STARTUP".
Depending on your computer, it may be the D: or other drive. This
seems to be a standard location, but if your system does not have it,
you can use the "Find" option off the Start button and look for
"Startup". If you are familiar with the Windows Registry, you
can look up the appropriate directory using the key:
Another easier way to find it is in Word itself. From the main menu select
Tools, then Options, then File Locations, and finally Startup
After saving the file, select "Run" from the Windows "Start"
button. Use "Browse" to go to the directory mentioned above and
select "chinput2.1.exe". When you run, it will ask you where you want to
place the unzipped file. Choose the Startup directory mentioned
above. After running it, there should be a new file called
"chinput.dot" in the Startup directory. You can delete chinput2.1.exe
now to save disk space.
Note that if you do not want to install using the self-extracting
executable, you can alternatively download the plain zip
file or the original chinput.dot
macro file. Either way, chinput.dot needs to end up in the Startup
To use this macro, you must have at least one Chinese Unicode
font installed on your machine. The macro can input both simplfied
and traditional Chinese characters and can use a separate font for
each. These easiest place to get these fonts is on the Word97 (or
Office97) installation CD where they are stored in "\valupack\fareast"
directory and are called Chssupp.exe (simplified) and Chtsupp.exe
(traditional). Thanks to Glen Wintringham for this tip. You can also
download Chinese Unicode fonts off the Internet. A useful
Simplified Chinese font for Windows 95/98/ME can be downloaded
from Microsoft. It says it is for Internet Explorer, but it can also
be used Word97 and other Office97 applications. Follow Microsoft's
instructions for installation. To use the Traditional Chinese input
method for Windows 95/98/ME, download and install Microsoft's
Traditional Chinese Language Pack from the same location. Users
of Windows 2000/XP can find information on
enabling Chinese support at Chinesecomputing.com.
Or, instead of downloading two separate fonts, you
can also just download the one "Bitstream Cyberbit" font from Bitstream.
Finally, you can look in the Unicode
fonts directory at IFCSS for most of the fonts mentioned above.
With the macro and the fonts installed, the input method should be
ready to go.
Starting It Up
After installation, you can now start Word. If the installation
went well, you should be able to press the Control button and Space
bar at the same time and have a input window appear. If this does not
happen, go to Word's menubar and select Tools->Macros (or press
Alt-F8). The list of macros that appears should include
"InsertUnicode". Run this and the input window should appear.
The first time that you run the macro, it will display a list of fonts
on your system. You should select the Chinese font you want to use by
default. It will ask for default fonts for both simplified and
traditional Chinese. These can be different fonts or the same one.
You will not need to select these fonts again. If you want to change
the default Chinese font in the future, you can run the
SetDefaultFontTrad or SetDefaultFontSimp macros (Tools->Macro->Macros)
The first window that appears after starting the macro is used to
input simplified Chinese characters using pinyin. To get traditional
Chinese characters, press Control-Space again. To exit the window,
press Control-Space one more time. If you can't find the
"InsertUnicode" macro at all, make sure that "chinput.dot" is
installed in the correct directory.
If Control-Space does not bring up the input window, you can set
Word to bring it up that way in the future. From the main menu, go to
Tools->Customize and select the "Keyboard" button at the bottom.
Under "Categories" select "Macros" and then under "Commands" select
"InsertUnicode". Use the tab key or your mouse to go to "Press New
Shortcut Key", then press the Control button and the space bar down at
the same time. Finally, click on "Assign" at the right of the window
and then "Close". In the future, you should be able to use
Control-Space to toggle the input method on and off.
Note that the macro will now remember the font setting in effect
before the macro was turned and will restore it when it is turned off.
For example, if the font is set to "Times New Roman" and then you
active the macro, the macro will type in the characters using a
Chinese font, but when you de-activate the macro it will return to
"Times New Roman".
For Word XP Users
Word XP users might get the message "The macros in this project are
disabled." when they first try to run the macro. In that case try
these suggestions I've found on the web:
- To change Office XP macro security settings
- On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and click Security. The Security dialog box appears.
- Click the Security tab.
- Click the Medium option.
- Quit and then restart the Office XP program, and try running the macro. The disabled macros message should not appear, and you should be able to run the macro normally.
- Tools-Macros, Macro security. Click on the SECOND tab. Tell it it's okay to run macros that are in addins and templates on your PC. I keep forgetting that setting in XP. THEN, if you choose Medium, it would ask if you want to enable.
Using the Macro
The first input window that appears after pressing Control-Space is
for typing in simplified Chinese characters. If you want to input
traditional Chinese characters, press Control-Space one more time. To
exit the macro entirely, press Control-Space one more time beyond
Type in the pinyin (without tone) for the character you want. From
the list that appears type the number of the character that matches
the desired character. Pressing the space bar can be used as a short
cut to select the first character. If the desired character is not
among the first ten characters, use the period and comma (or right and
left angle bracket) keys to move back and forth through the sets of
characters. If no characters match the pinyin you have typed, a bell
will sound. The characters are ordered by frequency of use, so the
most commonly used characters appear near the start of the list. This
should help speed up typing.
To enter the pinyin ü (u with umlaut) use a "u" followed
by a colon ":". For example, the word for female (nü) would
be entered as "nu:".
When the pinyin field is blank, any number or punctuation you type
will input its wide equivalent. Pressing 5 will insert a wide 5,
pressing the question mark will insert a wide question mark, etc. Not
all punctuation is implemented yet. To enter the Chinese comma used
in lists, press the Control key and the comma at the same time
When printing documents using this font, I've found sometimes that
the printer properties need to be set to "Print True Type fonts as
graphics". This can be done by:
This is a problem with some printer driver's lack of support for
printing Unicode. Microsoft knows about this problem and has
with a more detailed description and some other solutions.
Alert Macro user Ginger Canlas has also suggested going to the homepage of
your printer manufacturer to see if it has an updated version of your printer driver.
If none of the above solutions works, then I'm afraid
I don't know how else to solve the problem. For example, Microsoft Fax doesn't
have this option so it won't send the Chinese.
- Selecting to print from File->Print on the menu.
- Selecting "Properties" on the dialog that appears (should be in
upper right corner).
- In the new window that appears, select the "Font" screen.
- Select "Print True Type fonts as Graphics"
Some people with non-English versions of Windows have reported problems
using the macro. One user reported that deleting the "Add_Tones" macro
enables the "Insert_Unicode" macro to work. Unfortunately, I don't have
access to other language versions of Windows to test this.
Pinyin Tone Marker
A separate macro file is also available that includes a macro called
"Add_Tones" which takes pinyin with tone numbers and converts it to
pinyin with tone marks above the vowels. First download the file addtones.dot by right clicking on the
link and waiting for a menu to appear. On Netscape select "Save Link
As..." and on Internet Explorer select "Save Target As...". Save the
file in the same Startup directory as specified above for the input
macro. Then restart Word. The macro doesn't actually add the tone
marks to bare pinyin, all of the pinyin must have tone numbers
already. For example, you must first type something like "Wo3
xi3huan1 wo3de5 dian4nao3" with the numbers (1-5) and then you can run
the macro. To add a u with umlaut and tone mark, add a colon after the u.
For example for "woman" type nu:3 .
The macro works with most major fonts such as "Times Roman",
"Arial", and "Courier". Before starting the macro, either place the
cursor before all the pinyin you want to convert, or highlight just
the pinyin to which you want to add tone marks. Next, press Alt-F8
(or Tools->Macro->Macros from the Menu) to run a macro. Select the
"Add_Tones" macro and then "Run". The macro itself might take a
minute or two to finish. Once completed, all of the pinyin with tone
numbers will be converted to pinyin with tone marks over the proper vowel.
Comments and Suggestions
This input and add tones macros are still under development. I
welcome bug reports and feature suggestions. Write me by visiting my contact page.
If you find this macro useful, you might also be interested in these programs:
In case you came to this page directly, you may also want to
check out my collection of on-line Chinese tools.