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Chinese Pinyin Setup in
Windows 7 and Windows Vista

«« Introduction / Simplified    « Traditional    Language Bar & Shortcuts    English User Guide »


3. Adjusting the Language Bar and Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows 7 CH-PRC Language Bar, Floating

This page will help you adjust the settings of the Language bar and the keyboard shortcuts or "hot keys" you can use to switch between input method editors.

Below you see examples of the Language bar docked in the taskbar (left), and floating on the desktop (right). Click to open the Options menu and then in the menu click "Settings..."

If you don't see the Options menu icon, just right-click on the "EN" (or "CH", etc.) and select "Settings" there instead.
Windows 7 Language bar Options menu Windows 7 - Language bar Options menu - Settings




Text Services and Input Languages will appear. First let's click on the "Language Bar" tab, circled below:

Windows 7 - Text Services and Input Languages 


Language Bar Settings

In the tab shown above, the radio button settings allow you to:

  • float the Language bar above your documents by default (from which you can always minimize it down to the taskbar),
  • dock it in the taskbar by default (you can always maximize it to floating mode),
  • or hide it completely.

The checkboxes below that allow you to:

  • make the floating Language bar semi-transparent when not in use, and
  • show additional icons at all times, even in the taskbar: Help, Maximize (float), and Settings, and also icons for Speech Recognition if you use those.
  • show text labels when the Language bar is floating, as in the example at the top of this page. In other languages such as Spanish, labels may also appear when it is docked in the taskbar, but Chinese IMEs only display labels in floating mode.


Keyboard Shortcut Settings

The next tab over shows the Advanced Key Settings:

Text Services - Advanced Key Settings tab

The first item is an option to turn off Caps Lock by pressing the Shift key instead of pressing the Caps Lock key. Just like an old typewriter! (Yes, I'm an Old Guy...).

Next are the "hot keys", or keyboard shortcuts, for switching between input languages. I find myself constantly hitting these accidentally so I usually turn them off. But if you are always switching between languages and characters sets, you may love keyboard shortcuts.

You'll find options to turn off or modify any of these by clicking the "Change Key Sequence..." button. For example, changing "Between input languages" to the grave accent (`) and turning off the layout switch at least saves me from myself most of the time:

Windows 7 Change Key Sequence


You can change each shortcut in the list or even un-check "Enable Key Sequence" (below) to turn them off entirely. The example below adjusts the hot key for quickly switching from one of the Chinese methods back to your default English keyboard:

Windows 7 - Enable/Disable Key Sequence


OK, that's the Language Bar and keyboard shortcuts. Now, what about an English-language user guide for the input methods? Guess what, there are English instructions in the Help files! Please read on...

Next page:
Setup page 4, English User Guide: the Microsoft Pinyin IME Help Files

Previous pages:
Chinese features in Windows 7 and Windows Vista
Setup page 1, Simplified Chinese Pinyin input
Setup page 2, Traditional Chinese Pinyin input

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