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Methods of Chinese Cataloging: Phone / Computer Keyboards

This guide hopes to help those with no familiarity with Chinese characters understand how to search through various cataloging systems.

Mobile Phones



The Two Common Ways to Write Chinese Characters on a Phone               



         A. Handwriting the characters on the screen with a finger, then selecting the correct option.

  1. When a person taps a screen to write, an interface appears that allows for characters to be sketched out.
  2. As the person writes, character suggestions adjust accordingly until the correct one appears for selection.

B. Using a standard keyboard to spell the character in Pinyin, then selecting the correct character from a given list.

  1. A person types the pronunciation of the desired character in Pinyin. 
  2. Character suggestions adjust as the person types until the correct one appears for selection.



     The following video provides a live demonstration of texting Chinese characters in Mandarin using both mentioned styles of writing, Fluent in (2015):


Hand Writing Characters on a Phone

Stroke 1

The phone presents its first set of recommended characters. 

Stroke 2

The phone presents its second set of recommended characters. 

Stroke 3

The phone presents its third set of recommended characters. 

Stroke 4

The phone presents its fourth set of recommended character, which includes the one desired.


The desired character is chosen.

Spelling Out a Character with Pinyin on a Phone

A user begins to type the Pinyin spelling of a desired character using a standard keyboard on their phone, and the phone will begin to generate character suggestions.

The user can select the desired character(s) once found in the suggested character list.

If the user can't find their desired character, they can scroll to the left and right in order to see more characters that are spelled similarly in Pinyin.


Chinese Characters on a Computer

  1. Chinese characters are written by typing the Pinyin spelling of a character out, similar to cell phones. 
  2. The desired character(s) can then be selected with the keyboard and/or a mouse from a given list of suggested characters.


1. The user begins to type the Pinyin spelling of a word, and the first set of recommended characters is given.


2. The user continues typing, and more recommendations are given. 



3. As the user types, the preferred character(s) should appear.




4. If the suggestions do not show the needed character(s), then the list of suggestions can be further expanded and explored. 



5. The user can either type the number that corresponds with the needed character in a list to make the characters appear, or they can be selected with a mouse. 



     The following video provides a live demonstration of texting Chinese characters in Mandarin on a computer, and briefly reviews both others mentioned styles of Chinese writing on mobile phones Skultety, V. (2015):