Is there a way to type radicals on a computer? I'd like to insert some in a document I'm writing but I'm not sure how to write those that don't correspond to an actual word. Any tips? Thanks!

  • 1
    It depends on which IME you're using. If you're using the most popular IME in current mainland China, i.e. Sougou Pinyin, you can use its "u mode" to input radicals with its strokes. For example, can be input by udds (点点竖), 艹uhss (横竖竖), 灬udddd (点点点点), etc. If you don't have one IME, you can also look up what you want on this wiki page.
    – Stan
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 12:36
  • Wow! How do you memorize which letter combination is which radical?
    – Sajimi
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 15:25
  • Strokes: 横(h, short for héng), 竖(s, short for shù), 撇(p, short for piě), 捺(n, short for nà), 点(d, short for diǎn). I know how to write the radical, so it's easy, just first type a "u" and then the stroke order.
    – Stan
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 16:11
  • @Sajimi Practise more :-) It's a instinctive work rather than a memory work. Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 15:16
  • And how many kind of strokes are there in chinese characters?
    – user4951
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 7:09

7 Answers 7

  1. Install input method tools such as Google Pinyin Windows only
  2. type u start to input
  3. then type follow to input radicals

丨 shu 竖

一 heng 横

丿 pie 撇

礻 shi 示

衤 yi 衣

But I think most easy way is Ctrl+C,Ctrl+V There is a list of radicals. Find it and copy it.

  • 谢谢!I'm on a mac, and it seemed confusing when I wrote u-p and it suggested up, but then I noticed the second seggestion was 丿,and u-p-s suggested ups, but there was the second suggestion of 亻 which is what I wanted. Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 7:18

Wubi method is known to support typing radicals easily, but it will take quite some time to learn.

一 - ggl 丨 - hhl 丿 - ttl 丶 - yyl 衤 - 衤


Copy and paste from Wikipedia's List of Chinese Radicals.


You could also go to http://www.inputking.com and type shu, then select the appropriate character.


I would rather recommend Cangjie input method. It's not pinyin-based.

For example, 「亻」 is 「竹中」(i.e. 丿丨).

It's very easy-to-learn. You can combine the use of pinyin and cangjie.


I agree with the Cangjie comment to the extent you are actually putting in radicals rather than pinyin, but the draw back is it is four corners based so the order or even which part of a radical you put in is based on a set of rules. The original system could make random characters, but now they have it compare the potentials with the Unicode set or such. If you search ANKI web I had a set of flashcards for learning to type with Cangjie.

The other "radical" input method is Wubi which is based on the stroke order since any character can be narrowed down by the first five strokes again. Both of these inputs are based on 5^24, neither uses x or z except as a modifier, keys iterations mapped to 50k character sets. I could never find an English typing tutor for Wubi and experimenting with it the results were seemingly random. Too many iterations.

There is a windows application which lets you input radicals and place them by location within the character, but I can't remember the name. I had it running under Wine on my Ubuntu system a couple of years ago.

What is really needed is hand writing recognition input that lets you write the radical and then place it in the place location with in the character. I don't know of any hand writing recognition that lets you choose the radical you are writing to lock it in. This would also help visual learners like myself to find characters with similar radicals. Chineasy is such a teaching method buts its only on paper.


Yup! I was selling it again.

There is a popular Chinese input method engine called 'Rime'. It's open source. It's cross-platform: 小狼毫 for Windows, 鼠须管 for OS X, and ibus-rime or fcitx-rime for all distros of Linux. It's fast, clean and powerfully configurable!

And! among so many default schemas there is one, called 'Stroke', use the basic 5 strokes to type in characters. It is the dish for everybody! Default key bindings: 横h,竖s,撇p,点n,折z(You can change the key bindings to your own taste). And it's used mixed with Pinyin by default.

How it works like: tutorial of typing 点 and 折


How to get it:

  1. Official sites: http://rime.im/
  2. GitHub pages:https://github.com/rime

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.