Input method editors (IMEs)

Input method editors or IMEs make it easier to type in languages (usually but not limited to East Asian ones) that are made up of thousands of characters that can't fit on a standard keyboard. When you buy a new Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 PC, or install Windows 8.1 on an older PC and add a language, Windows will automatically assign either a default keyboard or IME for each language on the PC. You can also add additional IMEs if you want.

Note

  • Some IMEs don't work in the new Windows user interface.

Add additional IMEs

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

  2. Enter Region and language settings in the search box, and then tap or click Region and language settings.

  3. In your list of languages, tap or click the language you'd like to add an IME to, and then tap or click Options.

  4. Tap or click Add a keyboard.

  5. Browse the list of available IMEs, and then tap or click the IME you'd like.

Switch between different IMEs

If you’ve added more than one language to your PC or more than one input method to a language, you can enter text the way you want by switching between IMEs or keyboard layouts.

  • If you’re using a standard keyboard, press and hold the Windows logo key Windows logo key and then press Spacebar repeatedly to switch between input methods.
  • If you’re using a tablet or a touch PC, you can switch the input method in the touch keyboard. Tap the touch keyboard button Touch keyboard icon in the bottom-right corner of the touch keyboard, and then tap the input method you want to switch to.
    Touch keyboard button on the touch keyboard
    Touch keyboard button on the touch keyboard

    If you're on the desktop, tap or click the language abbreviation button on the taskbar, and then tap or click the input method you want to switch to.

    Language abbreviation button in the desktop taskbar
    Language abbreviation button in the desktop taskbar
  • You can also do this from the Settings charm:

    1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings.
      (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Settings.)

    2. Tap or click the abbreviation for the language that's selected.

    3. In the list that appears, tap or click the language you want to switch to.

      Settings charm showing the abbreviation for the selected input method
      Settings charm showing the abbreviation for the selected input method

View and change IME settings and options

To see the settings and options for any IMEs you've added, follow these steps:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)

  2. Enter Region and language settings in the search box, and then tap or click Region and language settings.

  3. In your list of languages, tap or click a language to see the related input methods.

  4. Tap or click an IME, and then tap or click Options.

  5. Change the settings you want.

Some IMEs have additional settings located in Control Panel. To see these settings, follow these steps:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)

  2. Enter Add a language in the search box, and then tap or click Add a language.

  3. Tap or click Options next to a language.

  4. Tap or click Options next to an IME.

  5. Change the settings you want.

Switch between IME modes

Use the IME mode icon to switch between alphanumeric and native language characters.

  • To bring up the IME mode icon in the new Windows user interface, tap or click in a new text field. Then, tap or click the icon to switch modes.

  • On the desktop, tap or click the IME mode icon on the touch keyboard or the taskbar to switch modes. To see more IME options, press and hold or right-click the icon in the taskbar.