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This question already has an answer here:

When the language bar is in English mode, it types English characters as normal. But when I switch to Chinese mode, it continues to type English characters, and does not let me use Chinese characters.

Is there a way to fix this?

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Tog, Carl B, Lance Roberts, Moses Dec 21 '13 at 5:43

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

possible duplicate of How to get the keyboard to input Japanese? Related/More info: Chinese IME: Microsoft or Google? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Dec 19 '13 at 21:16
Can you provide more information, eg. which language you're selecting in the PRC, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and the subset eg. Pinyin ABC, Pinyin New exp, QuanPin, Shuangpin, Zhengma. Also what format are you hoping to enter in? (pinyin ect...) – 50-3 Dec 19 '13 at 21:19
@techie007 The first link is for a different language, the 2nd cover alternatives but no solution - as someone who uses the win7 IME daily I see no reason it cannot be fixed – 50-3 Dec 19 '13 at 21:22
Based on the immense lack of information provided I felt the items marked as possible dupes were both possible dupes, and probably helpful in pointing the OP in some kind of research direction. If you know exactly, then by all means please help this OP out. ;) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Dec 19 '13 at 21:54
The answer was somewhere between taoyue and techie007's answer. I had set the language to 'Chinese (Simplified) - US keyboard', which had worked for me on windows XP but did not work on Windows 7. (hence my confusion) I needed to install the Chinese Google IME. Then I needed to switch from the non-working Microsoft IME to the Google IME. – Holtorf Dec 20 '13 at 21:53
up vote 3 down vote accepted

After selecting Chinese, press the right Shift key. This will get you back into Chinese input mode.

This is a common issue faced by new users. The cause is that the Microsoft Chinese IMEs have two modes: English and Chinese. So even though you've switched to the Chinese language, you were still stuck in the English mode. To switch between the two modes, use the right Shift key.

Chinese IME in English mode

Chinese IME in Chinese mode

Why are there two modes? Why doesn't the Chinese IME only allow you to type Chinese, and eliminate the possibility of confusion?

Because people living in China often need to type English text -- think of a scientist writing a paper in Chinese, with a lot of English terminology. Their Windows PCs ship with only Chinese installed -- not English. Thus, they need a way to type English text from within a Chinese IME.

There are other subtle differences in behavior. When you type English from a Chinese IME, the text remains in a Chinese font, such as SimSun. English characters in this font are designed to fit in with the surrounding Chinese character -- matching in weight, height, style, etc. If, instead, you were to type English from an English language context, then your program would switch to a font like Times New Roman, and your body text would no longer be in a consistent font.

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