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    Japanese IME Kanji Selection Hotkeys

    By thomas | May 20, 2008

    Here are a few quick tips for the Japanese keyboard. Let’s say you want to type in a kanji. To do that, you type in the hirgana reading and press space. As a result of all your hard work, you get a list of kanji like this:

    Japanese IME keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys kanji

    If your kanji is on the list, you’re done! You can just press the corresponding number or arrow down to the correct choice.

    But what if your kanji isn’t on that list?

    Japanese IME keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys kanji

    If you want to avoid hitting the down arrow a million times, you can press SHIFT-DOWN (or PageDown) and it will scroll down to the next set of ten choices. Page through until you find your kanji.

    Japanese IME keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys kanji

    Even better, you can click that little double-arrow button to open up all possible choices in a table. Once open, you can select your kanji by clicking it, or using a combination of right-arrows and numbers.

    Japanese IME keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys kanji

    Even better than that, instead of clicking you can press TAB to open up the table.

    Japanese IME keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys kanji

    These tips are useful for typing names/words that you don’t know how to read as a compound, but know how to read as individual kanjis. It’s also useful for rare or made-up words that the Japanese IME just doesn’t recognize. The other day, my wife was searching for a novel called 錦繍 (kinshuu).  Typing きんしゅう in the Japanese IME didn’t produce the compound needed, so she had to type each kanji in individually. Using these hotkeys speeds up the process.

    For more Japanese IME shortcuts, check my earlier article about the Magic Katakana Hotkey

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    Topics: Japanese Computer | 10 Comments »Trackback

    10 Responses to “Japanese IME Kanji Selection Hotkeys”

    1. Says:
      May 20th, 2008 at 9:25 am

      Japanese IME Kanji Selection Hotkeys |…

      This article teaches you some useful hotkeys for the Japanese IME. Are you tired of hitting the space bar and the down arrow all the time when inputting kanji? These tips can save you precious keystrokes, and therefore time, when you are typing in Ja…

    2. ブレンダン Says:
      May 20th, 2008 at 10:06 pm

      It would be useful to know what version of the IME you are using. I can’t get the table selector to show up (no icon, tab does nothing). This is in US English Windows XP SP2 w/ Microsoft IME Standard 2002 ver. 8.1.

    3. thomas Says:
      May 20th, 2008 at 11:57 pm

      @ブレンダン: I checked and I am using Microsoft IME Standard 2003.

    4. Josh Says:
      May 21st, 2008 at 3:10 pm

      I need to get Japanese on my computer. Is it hard to download and set up the program for Microsoft?

    5. ruisu Says:
      May 21st, 2008 at 11:39 pm


      Here’s the one tip I have: to get the little つ
      L+tsu = っ or っ x+tu, there are probably other ways too…

      Oh yeah, and the small vowels: x + vowel (also works with ka and ya, not sure what else).

    6. Amy Says:
      June 11th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

      I’ve always hated searching down the list for the kanji I want and had no idea what those double arrows were for. Thanks for the tips!

    7. Get your IME on! « Tuan D Nguyen Says:
      September 4th, 2008 at 3:37 am

      […] […]

    8. Akire Says:
      September 15th, 2008 at 7:51 pm

      i’m using the IME 2002 version as well, where can i update my IME to the 2003 version?

    9. Walter Says:
      October 20th, 2008 at 6:51 am

      I am running Windows Vista. Is there a hotkey to quickly switch back and forth between Japanese and English? My previous Japanese software, KanjiKit 97, had a very convenient hotkey Ctrl + space bar. Unfortunately, this combination doesn’t work with Vista.

      Also, is there any way to input a kanji character using its SJIS Code? Thanks.

    10. thomas Says:
      October 20th, 2008 at 8:41 am

      @Akire: I don’t know. Sorry!

      @Walter: Try the ` key (left of the “1” key) for changing between Japanese and English. I looked through the IME help file and couldn’t find a good way to input from the Shift-JIS code. One way, that may be more trouble than its worth:

      in your system tray (or whatever that thing is at the bottom-right of the screen), click the IME button to the left of the toolbox. (labelled “IME パッド”) and select 文字一覧. It will pop up a list of all the characters. If you sort it by Shift-JIS you can kinda hover over random characters until you get close to your SJIS code and then just go forward/back until you find the right one.

      That’s a lot of trouble. It might be easier to find a table online, like here and scan for your code, then copy/paste.