One thing about Mac OS X that annoys me.

Keyboard input methods – this is one thing that has been bugging me since my switch to Mac OS X.

Actually it is more like 3 problems.

The first one is the way I have to cycle through input methods using Cmd+Space and Alt+Cmd+Space. I know 4 languages (Chinese, English, French, and Japanese) and as a result use 7 keyboard layouts/input methods daily (English, French, Simplified Chinese Pinyin, Traditional Chinese Pinyin, Cantonese Pinyin, Hiragana, Katakana). Cycling through the keyboard layouts and input methods is becoming tedious. I still prefer the Windows way, where I can assign a keyboard combination (e.g. Alt+Shift+1) to each keyboard layout and input method.

The second problem is the lack of official support for non-West-European input in the X11 environment. All attempts to build, install, and use UIM or SCIM have been unsuccessful.

Finally, the Traditional Chinese Pinyin input method seems to be a bit quirky. Sometimes it tends to feed out the wrong character. For instance, typing “zhang1” gives me “章” among the candidate characters, but if I select that character, the input method sometimes feeds the “杖” character instead.

Apple, please tackle these problems in the near future. I believe it will do you good in expanding your market in East Asia.

  • amanda

    Hi, I am trying to find out how to type cantonese pinyin on mac.
    What program are you using? I’ve heard about Canton IM but I can’t seem to install it on the new leopard system..
    please give me some advice.. thanks!

  • Johnson

    I’ve also tried to install Canton IM in mac osx but failed also, are there still any other cantonese input method?

  • Kal

    @amanda and @Johnson:
    I have tried Canton IM myself, and I have pretty much given up on on it. I now use Fun Input Toy almost exclusively, for both traditional and simplified Chinese, but that’s just because I can manage well enough with pinyin.