Tips for writing Chinese Pinyin with tone marks on EP

You can use keyboard-based inputs to type Chinese pinyin with tone marks on Education Perfect. This article explains how you can achieve this using the built-in features on Windows and MacOS devices, as well as access built-in features on EP.

In this article

Built-in EP Features

When completing work on EP, in most places students can write Pinyin tones by adjusting their typing settings.

When completing Long Answer style questions, students simply need to click the icon in the bottom right, until they see the ā icon.button

Once enabled, options will appear when typing in the textbox.

options in text box

When completing List type content, students are prompted to change their input type depending on the answer they wish to give.

input box

More information about typing script and accented characters in the EP platform can be found in our related articles:

Windows 10 and older

To type Pinyin tones in Windows 10, you need to first add the Japanese language, and then the PinyinTones keyboard.

The Japanese keyboard contains an add-on that allows you to access the tones and offers different options to the built-in Chinese options.

Here's how:

  1. Navigate to Settings from your start menu, and click Time & Language.
  2. Select Region & language from the menu on the left.
  3. Click Add a language.
  4. Search for Japanese. Select it, then click next.
  5. Uncheck the box that says, Set as my Windows display language. This is important; you likely don't want to change your display language to Japanese!
  6. Click Install.

settings in windows

  1. In the Language options menu for the language you just installed, click Add a keyboard.

Add a Keyboard option in Windows settings

  1. Select PinyinTones, and you're all set!

Pinyin Tones add on in Windows settings

Switching to the PinyinTones keyboard on Windows

  1. Click the Language tab on the taskbar and select JP Japanese (Japan).

Changing keyboard in Windows

  1. Click PinyinTones. That's it!

Changing keyboard to Pinyin tones in Windows

Typing Pinyin with Tone Marks on Windows:

Now that you've got the PinyinTones keyboard selected, you can type letters of the pinyin, followed by the number for the tone. 

For example, to type the pinyin for  , type the pinyin hao, then the number 3 (for the tone). Then hit your space bar: hǎo.

Windows 11

At this time, unfortunately, there's no keyboard available within Windows 11 OS that enables you to type tones for Pinyin.

We suggest installing a third-party keyboard (there are many free, downloadable options) to make this easier for you!

Mac OS (Apple computers and laptops)

When typing tone marks on Mac OS, you'll need to remember which vowel has the tone mark.

To type pinyin with tone marks on your Mac device, you'll need to do three things:

  1.   Add the ABC - Extended keyboard to your input methods.
  2.   Switch your input method to this keyboard.
  3.   Type the vowels with the correct tone marks!

Adding the ABC - Extended keyboard on Mac OS:

The ABC - Extended keyboard is the input method you'll need to select when you want to type pinyin with tone marks. 

On older Mac operating systems, this may also be called the U.S. Extended keyboard. 

Here are step-by-step instructions for adding the ABC - Extended keyboard on Mac OS:

  1. Open System Preferences from your dock or the Apple menu.
  2. Select Language & Region.

Apple system preferences

  1. Click Keyboard Preferences.

Keyboard preferences option in Apple preferences

  1. Click the + sign to add a new input keyboard.
  1. Scroll down the list on the right to find and select ABC - Extended and click Add.

  1. Tick the box that says Show input menu in menu bar.
    1. This will let you see and switch your input method from the menu bar on your Mac.
  2. All done!

Show input menu button in keyboard preferences

Switching to the ABC - Extended input method on Mac OS

Click the icon on the menu bar to bring up the input method dropdown. You can click on ABC - Extended here, and switch it back to your native language when you are done.

Changing between keyboards on Apple device

Typing Pinyin with Tone Marks on Mac OS

Now that you've added the ABC - Extended keyboard and selected it as your input method, you're ready to type tones marks over your vowels.

First, you must give the computer the command for the tone, and then type the vowel that the tone will be over. Here are the commands for each tone:

  • 1st tone: ⌥ (option) + a
  • 2nd tone: ⌥ (option) + e
  • 3rd tone: ⌥ (option) + v
  • 4th tone: ⌥ (option) + ~

To type a first tone mark, click ⌥ (option) + a (you click "a" even if you are putting the tone mark over a different vowel!).

The first tone should appear when you are typing the text. Type the correct vowel and it will appear below the tone mark.   

For example, to type pīn, do the following:

  • To type the second tone enter "⌥ (option) + e". 
  • The third tone is "⌥ (option) + v", and the fourth tone is "⌥ (option) + ~" (the key under the Esc key).
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