FAQ: How to select Cantonese Phonetic IME (CPIME) in Windows 10
Desktop only??? I *am* in desktop mode!
(Or worse, it's not even there.)
Q: When I go into Settings to add the Cantonese Phonetic input method, it is grayed out and I can't select it. It says "desktop only". I am in desktop mode. Why can't I select it?
A: CPIME, added to Windows 10 via an automatic update several months after the initial release, can only be selected from an "additional settings" old-style Language control panel. It will then work only in desktop mode, not in tablet mode. This is because it is licensed from a third-party, and was originally developed for older versions of Windows. For details instructions, please read on.
Q: I don't see the Cantonese Phonetic IME in Settings or the additional control panel, not even grayed out. My system has the latest updates. Is there a way to add it?
A: Go to cpime.hk and download the old installer. Install at least one other Taiwan/HK/Macau input method like MS Bopomofo (you may be able to remove this later), then run the CPIME installer by following the instructions in their ReadMe.txt file, and the information below should work for you too. (I did this when CPIME disappeared from one of my systems after an automatic update. I had already installed it in both Windows 10 Home and Pro, but one day in the Home system all I saw was "Unavailable input method" where CPIME should be, and it was no longer in the Add list. Running the CPIME installer got it back.) If you try this, please let me know if it does not work for you.
The 1803 update (April 2018) requires a workaround. The Language control panel we need was "removed" from Windows as of this update, but apparently it's still hidden somewhere. Running a shell script will reveal it. That's not as technical as it sounds.
Just paste this into the Windows "Run" dialog, and the Language panel will appear:
Many thanks to reader Sunny Chan for finding this solution! See Sunny's video here:
See also my instructions for 1709 and earlier below, as the steps are the same after you get the control panel to appear, and I've also included additional background information and help resources there. Please let me know if you have any difficulties with this solution.
In version 1709 (Fall Creators Update, October 2017) or earlier, if CPIME is in your system, the following instructions will show you how to find and activate it.
I know you're in desktop mode, but in this case — in the infinite wisdom of Microsoft — the Settings control panels are the tablet side (or tablet-friendly side), and the "advanced"/"additional" settings control panels (which are very similar to Windows 7 control panels) are the desktop side. This is because CPIME is licensed from a third party and only works with the older-style control panels.
One way to get there is to go back in Settings one step, to "Time & Language".
Then in "Region & language", at the bottom under the "Related settings", select "Additional date, time, & regional settings".
(If you do not already have a Traditional Chinese region displayed in panel shown above, see the first Pinyin setup page for one way of getting started with this.)
In the control panel that appears, click "Language".
Now you'll be in the Language control panel. Click on the "Options" link for your Traditional Chinese regional settings (HK, Macau, or Taiwan).
In the next panel, under "Input method", click the "Add an input method" link.
Then in the next panel to appear, select CPIME, hit the "Add" button, then back in the Language panel click the "Save" button.
You may be tempted to remove all other input methods. But even after CPIME is installed, if you try to uninstall all other input methods the system will try to make you keep one of those.
If you really want to have only CPIME in your menu, try deactivating all language settings and then activating them again. Although a first installation of CPIME requires that one of the Microsoft input methods be in place, at least one user reports that he uninstalled the Traditional Chinese region language settings and then after reactivating he found that CPIME could be installed alone.
You will also notice that there is no "Options" link for CPIME! Among other things, this means when they say "Jyutping" they mean only Jyutping. No other phonetic systems. You can download the Sydney Lau, Yale, and HK Education Bureau packages separately from the cpime.hk website, but when you install one it replaces any other CPIME package in your system. I have been unable to install these and still keep Jyutping. (Note: install at least one other Taiwan/HK/Macau input method like MS Bopomofo or the included CPIME Jyutping before trying to run any installer downloaded from the CPIME website. You may be able to remove that additional IME later, but for some reason it needs to be there during CPIME installation.)
You should now find CPIME in your Language menu!
If you use the old-style desktop language bar (see the Windows 10 Advanced Chinese Features page for more information), the Cantonese Phonetic IME will appear in there. Not in the "CH" language menu though. It will be in the "ZH" menu:
I believe the Hong Kong HKSCS character set is on by default when you use this input method. That would make sense, no? There are no options in the control panel, so I sure hope that's true. I've successfully tested CPIME for a few HKSCS characters.
When using the Mandarin "Microsoft Bopomfo" input method for Zhuyin or Pinyin, you have to enable Cantonese characters and Unicode Extensions separately, but there are no such controls for CPIME.
Please let me know if you are unable to bring up a character that ought to be available for Hong Kong users.
Need more help?
The first release of CPIME in Win 10 includes a Help menu, but that only opens a blank index! I'm tracking that issue on my page about Windows 10 English-Language Help features for the phonetic IMEs, but meanwhile there are other resources for you on the web:
• cpime.hk (select menu items for "Usage", "Pingjam Table", "Training", etc.)
• Chinese Cantonese Forums > Tech Talk
Related Windows 10 pages:
Windows 8 and 10 Chinese features overview: fonts, IMEs, and more
Windows 10 missing, broken, and just plain lame Chinese features
Windows 10 Language and input method keyboard setup
Windows 10 Traditional character Pinyin input: two alternatives
Windows 10 Simplified character Pinyin input: the MSZY alternative
Windows 10 Chinese handwriting input, speech input, & language packs
Windows 10 advanced features: desktop language bar, IME Pad, and more
Windows 10 Help files - in English!
« page top
« « Back to FAQ index