A small utility to easily input the unicode characters for vowels with chinese (mandarin) tones. Tested with Windows XP.


When the pinyintones software starts it creates an icon in the taskbar window. In order to input the four different type of tones in pinyin each tone will be associated with a hotkey. When the hotkey is pressed, the icon changes to the type of tone this hotkey represents. Next you can press any vowel you wish to add the tone to. For example, to write you need to press the hotkey for the forth tone and then press 'a'.

Pinyintones is running

The different icons pinyintones will use. From left to right: Enabled, first tone, second tone, third tone, forth tone and disabled state.

Options dialog: Define the hotkeys to be used here.


The software is freeware, you may freely redistribute the archive. It is distributed "AS IS", use at own risk.
pinyintones.v0.1 (version 0.1, 15 August 2005)


Unpack the archive. Create a shortcut from pinyintones.exe to the Startup folder.

Known bugs/limitations

  1. Pinyintones does not work if you run the IME pinyin input software from Beijing Thunisoft Co. (
  2. Please report other bugs to me.

The software has been developed by Fredrik Sundstrom.