Use Trackpad Handwriting to write Chinese on Mac
If you have a trackpad, you can use the Chinese Trackpad Handwriting input source to write Simplified and Traditional Chinese characters, punctuation, and emoji with your finger. As you enter Chinese characters, macOS learns your word choices and presents you with more accurate options in the Candidate bar.
When Trackpad Handwriting is on, macOS recognizes strokes as you draw them on the trackpad, and shows matching characters and punctuation symbols in a single row on top, with the closest match in the upper-left corner.
On your Mac, first set up the input source (add Trackpad Handwriting).
Click the Input menu in the menu bar, then choose Trackpad Handwriting. Optionally, press Control-Shift-Space bar.
Note: When the Trackpad Handwriting window is open, you can’t see or move the pointer on the screen. To use the pointer without closing the window, press the Esc (Escape) key.
In an app, click where you want the Chinese words to appear in a document (so you see the insertion point).
Use your finger to draw a character or a punctuation symbol on the trackpad.
You can draw as many characters as you can fit in the Trackpad Handwriting window. Stroke order doesn’t matter and cursive writing is also supported.
If you draw a Simplified Chinese character while you’re using a Traditional Chinese input source, the candidate bar displays possible corresponding Traditional Chinese characters.
To list commonly used punctuation symbols, quickly tap the trackpad to draw a dot.
Half-width punctuation is marked by the text 半.
To draw emoji, draw the expression surrounded by a circle.
To select a character or symbol that matches your strokes, tap the trackpad in the location that corresponds with where the item appears in the candidate bar (or use the Touch Bar).
If there are more items in the list, scroll the candidate bar by swiping two fingers on the trackpad, then select the best candidate.
If you still don’t see the item you want, tap the Delete button in the upper-right corner of the Trackpad Handwriting window or press the Delete key on the keyboard. Then, try writing the item again. If you have drawn multiple characters, you can delete each one, going from right to left. You can also press and hold the Delete button to clear the entire window.
When you select a candidate, macOS anticipates what you will draw next and presents options in the candidate bar. You can do any of the following:
Select an option from the candidate bar, scrolling as necessary.
Draw your next character or punctuation symbol.
Press the Space bar to add a space.
Press the Return key to begin writing on the next line.
To close the Trackpad Handwriting window, press Control-Shift-Space bar or press Esc twice.
If you use multiple trackpads at the same time (for example, a built-in trackpad and an external trackpad), the Trackpad Handwriting window automatically resizes based on the active trackpad.