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Typing in Vietnamese on your computer

09.08.08 | admin | In Vietnamese

There are many ways to get Vietnamese letters into your text editor. If you just want to enter a few letters and don’t want to install anything then you can pull up Character Map which you will find in Windows under Accessories and then under System Tools. Unfortunately, the Vietnamese specific characters are not grouped together and so you may need to do some hunting around. This is much too tedious to do more than handful of words at a time.

If you plan to do a lot of typing in Vietnamese then you should install some software. Many people prefer UniKey while others prefer VPSKeys. If you want to use UniKey then you will have to get through the set up in Vietnamese which takes just a few clicks but the Down and Out Of Saigon blog shows you what to click with screenshots. VPSKeys is also entirely in Vietnamese.

On the other hand WinVNKey is in English. All three programs have the same basic functionality and you can install and run all three at the same time to see which one you like. They stay in the taskbar and you can easily enable and disable them from there.

The programs support input in the three main input types which are Telex, VIQR, and VNI. The Down and Out Of Saigon blog also has a nice quick overview comparing the three.

Desired letter TELEX VNI VIQR
â Type “aa” Type “a6″ Type “a^”
ă Type “aw” Type “a8″ Type “a(”
đ Type “dd” Type “d9″ Type “dd”
ê Type “ee” Type “e6″ Type “e^”
ô Type “oo” Type “o6″ Type “o^”
ơ Type “ow” Type “o7″ Type “o+”
ư Type “w” or “uw” Type “u7″ Type “u+”
Add a “dấu Sắc” Type a “s” Type “1″ Type single quote “‘”
Add a “dấu Huyền” Type a “f” Type “2″ Type reverse quote “`”
Add a “dấu Hỏi” Type a “r” Type “3″ Type “?”
Add a “dấu Ngã” Type a “x” Type “4″ Type tilde “~”
Add a “dấu Nặng” Type a “j” Type “5″ Type period “.”
Remove tone Type a “z” Type “0″ Type “0″
Hai Bà Trưng Type “Hai Baf Trwng” “Hai Ba1 Tru7ng” “Hai Ba` Tru+ng”
Tiếng Việt Type “Tieesng Vieejt” Type “Tie61ng Vie65t” Type “Tie^’ng Vie^.t”
ĐƯỜNG Type “DDWOWFNG” Type “D9U7O72NG” Type “DDU+O+`NG”

Often on the Internet you will see raw VIQR as this is what people have been using before the Internet and its somewhat more legible than the others. I think it’s the easiest to learn and most Vietnamese use it today. Unfortunately, it requires hitting the shift key a lot. If you want to convert text written in VIQR you can use the VietUni online script here. Copy and paste in the text you want to convert into Unicode and then select the first pulldown that says Unicode and select VIQR then click Đối sang. This site also functions as a text editor to convert from TELEX, VNI, and VIQR as you type but as for pasting in text from elsewhere I couldn’t figure out how to convert anything besides VIQR. (This online script, VietUni, is available on many other sites so if this site is down just do a search.)

In fact, you can use scripts like the above to do all your Vietnamese typing without having to install any software. Others include Vietjie and MViet.

For details on the VIQR standard look here.

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