Inputting/finding Chinese characters online

A while back someone linked to a website on which you could draw a math symbol and it would find the corresponding unicode symbol. I’m wondering if there is something similar for Chinese characters. Or any other website that makes it easy to identify Chinese symbols assuming one knows nothing about Chinese symbols except the ability to copy what it looks like from a printed example.

Windows includes this function built in as part of its IME.

A quick guide to getting it set up. The guide is for Japanese, but it shouldn’t make a difference for your purposes.

Microsoft’s Japanese IME is very clever, but it does require you to know the pronunciation. As I understand it, the OP wants to be able to enter Chinese characters without knowing anything except the appearance. In other words he wants to be able to draw the character using an input device, and have the software recognise the character.

I have an electronic dictionary (Casio exWord) that allows you to do exactly that, but I don’t know if there is a Windows equivalent.

On edit, I discover that the IME does have handwriting recognition, so everything I’ve written above is wrong and should be ignored.

I was going to suggest www.zhongwen.com as a good place, if you can do character counting and/or radical identification. This is a good place to learn about what makes a character a character (a little bit about the history of the character).

A little more searching, and I found this java applet which may be more suited to your needs.

I not sure if the stroke pattern matters, but as a general guide try to input the strokes left to right, top to bottom.

Thanks for the suggestions. FTR I’m on a mac, and did eventually try the mac symbol lookup, but some of the symbols were absent so I figured an online source would be better. I tried the java applet, and it found one of the symbols, but flunked on the others. I eventually decided to look up things by radicals, with some success. I’ve started a new thread on the matter.

Off topic but do you still have the website for the math symbols? If so can you post the link to it?

I think this was it.

This site has a tool at the top where you can draw a character with your mouse and pick the correct one from a list.

thanks for the links

The chinese-tools.com applet requires correct stroke order. From what I can tell, the nciku.com one appears to be ignoring stroke order.

This is the one I use, and it’s little short of awesome.

Indeed, it was more effective than others I tried. Still had problems with one of the symbols, but still, best I’ve found. Thanks!