Are you looking for ways of writing Pinyin on your PC or IPad/Iphone? Look no further. Different methods depending on the operating system of you PC.
1. Pinyinput (for Windows 7, Vista & XP): Free. Pinyinput is an input method editor (IME) for Windows that makes it easy to type Hànyǔ Pīnyīn with tone marks. It works like a regular Chinese IME except that it outputs pinyin instead of characters, and because it works at the system level, you can use it to type pinyin in a simple and consistent manner in any Windows application.
Latest version (1.1.0) - Compatible with 32- and 64-bit Windows XP/Vista/7
Support for Pinyinput can be found here.
2. PinyinTones (For Windows 7 & Vista): Free. Like Pinyinput, PinyinTones can be selected from a Language Bar/Band and used just like other standard input methods.. PinyinTones is different in that it displays the composition in-line, while Pinyinput uses a little pop up composition window. Also PinyinTones does not have a floating toolbar.
PinyinTones works in 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7 and Vista. It does not work in XP. If you have XP please try Pinyinput (above).
PinyinTones download page
and here is the PinyinTones discussion and support group on Chinese-Forums.com.
3. MDBG Chinese Dictionary (Web-based–access to internet required). Free
An easy way of getting pinyin with tone marks without having to download any software.
Select ‘Type Pinyin’ from the left hand column menu.
Type in the your word to the ‘wordpad’ and select the tone number at the end of the word. The tone will be placed over the appropriate letter. This is similar to Pinyinput’s ‘checked mode’. The downside is that you have to input the pinyin onto the site then cut and paste as opposed to pinyinput which can be directly into your word document. It is still very user friendly though. Visit: http://us.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php
4. Pinyin Typist (IPhone/IPad): is an app for the iPhone and the iPad which allows for easy pinyin input with proper tone marks. It is not an input method to create characters and you can’t use this app to switch between English and pinyin input
To download visit ITunes.
To read Sinosplice’s review of Pinyin Typist visit Sinosplice’s blog.