Chinese input methods for computers are methods that allow a computer user to input Chinese characters. Most, if not all, Chinese input methods fall into one of two categories: phonetic readings or root shapes. Methods under the phonetic category usually are easier to learn but are less efficient, thus resulting in slower typing speeds because they typically require users to choose from a list of phonetically similar characters for input, whereas methods under the root shape category allow very precise and speedy input but have a steep learning curve because they often require a thorough understanding of a character's strokes and composition.
Other methods allow users to write characters directly onto touchscreens, such as those found on mobile phones and tablet computers.
Chinese input methods predate the computer. One of the early attempts was an electro-mechanical Chinese typewriter Ming kwai () which was invented by Lin Yutang, a prominent Chinese writer, in the