HOWTO: How to Use Hangeul (Korean) Windows Input Method Editor (IME)


Hangeul (Korean) Windows supports the KSC5601-1987 code set, which consists of several thousands Hangeul characters. The Hangeul Windows IME (Input Method Editor) allows the user to enter Hangeul Jamos (24 basic components of Hangeul characters), compose the final characters, and send them to applications.

More Information

When running Hangeul Windows, you will see a small window with three buttons in the lower-left corner:

  • The left button toggles between the Roman "A" character and the Korean character that is pronounced "GA," which Windows uses to symbolize Korean characters.
  • The center button is a graphic of a half box or full box, which selects SBCS or DBCS storage (or display) of Roman (but not Hangeul) characters. Hangeul characters always take up a double-byte space, unlike some Japanese characters (katakana).
  • The right button is the "Hangeul to Hanja" converter.
You can type in English by having the Roman toggle selected. To try typing Hangeul, the main thing to remember is that there is no apparent logical connection between the US 101 keyboard and what the you end up typing. To type like a pro, you need Korean keycaps, a cheat sheet, or a lot of memory in your brain.

For example, to type the word "Hangeul" type these characters:
(Please ignore the spaces between the two characters.) Notice how each group of three keyboard characters assemble a single Hangeul character. Hangeul is often made up of three components (called "Jamos"), but characters can actually be composed of from two to several Jamos.

Here is how to type "Seoul, Korea." Seoul is pronounced locally "sa-ul," so try typing these characters:
(Please ignore the spaces between the characters.) The word "Korea" is not a Korean name; it is the English equivalent, just as Japan is really Nippon. The word "Korea" in Korean is "Han-guk," so "Seoul, Hanguk" would be:
The reason to try "Hanguk" instead of "Korea" is that Hanguk can also be spelled with Chinese characters. Put the mouse pointer (cursor) on the left edge of "Han" and click the "Hangeul to Hanja" button. A list box appears. Select choice #1 by typing 1 or by selecting it with the mouse. Do the same for the next character, again selecting choice #1. Then it will display in Hanja.

Most Korean text is in Hangeul not Hanja, notice the 3.1-H readme is all Hangeul. Hanja is still used in Korea - sometimes.