Heisig IME

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One possible downside of Heisigs method is the inability to type Kanji on a computer. Even if one knows the set of Kanji of an unknown word, it's not a trivial task to look up vocabulary despite knowing the characters meanings. However, Heisig called his keywords an “English reading” for the Kanji. Setting up an Input Method Editor is a convenient way to handle input while not yet knowing any readings.


In general, you type a keyword in roman characters, and use an IME to convert it to a Kanji. Details are specific to the input method

Windows IME

  1. Import the Heisig IME dictionary file
  2. Switch to Full-Width Alphanumeric mode.
  3. Enter the keyword
  4. Press Shift-Space to convert

Google IME

Same as Windows IME. This textfile can be imported. Alternatively this textfile can be imported which is a modification of the previous textfile with the first character capitalized and spaces removed. Due to Google IME treating words starting with a capital letter as an English word, this may make the process of typing in the keyword easier and faster.


  1. Import the Heisig IME dictionary file into Kotoeri
  2. Enter the keyword in Hiragana
  3. Press Control+; and then Spacebar to convert


  • all keywords are lower case
  • trailing “-” are removed (”inter-” becomes “inter”)
  • inner “-” are replaced with spaces (”mother-in-law” becomes “mother in law”)
  • “.” are removed (”dr.” becomes “dr”)
  • spaces are removed in the Mac version


It would be nice if you contributed a solution to other input methods (Namely SCIM and the OSX IME)