Guide to Dayi input/Introduction

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Introduction to Dayi input Edit

Dayi input method (大易輸入法 - Dà yì shūrù fǎ) is a Chinese shape based input method. Dayi method was created for traditional Chinese characters and many implementations doesn't support the simplified set of characters. This guide is invented to help English students learn Dayi. Authoritative information in chinese is available at

Shape based input methods use components, that are combined to create Chinese characters. They are bound to keys on a keyboard and are typed one after another to make the combination. These are example components and characters created by them("day", "person", "soil"):

  • 日 => 旦 昔 旲
  • 人 => 亾 汆 今
  • 土 => 在 吐 時

Note that some components are Chinese characters themselves (e.g. 日). Dayi uses a total of 46 components, bound to 20 keys, which means that the single key can include a few components bound. The components are bound to all the letter keys, numeral keys (above the letters) and , . / ; keys. To create a character, one must type the keys with components used in that character, and hit space. If there's only one possible character, the character will be typed. Otherwise, the list with potential characters will show up, and the user will choose the character. The way the components are combined is explained in the next page.

The placement of Dayi components Edit

A QWERTY keyboard layout for the Dayi input method (annotated with hints and related/auxiliary radicals)

As you can see on the image above, Dayi has more than one component bound to the keys (for example the key "6" has 車,門,片,鬥,甫,爿,丱,丬 and some more). This makes Dayi harder to learn, but the creators tried to place them in the logical way. Both the placement and memorization hints will be covered in this guide.

List of all components will be found here

Worth to mention! On the image above, there are 6 red characters on keys ` ' [ ] - \. These are not included on some IMEs such as gcin.

How Can I get Dayi IME Edit

For traditional characters, dayi is available on:

  • Windows (eg. 7, 8 or 10)
  • Linux - via ibus, gcin and similar
  • Mac OS - via openvilla and similar
  • Android - via LIME, gcin and similar

Additional support for simplified characters is available on:

  • Windows 10
  • Android - via LIME

About the guide Edit

The guide is split into 4 main parts:

  1. Introduction (this page),
  2. The way of making combinations (next page),
  3. Memorization of the components and their placement (pages 3-9),
  4. Exmaple combinations (last page).

Notation Edit

The guide uses "components" notation instead of keys, so that the readers will get used to the components. Due to the fact that some components are not Chinese characters, they can not be typed alone. In that case, the "parental" component will be used (that main shape on keyboard above). eg. 陳 without 東. In this case, component 耳 would be used in the notation.

Categories Edit

Main components are split to 7 categories:

  • Five elements (五行)
  • Human (人)
  • Animals (動物)
  • Nature (自然)
  • Agriculture (農業)
  • Craft (工藝)
  • Others (其他)