Type in Chinese on a Mac
Go to Applications > click launch System Preferences > select International.
If you can't seem to find Applications folder, click on anywhere on your desktop screen (so you will be in Finder environment) and then hit Shift+Apple+A and the Applications folder should pop up in a new window.
in the [Languages] column on left, drag "Simplified Chinese" to the 2nd one, just below English.
Click on the [Input Menu] tab to select it, scroll down and check/tick on Simplified Chinese. Personally i only chose ITABC input method, it's the equivalent of "hanyu pinyin" input method which is easierfor the english educated person, rather than using character keystroke method that is complicated. more on this later. Check/Tick the box below "Show input menu in menu bar", you should see a english flag in your top menu bar, beside where the battery icon and time is.
on Keyboard Shortcuts, there should be a little exclamation mark indicating that Input Keystroke is conflicting with another, click on keyboard shortcuts to go into it.
Scroll down and uncheck/untick Spotlight, and check/tick Input Menu. by doing this, you have assigned the keystoke option-apple-spacebar to toggle language input, rather than using it for Spotlight. Spotlight is essentially a search function, that magnifying glass icon at top right, which lets you find things fast, which u can easily click on it to Spotlight.
and you're done. Try the keystroke option-apple-spacebar, or hold down option and apple keys and hit spacebar, and you will be toggling between the different languages for input. as you toggle it, the "flag" icon in top right of your menu should change. if you don't know what keys are those, it's the 2 keys that is to the left of the spacebar, you should see the [option] and [apple] (also known as command) key.
Since this is in the top right menu bar, it simply means that this input method is global. which means, you can be writing an email, renaming a song in itunes, or msn with your friends, so long as the top menu icon shows the desired language that you wish to input.
For simplified chinese, simply key in english hanyu pinyin and it will pop up a whole list of chinese characters for you to choose. Say, for 我是谁？it would be " wo shi shui". i'm on mac and i'm using this same method to key in. Say you're in email program, you hit the keystroke option-apple-space to switch to ITABC Chinese, you key in "wo" and spacebar, a small window will pop up showing all related characters to "wo" and you can use numeric keys or your cursor keys to select the character. Pretty much like chinese input on a Nokia mobile phone.
it works easy with the ITABC input, and you can work pretty fast with chinese input for nouns or idioms. Say for telephone 电话 you'd key in "dian hua" to compose the words, but you can choose to key in "dhua" and it will display a combination of commonly used phrases or words associated with "d** hua", which makes it fast and easy.
i hope you're getting it right. if not, drop me a email, brinsley at mac dot com and i'll be glad to help, we can msn from there to get you writing globally in chinese.