I use the Cangjie input method to type Chinese characters. The one bundled with macOS is an older "version" of the input method that I don't particularly enjoy using. So far I've been getting by with using a third-party IME (Rime) but for various reasons it's not ideal either. I know that Macs support custom plaintext *.cin files but I'm looking for something different.

I'm curious where and how default Chinese and Japanese input methods are stored in general. Maybe a filepath, and if the file is in some esoteric format possibly external software to read/edit the data? My goal is to see if I can write a script to change the character mappings to the ones I'm accustomed to.

Hope this question isn't too specific. If this is better suited for another StackExchange forum just give me a heads up and I can ask it somewhere else.

  • Could you explain in more detail what you mean by "change the character mappings to ones you are accustomed to"? What are those exactly? – Tom Gewecke Jun 6 '20 at 12:27
  • Yes. In a Chinese IM, I type key combinations like "zhong," and a drop-down list of Chinese glyph show up, and I select the one I want. I'm most familiar with the Cangjie Chinese IM, but on macOS, some of Cangjie mappings are nonstandard/outdated. For instance, the sequence "OLIS" should give me the 们 character, but I have to type "OLS" to find the character 们, which is inconvenient. – buffle Jun 6 '20 at 20:09

The Chinese and Japanese IM's (along with several others) are in System/Library/Input Methods.

For some alternatives that may offer more options, see this page.


  • Thanks, I was able to find the directory. I see that there is SCIM.app and TCIM.app (simp/trad Chinese), which is probably what I'm looking for. Although after choosing "show package contents" I'm stuck, as I don't have a way of figuring out which files contain the mappings, and if it's even possible to edit them. Thanks for your help, though. – buffle Jun 6 '20 at 20:11
  • @buffle yes, they are apps. I have never seen any info indicating how they might be edited, but some Mac programmer might know. – Tom Gewecke Jun 6 '20 at 20:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .