I use Intelligent Pinyin Keyboard with ibus in Ubuntu to input Chinese characters into my document.

The input-method is designed in such a way that one starts typing the characters that correspond to the pinyin associated with a character, and then it can select from a list of characters the one that matches the request.


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As shown in the previous example, for each combination of arabic characters there is a long list of potential Chinese characters that might match it. This list of characters may correspond to xue pronounced with several kinds of tones, e.g. xue, xue1, xue2, xue3, xue4.

I would like to be able to use the the tone number to further filter out the list of Characters that is being presented to me, so that the length of the list shrinks as a whole and it is easier to go through it. e.g. If I type yi1, I would like to see only those characters matching exactly that pinyin and tone.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to do so, because pressing any digit from 1 to 0 causes the input method to choose one of the listed examples.

Is there any other input-method, a patch or a different configuration that can help me achieve my goal?

Note that I don't want to get pinyin text as a result (as asked in similar questions on this site), but the Chinese Characters.

2 Answers 2


Pinyin IMEs are not designed to do this. (But can you do this?) To obtain the intended effect, two utilities should have been combined together:

  1. Standard pinyin IME (e.g. SunPinyin) using ...
  2. ... English (US, intl with dead keys) or hanyu pinyin (m17n) as a front input source.

I was looking for the same solution but, to my knowledge, it has not been developed yet.


  1. Chinese Input Methods in Ubuntu 10 - 18.
  2. Sogou IME (on Ubuntu): How to output pinyin with tone marks?

I concur with Christianus that I don't know of a pinyin+tone_filter implementation.

However, if you're willing to learn zhuyin, its implementations almost always default to using tones to filter.

In fact, it's kind of rare to find a zhuyin input that allows you to type without tones, but they do exist.

Anyway, best of luck.

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