Update: As of Dec. 1, the link below has been replaced by http://linedictionary.naver.com/dict.html#/cnen/, which currently does not have the capability to draw the characters, however the site claims that feature is coming soon.
Resource: NCIKU website is a handy online tool for, among others, deciphering Chinese characters by writing them out with a virtual pen on the screen.
- Go to http://www.nciku.com/
- In the right-top corner of the page, find a box with two smaller boxes inside.
- Move the cursor over the first box. The cursor symbol will change into a virual pen.
- Click and hold the left button, begin drawing the Chinese character with your mouse.
- When finished, a selection of Chinese chacters will appear in the second box. Click on the character that is your match. The matching character will appear in the search box on the left. If there is no match for your character, try drawing it again.
- Continue to draw and add next characters using the same method until the entire word/phrase will appear in the search box.
- When ready, click "search" icon.
Note: Long words may take a long time to draw. Use the asterisk symbol (*) following the first two characters (or as many as you wish to draw) to perform a general search for words that contain these characters.
Sample word in progress (first character already in the search box, second character completed but not yet selected):
Sample results for the completed word (two characters):
Original post date: 08/02/2013