For quite some time, I've had the idea to learn how to type WuBi. Fortunately, I've recently run into a very nice Chinese guy who got me started on it, uncovering a configuration error on my behalf. Since I find the online documentation mostly very hard to grasp, as they have eg. glaring omissions, I'd like to just complement them with what this guy told me, and my experience, so Westerners will hopefully have an easier job mastering this method. As to why one wants to learn it, I often find it very tedious to write a character using PinYin, and to the list of oft-cited advantages of using WuBi over (smart-) PinYin, I can also add these:

  • deductive writing - improves both the understanding and memorizing of a character's structure, and eliminates guesswork,
  • yields an easy-to-transfer method of transmitting Chinese characters using only ASCII (eg. writing "你" can, with very little ambiguity (if any), be represented as "WQ",
  • allows for writing down characters that you don't know how to speak, eg. to subsequently feed them to your electronic (online?) dictionary

The downsite is that it does require quite some practice to master, so if you're only a casual writer of Chinese, you'll probably not attain the proficiency necessary to benefit from it. While I'm also far from fluent using it, I do benefit from having the keyboard layout shown in the article referenced above, at my side.