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Frequently asked questions
English | Tiếng Việt
What is an IME? Why do I need an IME to type in Vietnamese?
An input method editor (IME) is a tool that works with your ordinary keyboard so you can type in certain languages. The Vietnamese alphabet is so complicated with accent marks and tone marks that you’d need about 100 keys on a keyboard to type all the possible letters. (To put it in perspective, Chinese typewriters have thousands of keys!)
In the old days, to type Vietnamese, you’d use a keyboard layout like TCVN 6064:1995 or “Microsoft Windows”. But keyboard layouts are inconvenient: to type “viết” in TCVN, you have to type vi38t – in that order. On the other hand, with an input method, you can type the accent marks in later: vieets in Telex, viet^' in VIQR, etc.
My favorite website already includes an IME. Why should I use AVIM for Firefox?
With AVIM for Firefox, you can type Vietnamese into every website and every part of Firefox, including the search bar and find bar. And the caret stays in the same place after you undo and redo, so you don’t lose your place. You don’t have to turn off the IME in your favorite website; AVIM will disable it for you automatically.
I use Chrome and I like Google Input Tools. Why should I switch to AVIM for Firefox?
Google Input Tools automatically puts accent marks on the words you type. But to do that, it has to send Google’s servers everything you type, while you type. Unlike Google Input Tools, AVIM never sends your keystrokes to anyone.
Google Input Tools also has a less risky mode that doesn’t automatically insert accent marks. But that isn’t really an input method. If you type the accent marks after you type all the letters of the word, the accent marks all go on the last letter of the word, like this: “Vieṭ̂”. In AVIM, the accent marks go in the right place, and you can even go back to a word and replace the accent marks without having to retype the word.
AVIM also works with all the popular Web applications, not just Google’s.
But I really like Chrome. Can you make a version of AVIM for Chrome?
There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that Nguyễn Kim Kha has already created AVIM for Chrome. The bad news is that Chrome places a lot of restrictions on extensions, so AVIM for Chrome doesn’t work in the search bar or in Google Docs, and undo and redo don’t work very well.
My operating system already includes an IME. Why should I use AVIM for Firefox?
If you notice a spelling mistake – if you chose the wrong accent mark – AVIM lets you go back and correct the accent mark without having to retype the whole word.
Is AVIM secure?
Yes! AVIM interacts with webpages through “sandboxes”, a Firefox feature that prevents malicious webpages from attacking your computer through AVIM.
Does AVIM protect my privacy?
Yes! Unlike other popular Vietnamese IMEs, AVIM never sends your keystrokes to anyone while you type. It’s totally local to your computer.
Firefox does occasionally check addons.mozilla.org to see whether your copy of AVIM is up-to-date. When that happens, the versions of Firefox and AVIM you’re using are sent to Mozilla’s servers, but no personally identifiable information is sent. Also, if you use Firefox Sync, your AVIM preferences – your preferred input method etc. – are stored in your Sync account for backup. You can disable all these services at any time using Firefox’s Options or Preferences dialog.
How do I use this thing?
See Typing in Vietnamese.
Why can’t I type Vietnamese into Flash or Java?
The short answer is that plugins like Flash and Java run like separate programs, even if they look like they’re part of Firefox. It isn’t possible for AVIM or any other extension to communicate with these plugins. However, AVIM does feature support for the Silverlight plugin.
Consider contacting the developer of your favorite Flash applications about either Viettyping for Flash or Silverlight. Also, please vote for Mozilla bug 1,143,488, which would add input field support to Shumway, an extension that runs Flash applications so that you don’t need a plugin.
Can you fix AVIM? It doesn’t work on my favorite website.
Please report the issue and we’ll do our best to figure out what’s wrong. Indicate the version of AVIM, the version of Firefox, and the input method you’re using.