An Input Method Editor (IME) allows users to enter and edit Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters.
These writing systems have more characters than can be encoded for a regular keyboard. The IMEs for these languages use sequences of base characters that describe an individual character or group of characters to enter a larger set of characters. Base characters can be component letters from Hangul syllables, phonetic components for Japanese Kanji characters, or various combinations for Chinese characters.
To compose text with an IME, the user generally uses dictionary lookup and contextual analysis, especially in languages where homonyms are frequent, as in Japanese.
For example, the Japanese machines are provided with Japanese O.S. and special keyboard drivers. If Ime-Mode isn´t enabled, the user has to push the "kanji mode" for every field they want to edit. It's a special key on Japanese keyboards.
HTML authors can provide users with some control by specifying an IME mode for a specific text entry. For example, if Japanese users enter information in a registration form, they might be required to enter their names in Kanji and Roman characters. By default, the users would have to make sure that the IME is inactive when entering their names in the Latin alphabet. The user would activate the IME to enter Kanji letters, then deactivate the IME to complete the form in the Latin alphabet. By controlling the IME mode, the HTML author prevents the user from having to activate and deactivate the IME.
The Ime-Mode property is supported by Microsoft, so it works under IE exclusively.
Possible values for the Ime-Mode property
auto: Default. IME is not affected. This is the same as not specifying the ime-mode attribute
active: All characters are entered through the IME. The IME accepts component characters or processing commands. Users can still deactivate the IME.
inactive: All characters are entered without IME. The keyboard acts like a regular keyboard and input is limited to a small set of characters. Users can still activate the IME.
disabled: IME is completely disabled. Users cannot activate the IME if the control has focus.