Dictionary engines

The requirements for candidate engines/clients are:

  • can display reasonably complex entries (numbered senses, examples and their translations)
  • supports some sort of point-and-wait/click/keypress in most/all applications OR supports tight integration with the main Office application on the OS
  • allows creation of your own dictionary files
  • is free


A list of dictionary clients and servers can be found at http://www.dicts.info/offline2.php.

Candidate engines found so far:


For the Mac, the main engine is the one included in OS X Leopard (10.5), for which we already have a working solution.

For users of older versions of the OS, some of the open-source, cross-plattform solutions described for Windows or Linux could be an alternative. Unfortunately, StarDict (the only cross-plattform solution) does only work on Leopard (ie 10.5) as for now.


  • StarDict - open-source, cross-platform solution (Linux/Mac/Win), quality unknown


There is an XML format available for interchange of dictionary data, XDXF, described at http://xdxf.revdanica.com/. XDXF data can be used by StarDict (see above). Thus, the following scenario is within reach with little effort:

  1. convert from our formats to XDXF using XSL (the real work)
  2. install StarDict
  3. install the dictionary file

StarDict is free, open-source, cross platform, and supports point-and-click (or something like it).

StarDict short user guide


  1. Download StarDict
  2. To make it work for a non-admin account, run it once in an admin account.
  3. Dictionary files should be put in /opt/gtk/usr/share/stardict/dic/

I have not been able to get the point-and-click function working on the Mac, but since we have a superior solution for that platform, it is not a real problem.


  1. Download StarDict
  2. More to be written.


  1. Download StarDict
  2. More to be written.