Chinese Toolbox: free software for learning to read Chinese

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Chinese Toolbox: free software for learning to read Chinese

Postby atsherrill » 25 Jun 2009, 06:07

Learning to read Chinese for an adult is not a piece of cake (and writing is worse). The constant look-up of the meanings of characters is a killer. After a few years in Taiwan, I began working on writing a computer program to address the frustrations I had as a student of Chinese. The result is Chinese Toolbox FREE (http://www.chinesetoolbox.com). This program is a free Chinese reading assistant, and it is very helpful in reading online (and offline) Chinese documents. I am currently working on the development of more advanced software for learning Chinese. I invite you to try Chinese Toolbox FREE. Whether your impression is positive or negative, I would love to hear from you.
A. Todd Sherrill
Author, developer, and publisher of Chinese Toolbox software
http://www.chinesetoolbox.com
Email: atsherrill@toolboxcoding.com
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Re: Chinese Toolbox: free software for learning to read Chinese

Postby Fortigurn » 27 Jun 2009, 09:33

This looks like just what I want. Unfortunately it cannot be installed on Vista 64 bit, according to the installation file.
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Re: Chinese Toolbox: free software for learning to read Chinese

Postby bismarck » 28 Jun 2009, 06:48

Ok, I downloaded it and opened the program after installation. Now what? Can't figure out how to copy and past Chinese text, or even how to use the program, let alone importing or exporting dictionaries etc...

Sems like a nice idea, though. Perhaps I can figure it out later when I have more time...
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Re: Chinese Toolbox: free software for learning to read Chinese

Postby atsherrill » 29 Jun 2009, 05:47

Fortigurn wrote:This looks like just what I want. Unfortunately it cannot be installed on Vista 64 bit, according to the installation file.


I've release a new installer for Chinese Toolbox FREE 9.1.2 that allows installing on 64-bit versions of Windows. Please refer to the new web page and follow the instructions there: http://www.chinesetoolbox.com/Download_64-bit/download_64-bit.htm. I hope this works for you.
A. Todd Sherrill
Author, developer, and publisher of Chinese Toolbox software
http://www.chinesetoolbox.com
Email: atsherrill@toolboxcoding.com
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Re: Chinese Toolbox: free software for learning to read Chinese

Postby atsherrill » 29 Jun 2009, 06:05

bismarck wrote:Ok, I downloaded it and opened the program after installation. Now what? Can't figure out how to copy and past Chinese text, or even how to use the program, let alone importing or exporting dictionaries etc...

Sems like a nice idea, though. Perhaps I can figure it out later when I have more time...


Like studying Chinese, learning to use Chinese Toolbox FREE will require a little bit of time investment. Once you understand how to use the program, the payoffs should be great. The whole point of the program is reduce the amount of time you need to spend learning to read Chinese.

The basic techniques in using Chinese Toolbox FREE are pretty simple: copy and paste. First, from any source (usually your browser) select and copy the text you want to read. Second, click in the reader frame and paste the text (Ctrl-v). The text you previously copied should appear in the reader. I've written a tutorial just for what you want to do. I hope you can find a little time to check it out. It's located at http://www.chinesetoolbox.com/Documentation/User_Guide/Tutorial_1--Importing_and_Read/tutorial_1--importing_and_read.htm. If you need any other help feel free to write me at ats@chinesetoolbox.com. If you're in Taiwan you can also give me a call.
A. Todd Sherrill
Author, developer, and publisher of Chinese Toolbox software
http://www.chinesetoolbox.com
Email: atsherrill@toolboxcoding.com
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Re: Chinese Toolbox: free software for learning to read Chinese

Postby Charlie Phillips » 29 Jun 2009, 07:41

Looks great. I can't wait for the linux version :pray:
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Re: Chinese Toolbox: free software for learning to read Chinese

Postby bismarck » 29 Jun 2009, 18:26

atsherrill wrote:
bismarck wrote:Ok, I downloaded it and opened the program after installation. Now what? Can't figure out how to copy and past Chinese text, or even how to use the program, let alone importing or exporting dictionaries etc...

Sems like a nice idea, though. Perhaps I can figure it out later when I have more time...


Like studying Chinese, learning to use Chinese Toolbox FREE will require a little bit of time investment. Once you understand how to use the program, the payoffs should be great. The whole point of the program is reduce the amount of time you need to spend learning to read Chinese.

The basic techniques in using Chinese Toolbox FREE are pretty simple: copy and paste. First, from any source (usually your browser) select and copy the text you want to read. Second, click in the reader frame and paste the text (Ctrl-v). The text you previously copied should appear in the reader. I've written a tutorial just for what you want to do. I hope you can find a little time to check it out. It's located at http://www.chinesetoolbox.com/Documentation/User_Guide/Tutorial_1--Importing_and_Read/tutorial_1--importing_and_read.htm. If you need any other help feel free to write me at ats@chinesetoolbox.com. If you're in Taiwan you can also give me a call.

Best wishes,

A. Todd Sherrill
Author, developer, and publisher of Chinese Toolbox software
http://www.chinesetoolbox.com
Email: ats@chinesetoolbox.com
Cell (Taiwan): 0910-092-454

Cheers mate. I'll check out the tutorial when I have the time. The concept seems a good one, though. If I run into any problems I'll give you a call...
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Re: Chinese Toolbox: free software for learning to read Chinese

Postby Dr Jellyfish » 29 Jun 2009, 18:50

I've just downloaded it as well and is it just me or does this thing only read single characters?

The other issue I had was that after I managed to paste a text, I couldn't scroll down to look at the other parts of the text, just the top 10 or so lines.
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Re: Chinese Toolbox: free software for learning to read Chinese

Postby atsherrill » 29 Jun 2009, 21:27

Dr Jellyfish wrote:I've just downloaded it as well and is it just me or does this thing only read single characters?

The other issue I had was that after I managed to paste a text, I couldn't scroll down to look at the other parts of the text, just the top 10 or so lines.


No, it's not just you. The program currently supports only character reading. The included dictionary is a character dictionary. As such, it is a preview of what is to come. Believe me, no one wants full support for an extensive word (multi-character) dictionary more than myself. I planned for the inclusion of a word dictionary quite a long time ago, but what you see in Chinese Toolbox FREE 9.1.2 has kept me busy until the present. I am now working on some more advanced features, one of which is the word dictionary. My Upcoming Release page (http://www.chinesetoolbox.com/Upcoming_Release/upcoming_release.htm) provides a little more information as to what's coming in the Fall.

Answer to your second question: The reader frame (contained in the Reader and Search Results window) presents the reader text in multiple pages. It's not in one long scrollable page. To see the remainder of your text, press the Page Down key. The left hand side of the Reader and Search Results window indicates the current page number and the total number of pages. Press Page Up to go to the previous page. Press Home to go to the first page.

Hope this helps.
A. Todd Sherrill
Author, developer, and publisher of Chinese Toolbox software
http://www.chinesetoolbox.com
Email: atsherrill@toolboxcoding.com
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Re: Chinese Toolbox: free software for learning to read Chinese

Postby atsherrill » 29 Jun 2009, 21:32

Charlie Phillips wrote:Looks great. I can't wait for the linux version :pray:


Thanks. I can't make any promises, but I will take some time to look into the feasibility of doing a Linux version. I did find an implementation of the Windows API for Linux, called libwine. Don't know how good it is, but I'll check it out.
A. Todd Sherrill
Author, developer, and publisher of Chinese Toolbox software
http://www.chinesetoolbox.com
Email: atsherrill@toolboxcoding.com
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