For Your Information

Selected parts of the MacJDic 1.3.4 Manual
Manual in Japanese here
MacJDic Download page here


MacJDic is a program that will look up words in the public domain Japanese-English dictionary 'edict', and the kanji character dictionary 'kanjidic'. These dictionaries are maintained by Jim Breen. It allows you to look up English or Japanese words, and allows you to look up Kanji by a variety of different criteria.


MacJDic requires a Macintosh with KanjiTalk, or the Japanese Language Kit. The dictionary files are large, and MacJDic will need to generate index files, which are also large. The total disk requirements are currently about 6 megabytes. The program runs in native mode on the PowerMacintosh.


This archive should contain the follwing files:
MacJDic 1.3.4
MacJDXGen 1.3.4
MacJDic Manual
MacJDic Manual-J
New Features

In addition to these files, you need to obtain the following files:

The latest of these files are available at the ftp site If you do not have access to the internet, it is up to you to find these files. You must download these dictionary files in binary mode.

Copy all of the files into the same directory. Now, run MacJDXGen to generate the index files. You will need lots of free disk space (roughly 5 megs) to do this, and it will take a long time, but you only need to do it once. When you run the program, it will ask you if it should generate each index file. You should answer yes. It requires about 15 minutes or more to create each index file. You can switch the program into the background, but it will slow down the process consideribly, and periodically MacJDXgen will take over the computer for about 30 seconds without giving the foreground application any time.

Once you have have created the index files, run MacJDic. From the fonts menu, select the fonts you wish to use in the different windows. MacJDic does not do a good job of updating the fonts, so quit the program and rerun it to make the changes take affect. You should now be ready to use the program.

Using MacJDic

The has two modes for looking things up depending on which dictionary it will use. When J-E/E-J is selected, searches will be done in 'edict' to look up the Japanese-English, or English-Japanese translation of a word. When the kanji search option is selected, you can search for all of the kanji that match your search criteria in 'kanjidic' and get a variety of information about each kanji. See 'kanjidic.doc' for details on what these different fields mean. Command-D is the keyboard equivalent for doing a search. Command-J will switch to a J-E/E-J search, and Command-K will switch to a kanji search.

If you are using System 7 or later, MacJDic uses Marco Piovanelli's TextEdit replacement called WASTE. This provides inline input in the search dialog, and allows more than 32K to be displayed in the 'edict' search results window. It also supports Macintosh Drag and Drop.

If the All Compounds option is selected, and you do a J-E/E-J search for a kanji, all compounds with that kanji will be found (as opposed to only those that start with that kanji).

If the Deinflect Verbs option is selected, and you type in a verb or adjective with kanji+kana, MacJDic will try to deinflect (or unconjugate) the verb. For example, if you search for 話します with deinflection turned on, it will find 話す.

There are three windows in MacJDic. One is for selecting what to search for. One shows the results for searches in 'edict'. The other is for showing the results of searches in 'kanjidic'. Clicking in the close button of either of the results windows will bring the search window back to the front (I know, this isn't the way mac programs should behave).

There are buttons to convert the search field to hiragana or katakana.

The Radical List button (or Command-R) gives you a graphical list of all of the radicals. When you select one, MacJDic will show you all of the kanji with that radical.

If the AutoPaste feature is selected from the Edit menu, every time you switch to the search window, it will paste the contents of the clipboard into the search field. This is useful if you will be copying things from another program to look up.

If a number is entered into the 'stroke limit' field, only kanji with that number of strokes will be displayed in the kanji results window. So, if you want to for example, find all of the kanji with a certain radical, and 10 strokes, you can type 10 in the stroke limit box, and then click the radical list button and click on the radical.

For more info see the MacJDic homepage at

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