Fora Dictionary for Android
Fora Dictionary is a versatile dictionary application for Android devices.
This application is superseded by Alpus. New users are recommended to start with it for a modern, better user experience and more dictionary format support.
- Installable packages (WordNet, FOLDOC, Factbook, Moby)
- Multiple offline dictionary formats support:
- StarDict dictionaries
- XDXF dictionaries
- DSL dictionaries
- DICTD database dictionaries
- Plain (tab-separated/TSV) dictionaries
- Wikipedia (with suggestions and random)
- Wildcard search
- Fuzzy search
- DICT protocol
- Full rich-text content and hyperlinks support for definitions
- Unified dictionary management for all types of dictionaries
- Assign color
- Show information
- Multiple dictionary arrangements using profiles (grouping)
- Reader mode
- Word history and elegant navigation
- Word list
- Random word
- Lookup via system clipboard (clipboard monitor)
- Text-to-Speech (TTS)
- Voice input (dictation)
- Export options
- Email/SMS options
- Query API
- Tablet friendly
- Portable, all-in-SD configuration
|Fora Dictionary Pro||ForaDictionaryPro.apk||23.1||This version is cross-platform and works identically on Android/iOS/Windows/Mac/Linux.|
|Fora Dictionary||ForaDictionary.apk||17.3||This version works only on Android devices, but has customization options.|
|Checksums||MD5 or SHA-256|
There are five ways to extend the app with various sources/dictionaries:
- Packages (5 items): Ready-to-use offline dictionary installers tailored for using in the app. The English Dictionary Package is based on WordNet-3.0 and is comprehensive.
- Downloads (7 items): Several bilingual offline dictionaries to choose from.
- Offline dictionaries: Any dictionary of supported formats can be used in the app. All dictionary data is stored portably in the SD-card. You can even create your own dictionary/glossary as TSV/Plain dictionary using a text editor.
- Wikipedia(s): Integrated Wikipedia article fetchers displaying concise Wikipedia definitions.
- Network dictionaries: Configurable DICT-protocol dictionaries.
You can use any combination of the above dictionaries within the integrated interface.
- Storage: Fora Dictionary requires an SD-card present. It creates a directory in the SD-card named ".fora" in which it stores all dictionary and configuration files.
- Packages: You can add dictionaries using pre-configured dictionary packages. Packages normally do not occupy space on phone memory, they are essentially self-extracting dictionary data archives. After extracting the dictionary, you can safely uninstall the package application to reclaim phone memory.
- Clipboard activation: If you need to lookup from other applications, for instance while reading something in the browser, you can copy the word to the clipboard while the application is running behind. The app will pop up for lookup results.
- Configuration portability: The configuration directory (".fora") in the SD-card is completely portable. That is, you can share individual dictionaries or the whole ".fora" directory with friends. When you place a new dictionary copied from another configuration directory, the app will recognize it when you select "Rescan storage" from the Dictionary Manager menu.
Any source is treated as a dictionary. Below are descriptions of some terms used in management.
- Database: Collection of all dictionaries of all types
- Profile: An arrangement of dictionaries picked from database (kinda bookmarking)
- Remove: Remove dictionary from current profile and retain it in database for using in other profiles
- Delete: Delete dictionary from database and remove from all profiles (permanent deletion)
- Existing: A dictionary in database ready to be included into current profile
- Local: dictionary stored locally in the SD-card (offline dictionary)
- Network: dict.org, etc. server dictionary (online dictionary)
- Indexing: converting/importing a local dictionary into database (slow, but once)
- Package: Dictionary installer (does not need indexing)
- Download: Automated process of downloading & indexing
- Rescan: Checking for new files copied & placed into SD-card
- Switch: Change active profile
Fora Dictionary can index ZIP files containing resources (images, sounds, videos) and locate resources automatically during lookups. It supports classic ZIP files (non-ZIP64) and the encoding of file names of the resource files should be ASCII/Latin only. Also, the ZIP files should not contain sub-folders (flat structure).
Steps for attaching resources to a dictionary:
1) Extract resource files to your hard disk
2) Group the resource files into folders. Each folder can contain a maximum of 65,535 resource files
3) Create ZIP files for each group. In order to make ZIP files’ structure flat, select all files in a group at once (not parent folder) and use the context menu (right-click) to create ZIP files. You can use 7-Zip on Windows or “Compress” context-menu on OS X. You can give any file name to the ZIP files as long as it ends with .zip
4) Create index files for each ZIP file using the desktop converter utility. For example, for a ZIP file named sounds-1.zip, you should have a corresponding sounds-1.zip.rndx file. This *.rndx file allows instant retrieval of a resource during lookups
5) Move all ZIP files and their RNDX files to the folder of the dictionary in storage (the folder contains dict.index, dict.data, fdblite.properties, etc)
Sharing And Moving
Fora Dictionary allows simplified sharing of dictionaries by means of Import and Export concept. To share or to copy/move a dictionary, you “Export” it in the source app, which creates a standard ZIP archive optimised for sharing, and then “Import” it in the target app.
There are five kinds of search you can perform on a dictionary.
1) Regular (exact) search: searches in headwords of articles. Any dictionary can be searched.
2) Extended (diacritics-tolerant and multi-word matching): ignores diacritics and punctuation. Suggestions present diacritics-tolerant, in-phrase, and phonetic (English only) matches. The dictionary must be upgraded.
3) Full-text (reverse index) search: searches exact matches in article bodies. The dictionary must be upgraded (which can take very long time since every single word anywhere on the dictionary is taken into account).
4) Fuzzy search: searches approximately typed headwords (like a spell checker). Any dictionary can be searched.
5) Wildcard/RegEx search: performs wildcard and regex search in headwords. Any dictionary can be searched.
Pro Edition User Manual
Please refer to the iOS page for Pro Edition user manual.
Q: I can’t find the .fora directory.
A: Probably it is considered hidden. Please use a third-party file manager such as: muCommander
Q: Why does the app uses internal memory of device?
A: On recent versions of Android, the internal storage (instead of SD-card) is reported as the "external storage". You can easily change it using the topmost setting, "Storage".
Q: I can't use external memory/SD-card of my device as the storage.
A: On Android 4.4 and up, access to external memory by user apps is highly restricted by the operating system. You can't use arbitrary directories on external memory as the storage directory. The only directory allowed to access by Fora Dictionary is Android/data/com.ngc.fora/ (or Android/data/com.ngc.fora.android/ for Fora Dictionary Pro). You should copy/move the storage directory to this directory using a computer and then enter the full path of it into Fora Dictionary (use an Android file manager to determine the full path, for example: /storage/external_SD/Android/com.ngc.fora/files/.fora ). Note that you should make backups of this directory since it's deleted automatically in the event of uninstallation of the app.
Q: I can’t find some features listed in description.
A: Make sure you have an up-to-date menu layout. Go to settings and select “Restore defaults” from menu.
Q: When I select "Receive Dictionary" to transfer over Wi-Fi, I get "Address In Use" or "Bind Failed" errors.
A: Network addresses are shared across all apps on a device. The error indicates that another app is currently using the address (specifically, it's TCP/53132). Closing running apps or restarting the device should free up the address and allow the app connect successfully.
Q: I get the "5 results." message repeatedly.
A: The message informs that there could be more results (the app stopped searching). Putting up to 5 dictionaries in a profile will disable it automatically.
Q: Can I use the two versions above at the same time?
A: Yes, they can coexist. For example, you can dedicate the Android-specific version to e-book reader integrations, and use the other version for manual lookups.
Q: I bought an offline dictionary, can I use it in Fora Dictionary?
A: Probably, no. Most standalone dictionaries have it's own proprietary data format incompatible with general-purpose dictionaries. You need dictionary data in one of the supported formats.
Q: I'm new to Fora Dictionary. Where to start?
A: The desktop version is the best and recommended way/tool to set up your dictionaries and start using the app. It's identical in functionality and is much faster with respect to the mobile version since all the power of your computer is available to harness in converting/optimising (which itself may take very long time). After configuring dictionaries, you can synchronise with the mobile version using a common wi-fi connection.
Q: Fora Dictionary is too complicated.
A: This is a side-effect of having a plethora of built-in functionality, that we notice mostly in new users. We believe that over time, as you get used to the app, you will appreciate the feature set offered and the complicated-feeling features will translate into a joy to use. Please also keep in mind that we can't document every single feature of the app and hence urge users to explore them.
Q: Fora Dictionary User Interface (UI/UX) is non-standard and/or weird.
A: Fora Dictionary is written in the Java programming language and shares 90% of it's code (inner workings) across iOS/Android/desktop (here is an example). Optimizing the UI/UX for each platform (iOS7/8, Material on Android, mouse on desktop, etc) is not feasible because it requires dedicated developers on each platform, which is not available.
Q: Fora Dictionary license is too expensive.
A: Fora Dictionary is a little intricate app designed exclusively for performers of the art of discovery. Many man-years, mostly through the magic wand of love, were devoted in creation of this handy digital gadget. Please don’t compare the app with flashlight apps which can easily be created/developed in a few hours.
Below are some example repositories that host dictionaries that you can download and use with the application. The links are provided for informational purposes only, and we are not responsible for their content in any way.
dicts.info free dictionaries
English Wiktionary in StarDict format
Miscellaneous dictionary links
Converter for various dictionary formats (including BGL)
1) Fora Dictionary delegates playback of multimedia files of dictionaries to the Android OS and file
format support is out of the scope of the application. If your device can't play some files, you may
need to use a separate (probably a desktop) app to batch convert those files to a format that can be
played by your device prior to attaching them to the dictionary.
2) Large dictionaries can't be imported (indexed) directly on device due to memory and speed limitations and require being imported using the provided desktop version.
Fora Dictionary stores settings and dictionary data in the SD-card, hence, you will need to manually delete the ".fora" directory in the SD-card to clean up after uninstallation.
You can throw an Intent with action "com.ngc.fora.action.LOOKUP" and string extra "HEADWORD" to lookup in Fora Dictionary (since v4.0). A query API is documented here: fora_api.txt (since v9.0).
Android is a trademark of Google Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to Google Permissions.