Fora Dictionary is a versatile dictionary viewer.

Features

Downloads

Platform Application Version Requirements License App Store
Android ForaDictionary.apk 18.2 Android 2.2 or later Freeware N/A
Android ForaDictionaryPro.apk 24.4 Android 4.0 or later Freeware N/A
Java ForaFX.jar 24.4 Oracle Java 8 or later Freeware N/A
Checksums MD5 or SHA-256

User Manual

Adding dictionaries
1) Copy the dictionary files (e.g. for StarDict, they are *.idx, *.dict.dz, *.ifo) to internal/shared storage
2) Open the application, scroll to the bottom of the home screen and tap "Manage", and select "Import Dictionary" and select the dict's main file (e.g. for StarDict, its *.idx)
3) Follow on-screen instructions (please wait while one-time import is in process)

Adding dictionaries via iTunes (iOS)
1) Connect your device to your computer
2) Open iTunes and select the device
3) Select “Apps” tab
4) Select Fora Dictionary app and scroll down to File Sharing
5) Select “Add…” and add dictionary files (e.g. for StarDict, they are *.idx, *.dict.dz, *.ifo) to shared documents
6) Open the application, scroll to the bottom of the home screen and tap "Manage", and select "Import Dictionary" and select the dict's main file (e.g. for StarDict, its *.idx)
7) Follow on-screen instructions (please wait while one-time import is in process)
8) After import completes, you can clean up the shared folder by using “Delete File” from “Manage” menu

Adding compressed dictionaries
"Import Dictionary" option also supports single-file compressed (zip, tar, bz2 supported) dictionaries.

Copying/moving dictionaries
The application supports copying/moving by "Export Dictionary" to a *.zip file on the first device and then "Import Dictionary" that *.zip file on the second.

Attaching Resources
The application can index ZIP files containing resources (images, sounds, videos) and retrieve resources automatically during lookups. It supports classic ZIP files (not 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)

Adding Hunspell dictionaries for stemming
1) Verify that the filename of the Hunspell dictionary reflects the language of itself (e.g. en_GB.aff and en_GB.dic)
2) Import the Hunspell dictionary by selecting it's *.aff file
3) Verify that all dictionaries have their source/target languages selected properly (you can edit them using "Edit Properties" on dictionary menu)
Notes:
a) Hunspell dictionaries support is limited to prefixes and suffixes
b) After importing, dictionaries having the same source language as the language of the Hunspell dictionary will take advantage of it when searching
c) There are some built-in stemming support for some languages. In the case of multiple stemming sources for a language, the app leverages all of them.

Converting audio/sounds on a computer
1) Install FFmpeg which supports many formats and allows setting parameters (e.g. bitrate) for each format
2) Pick a format and convert a few sample resource files in order to verify that the format (and parameters) is playable on the device
3) Use the format and parameters with a batch-file/script/terminal to convert all resources (example)
4) Repackage and re-index the zip file
Notes:
a) This conversion is required only if the app says "Failed to play audio"
b) The filenames (including extension) of each resource file should be kept same after the conversion since they are hardcoded in dictionary data
c) If you are not comfortable with console apps, a regular/GUI batch conversion tool can also do the conversion

Search Types
There are five kinds of searches you can perform on dictionaries.
1) Regular search: Shows results exactly matching the query.
2) Extended matching search: Shows results matching the query with case, diacritics, and punctuations ignored. Suggestions include in-phrase and phonetic matches.
3) Full-text search: Shows list of articles containing exact matches of the query. The scope of search is not limited to headwords and includes all text in all articles (definitions, synonyms, examples, etc).
4) Fuzzy search: Shows list of articles most similar to the query. The search works like a spell checker for words you're not sure how it's written/spelled.
5) Wildcard search: Shows list of articles that match the criteria set with a wildcard query.

Troubleshooting and FAQ

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: Suggestions are slow when a lot of dictionaries are installed.
A: Unlike traditional search auto-completion, Fora Dictionary performs a complete search and matching of the query (e.g. occurrences in multi-word phrases) on all dictionaries in profile when suggestions are activated. Grouping dictionaries into smaller sets based on usage context using profiles may be helpful.

Q: I can’t find the ".fora" folder.
A: Probably it is considered hidden. Please use a third-party file manager such as: muCommander

Q: How do I uninstall Fora Dictionary (Pro) from my Android device completely?
A: The application stores settings and dictionary data on the external storage, hence, you will need to manually delete the ".fora" folder there to clean up after uninstallation.

Q: How do I uninstall Fora Dictionary Pro from my computer completely?
A: The application stores dictionary data and settings separate from it’s app folder. After deleting the app, you must also delete the folder named “.foradictionary” and the file named “.fdconfig” in current user’s home folder (for example, C:\Users\<username>\.foradictionary on Windows or /Users/<username>/.foradictionary on Mac). If you can’t see the folder or file, you can use a file manager, e.g. muCommander.

Known Limitations

1) Slow importing: The application converts every dictionary to it's own cross-platform format and sometimes this conversion takes very long time. Some big dictionaries require this conversion be done on a powerful desktop computer.
2) Limited on-device upgrades: The optimizations data compression and full-text search upgrade are not available on mobile devices due to cross-platform memory management implementation and greedy nature of the operations. This setup-only limitation doesn't affect any usage features on any device.
3) No embedded player: The application doesn't play resource files itself, but uses the device's default media player. The default player determines which kinds of files can be played.

For Developers

Integration with other applications or the operating system is briefly described here.