Thursday, December 27, 2007

Searching multiple dictionaries simultaneously

With huge dictionaries packed in single compact disks available at affordable prices, I have almost given up flipping through my large library of books, although I do refer to them when I cannot find what I'm look for in a CD. I have stored about 10 CDs (J-E/E-J dictionaries in various fields) on my hard disk using an application called Virtual CD that enables virtual drives to be created in your system and CDs to be copied to these drives. The overall effect is that your PC thinks that each virtual drive is a CD-ROM drive with a CD in it.

I use DDwin to search through various references simultaneously. DDwin has a macro enables you to select a phrase and hit a hotkey to search through various references. Here is a snapshot of a search through various dictionaries for the word "virtual" of "virtual drive" selected from this article (if you click on it, you should get a clearer image in a new window).

The colored icons (理化学、コンピ(コンピュータ)….) and so on indicate the reference CDs I have registered in DDwin.You can either:

1. Copy the DDwin macro given in its Help menu, and modify this line:

DDwin = "C:\program files\ddwin\ddwin.exe ,1,新規グループ,,"

to suit the path to DDwin in your system and the name of the dictionary group (which in my case is "新規グループ" in which I have registered all my dictionaries;

2. Set the macro as a menu item in Word; or

3. Set DDwin to appear when you right-click a term in Word and launch DDwin.

Here's how a right click on "グループ" looks like. NewDDWin is the name I gave to the macro that launches DDwin to search through all your references for the term "グループ."

To set the macro to appear in your right click menu, here's what you do:

1. From the Tools menu in Word, pick Customize.

2. The Customize dialog box will open. Click the Toolbars tab.

3. Scroll down, and check the box next to the Shortcut Menus option. A small Shortcuts Menu dialog box will appear showing the labels Text, Tables, and Draw.

4. Position the Shortcuts Menu dialog box so it is not overlaid on the Customize dialog box.

5. In the Shortcut Menus dialog box, click on the Text label. This will display a list of choices.

6. Click on the Text option near the bottom of the list. This will display the menu that appears when you right-click while typing in a Word document.

7. In the Customize dialog box, click the Commands tab.

8. In the Categories list, scroll to Macros and click on it.

9. In the Commands list, find the name you used when you installed your macro. (If you used the name "NewDDWin", it will appear as Normal.NewMacros.NewDDWin.)

10. Click on the name, then drag it to the spot on the right-click menu where you want the dictionary button to appear.

That's it. Next time you come across a difficult term, right click it and launch DDwin.


Anonymous said...

Hi, thank you for this great blog. It's really useful.
It looks like I will replace my old ViewIng with DDwin thanks to its simultaneous search.
Ah, the link for DDwin doesn't seem to work. I had to download it from Vector.

Gururaj Rao said...

Thanks for pointing out that the link to DDWin does not work. I have modified the link.