Windows & Macintosh Dictionary Search And Creation Software
Back in 1995, I distributed some simple Apple Macintosh software to help solve partially completed crosswords. This software made use of a English dictionary. In some feedback from a user, I was asked how a dictionary or word list could be constructed by fishing for new words in text files such as dissertations, articles etc.
This led me to produce the Apple Macintosh version of Dictionary Genesis in 1996 - a tool that will allow alphabetically sorted word lists to be either created from scratch or to have new words added to them in such a way that the output will have no duplicated words. In addition this tool can also be used to find out what words are contained in one text file but not another.
From memory, I guess the bulk of Dictionary Genesis was written in a single weekend so don't expect too much of it. It was written mainly because someone asked me how such a thing could be written and also because it's of some use to me.
Given that I now have a Windows 95 PC, I have converted both the crossword search and dictionary creation tools to run on Windows95/NT as console applications. You can download either the Windows or Macintosh versions from the bottom of this web page.
Dictionary Genesis Usage
- Any file you expect Dictionary Genesis to read in must be directly in the same folder as the application.
- The input files must be in a text only format. If you have Word (*.doc) files, you must first convert them to Text Only (*.txt) using Save As... from within Word.
- Dictionary Genesis will ask you to enter the names of two files to read in. If you only want Dictionary Genesis to read in words from one file, just hit return in response to one of the prompts. You have to specify whether these input files contain either one word per line, as in a dictionary or word list, or words in the form of sentences. Depending on which it is enter 1 or 2. If you are unsure of what to select, specify that the words are in the form of sentences i.e. enter 2.
- Dictionary Genesis will then ask you for the name of the file it will produce as output. The output name can be the same as one of the two input files. If this is so, beware as this will cause the old version to be overwritten and there is no undo available.
- If you have only specified one input file, Dictionary Genesis will produce as its output a list of all words, sorted alphabetically, that are contained in that file.
- If you have specified two input files, say file_x and file_y, Dictionary Genesis will give you three options:
- Output a dictionary made up from the words in file_x and file_y.
- Output the words in file_x, but not in file_y.
- Output the words in file_y, but not in file_x.
Enter 1, 2 or 3 depending on your choice.
Sample Uses For Dictionary Genesis
- Make an alphabetically sorted word list/dictionary without duplications from scratch from either one or two text only files such as letters, dissertations, articles etc.
- Add words to a pre-exisiting word list from either another word list or any text only file containing words in the form of sentences.
- Find out what words are contained in one text file, but not another. This can be used to find out what words are in one word list, but not another.
- Strip out any duplications and alphabetically sort a pre-existing word list.
Crossword & Wild-Card Search Usage
- wincross.zip contains the executable wincross.exe and an English dictionary named engldict.txt. When wincross.zip is unzipped, make sure wincross.exe and engldict.txt are in the same directory. On startup, wincross.exe will ask you for the filename of a dictionary to be loaded into memory. Just hit return to load in the default dictionary engldict.txt. wincross.exe can load in other dictionaries, so long as they only contain one word per line and are uncompressed, simple text files with standard DOS line breaks of a carriage-return followed by line-feed.
- You will then be asked if you want to strip punctuation marks from the dictionary words as they are being read in. This isn't terribly important. If you want a word such as Rogets' to be picked out with a search string of r?gets instead of r?gets', then hit y to strip away the puncutation marks. If you are unsure of what to do, just hit return. By the way all searches are case independent.
- Your search string should consists of letters, question marks (?) and asterisks (*). Use ? for a single unknown letter in your search string, whereas * represents any number of unknown characters including zero characters. For example *some* will return all words that contain the string some including adventuresome and awesomley. x*phon? will return xylophone.
Download The Software
Now for the standard disclaimer. This software comes with absolutely no warranty and I am not responsible for any damage it may cause.
This software may not be used for commercial purposes without authorisation from the author.
Don't forget this software only works with text only files, so no unconverted Word documents!
Click on dictgen.zip to download the Windows95/NT version of Dictionary Genesis. This will help you construct alphabetically sorted word lists without duplications. Download size is 46 Kb.
Click on wincross.zip to download the Windows95/NT crossword and wild-card search tool. This will help you solve partially completed crosswords and comes with a large English dictionary. Download size is 333 Kb.
Click on dictionary-search-12-sit.hqx to download the Macintosh version of Dictionary Genesis. The Macintosh version also comes with a large English dictionary and a crossword search tool. Download size is 565 Kb.
If a single click does not work, try a right-click followed by Save Link As...
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