Advanced Options

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Wenlin 216x93.png Appendix I of the Wenlin User’s Guide

The Options menu (Chapter 2) contains an Advanced Options... item, in which are listed a variety of special features which advanced users might like to enable or disable.

There are several reasons why an option may be classified as “advanced.” The main reason is to keep Wenlin from seeming too complicated. Especially when you are first learning how to use Wenlin, we recommend that you ignore advanced options, and avoid changing their default settings. Some advanced options will only ever be of interest to a small minority of users under special circumstances. Some advanced options will interfere with Wenlin’s usefulness if you change their settings without understanding what they do.

Due to the special and sometimes experimental nature of advanced options, they are more likely than other features to change from one version of Wenlin to the next, and their documentation may not be as accurate or complete.

Choosing the Advanced Options... item from the Options menu will display a list of advanced options. Each advanced option is assigned to a general category relating to its purpose. The category names are the same as (and in the same relative order as) the File, Edit, Dictionary, Font, Window menu items. To enable or disable an advanced option, simply check or uncheck the “龱/囗” checkbox before it. (Note: Some options may use a ▷button instead of a checkbox, to configure the option settings by means of a dialogue or options window.)



Use UTF-8 as the default format for opening unclear “.txt”, “.htm(l)” and “.xml” files

When this option is turned on, if you open a file whose name has the extension “.txt”, “.htm”, “.html” or “.xml”, and the format of the file is not indicated (by a byte-order mark, charset attribute, etc.), then Wenlin will assume the file is in UTF-8 encoding. By default, this option is off, and you will be asked “What format is this file?” as described in Chapter 3.

Use UTF-8 (not UTF-16) as the default format for saving new files

By default, this option is off, and Wenlin saves files with UTF-16 encoding, unless you choose a different format in the Save As... dialog. If you turn this option on, then UTF-8 will be used instead of UTF-16.

Save automatic-recovery information every 3 minutes

In case of an unplanned disruption, such as a power outage or a crash, Wenlin tries to prevent you from losing work that you have done editing documents or dictionary entries. Every three minutes, Wenlin automatically writes the contents of windows in which you are editing and have not saved the changes, to a special file. When you quit Wenlin normally, it deletes the file before quitting. If you quit abnormally and the file still exists the next time you start Wenlin, the file is displayed so that you can recover its contents. This feature is called “auto-recovery”. There are some limitations to it. To avoid taking too much time or using too much disk space, it only saves the text from windows containing up to one megabyte each, and it writes them all into the same file. This feature is not designed to replace the Save and Save As... commands; it is only a last resort that may, or may not, protect you in the event of disaster.

The name and location of the automatic-recovery file depend on your operating system. On Mac OS, it is named “.wenlin_autorecovery.wenlin” and is stored in the current user’s home folder; the dot at the beginning of the name causes the file to be hidden. On MS-Windows, it is named “wenlin_autorecovery.wenlin” and is stored in the Application Data folder for the current user; on Windows 7 or Vista that might be “C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Local\”; on Windows XP it might be “C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Local Settings\Application Data\”. Normally there is no reason to look for the file directly, even if there is a crash. When Wenlin starts, it always looks for the file and opens it automatically if it exists.

By default this option is turned on. You might want to turn it off if you find any problem with it making noise or otherwise interfering with your normal workflow.

Automatically save flexible flashcard files (*.wenlinfx) after each question

When this option is on, as it is by default, flexible flashcard files are saved automatically whenever you do something that modifies the stack of cards, such as answering a question (which changes the order of cards and may change your score). If your computer is very slow or your flashcard stack is very large, the automatic saving might be slow and distracting, in which case you might want to turn this option off. You will be prompted to save before closing or quitting.

Disable updating of the “Open Recent” menu

The Open Recent sub-menu in the File menu is generally useful and you probably will want to keep it enabled most of the time. In fact, it is so useful that you may come to rely on it for conveniently opening certain important files that you frequently read. If you occasionally want to browse through a long list of less important files, you might not want them to fill up the sub-menu and replace the important files. This is a situation in which you might want to disable updating of the sub-menu temporarily before browsing the less important files, and then re-enable it when you’re done. By default, this option is off, meaning that the sub-menu is not disabled.

Add BOM (byte-order mark) when saving .txt files as UTF-8

New in 4.1: With this option enabled, Wenlin adds a BOM (byte-order mark) when saving “.txt” files as UTF-8 (if a BOM is not already present). The head of a UTF-8 can have a BOM as a signature — an indication that an otherwise unmarked text file is in UTF-8 encoding form (though it makes no difference in the endianness of the byte stream). BOM at the head of UTF-8 text may, however, interfere with some processing. For more, see the Unicode BOM FAQ.

Tushuguan options...

This button opens an option window that lets you change the location of Wenlin’s Tushuguan folder.

▷Tushuguan options...

This can be used to access the data from an older version of Wenlin 4 that you have previously installed on your system.


Reveal codes when editing is enabled

If this option is turned on, then whenever editing is enabled in a window, codes will be revealed. In other words, choosing Enable Editing from the File menu will then automatically have the effect of choosing Enable Codes in This Window from the Options menu; and if Open Files with Editing Enabled is turned on in the Options menu, then simply opening a file will cause it to have editing enabled and codes revealed. By default, this option is off.

Show gray invisibles (spaces/tabs/newlines) when codes are revealed

If this option is on, then when codes are revealed (as by choosing Reveal Codes in This Window from the Options menu), spaces, tabs and newline characters are displayed as visible gray symbols. A space looks like a gray asterisk (*); a tab looks like a gray plus sign (+); and a newline looks like a gray pilcrow (¶) (Unicode U+00B6). By default, this option is turned on. You can turn it off if you don’t need the gray invisibles and find them distracting.

Convert numbers to Chinese (e.g., 5 → 五, 10 → 十, 100 → 百) with the Convert key/command

When this option is on, typing a number followed by the special convert key converts the number into a Chinese number. Only numbers that map to single Chinese characters are converted.

As explained in Chapter 2 and Chapter 4, the special convert key is a shortcut for choosing Convert from the Edit menu, and its default value is the slash (/) key. So, if this option is on, you can type 5 / and the result will be . However, this can interfere with writing fractions such as 1/2 and dates such as 12/9/2010, so by default this option is off. But remember: you can always type your special convert key itself by typing the semi-colon followed by the special convert key, e.g. ; //.

Try to convert misspelled pinyin (e.g. “shaban” for “xiaban”) with the Convert key/command

With this option enabled Wenlin (as of 4.0.2, first documented for 4.1) attempts to correct frequent pinyin spelling mistakes when using the Convert command. Corrections will be suggested only if there are few or no conversion results from the uncorrected text. This option is experimental.

Always hide full/simple form equivalents in the conversion bar

If this setting is on, then only the full or simple form will be shown in the conversion bar (according to your Simple Form Characters setting). With this option off, the behavior is determined by the setting of Show/Hide Dictionary Items... in the Options menu. By default this option is off. (First documented in 4.2.)

When editing is enabled, “Make Transformed Copy...” output replaces the input

Normally, Make Transformed Copy... makes a copy of its input text and places this in a new document. If you prefer that a new document not be created but the text be transformed in-place, you may select this option. It is applied only where editing is enabled (so you can’t accidentally mess up a dictionary entry with it). It is possible to undo the transformation by choosing Undo from the Edit menu.

Show advanced items in the “Make Transformed Copy...” pop-up menu

When this option is on, the Make Transformed Copy... command displays options for transformations that are otherwise hidden. Some of these transformations are for unusual purposes and might distract you from the more basic or important transformations. Therefore this option is off by default.

  • {hanzi|pinyin} transcription: like pinyin transcription but leaves the hanzi in the copy, like this: {汉字|Hànzì} {与|yǔ} {拼音|pīnyīn}. You can then make any necessary corrections before transforming the text again using one of the {hanzi|pinyin} to ... transformations below.
  • {hanzi|pinyin} to HTML: takes a {hanzi|pinyin} transcription and turns it into HTML code for a Web browser. When the resulting code is displayed in a modern graphical Web browser like Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer, the pinyin for each group of hanzi will be placed over the top of that hanzi group (so-called “ruby” layout). This transformation can also turn any other text into HTML code, not just {hanzi|pinyin} transcriptions, but it is most useful for {hanzi|pinyin} transcriptions.
  • {hanzi|pinyin} to CJK-LaTeX: takes a {hanzi|pinyin} transcription and turns it into typesetting code for the advanced typesetting system called LaTeX (a variant of the TeX system developed by Professor Donald Knuth of Stanford University and often used in academia). You will need the CJK version of LaTeX to typeset hanzi and pinyin. This transformation can also turn any other text into LaTeX code, not just {hanzi|pinyin} transcriptions, but it is most useful for {hanzi|pinyin} transcriptions.
  • {hanzi|pinyin} to Lilypond lyrics: takes a {hanzi|pinyin} transcription and turns it into lyrics code for a music typesetting program called GNU Lilypond. You can use this to typeset songs with pinyin placed over the hanzi. Note that this transformation generates only the lyrics code, not the music. You will need to add the music yourself using Lilypond’s music code. Therefore this transformation is useful only if you are familiar with GNU Lilypond.
  • {hanzi|pinyin} to column of text: takes a {hanzi|pinyin} transcription and turns it into a column of text that is suitable for display on a narrow screen such as a mobile phone. The hanzi is displayed on the left and the pinyin on the right.
  • Interleave Encode [U+]: like Encode [U+] but leaves the original text interleaved with the encoded version. This enables you to see both the text and its Unicode numbers at a glance.
  • Run a Perl/Python script on this text: enables programmers to write their own programs to transform the text in the current Wenlin window, using the Perl or Python programming languages. To use this transformation, simply save the script which you wish to run in the Tushuguan folder (normally “WenlinTushuguan”), in a file titled “” (for Perl, or “” for Python). Scripts should read from standard input and write to standard output, in both cases using UTF-8 encoding form. If you try to use this transformation without having first written a program, the result will be a message indicating where to put your program. If you are using Windows, you will also need to install Perl or Python on the system (Linux with WINE then you may be able to skip that step).
  • Unicode Normalization Form Composed (NFC): the Unicode standard for coding text provides different ways of representing some characters. For example, Latin letters with accents can be represented as either a code for the letter itself plus a separate code for each accent (often in any order), or sometimes a single code for both the letter and its accent as a pre-combined unit. Some (usually older) programs don’t know about this difference, which may sometimes cause them problems with searching and sorting such texts. Converting the text into NFC form will ensure its coding is consistent. It is not usually needed.

New in 4.1:

  • Replace non-Latin1 tone marks with 1-4: like the Replace tone marks with 1-4 transformation, but leaves in place any tone marks that can be displayed using the ISO Latin-1 character set, which is supported by many devices that cannot support full Unicode. If you wish to display text on such a device, and you wish to use tone marks where possible but tone numbers otherwise, you can use this transformation.
  • Full form characters in band notation: takes a list of entries in band notation and converts simple form characters to full form characters in some bands. (Specifically, the hz and mw bands in Cídiǎn entries, and the df, en, hz, and psx bands in Yīng-Hàn entries.) This transformation is used automatically behind the scenes to enable another advanced option, Convert to full form characters in Cídiǎn and Yīng-Hàn entries when the Simple Form Characters option is off.
  • Quick pinyin-over-hanzi (best guess): equivalent to {hanzi|pinyin} transcription (above) with no ambiguities shown. As the name of this transformation implies, it is intended to be used in conjunction with the Display {hanzi|pinyin} markup as stacks advanced option. If that advanced option is switched off, this transformation will issue a warning about it.
  • {hanzi|pinyin} to .odt document: this transformation works differently from the others: instead of creating a new document within Wenlin, it will prompt for a filename and save a .odt file, which will then be opened automatically if an appropriate program is installed on your system. The transformation translates {hanzi|pinyin} into stacks, and also recognises bold markup and comments. You may use or LibreOffice to save the resulting document as a Word 97 file. (Note: the appearance of the hanzi-over-pinyin stacks depends on which version of which program you have. For example, LibreOffice 3.3.2 on Linux displays documents better than LibreOffice 3.4.2 on Windows 7 (and MS Office 2010 on Windows 7), however if you use LibreOffice 3.4.2 you can export to Word 97 format and then MS Office will display it better than LibreOffice 3.4 did (but not as good as LibreOffice 3.3). Because .odt-related software is in active development, Wenlin Institute cannot guarantee a good appearance on all versions.)
  • {hanzi|pinyin} to LyX 2 for XeTeX: takes a {hanzi|pinyin} transcription (or other text) and turns it into a LyX document. LyX is designed as an easy-to-use front-end to LaTeX (see above): LyX has its own file format that is different from LaTeX, but all LyX documents are converted into LaTeX before printing. As the name of this transformation implies, the resulting LyX document will require at least version 2 of LyX to read, and will require the XeTeX variant of TeX to print. The printed results might differ slightly from those of the LaTeX transformation.
  • Sort lines (Z-A; with shift key A=a): performs a descending alphabetic sort; with shift key down, case-insensitive.
  • Sort lines (0-9): performs an ascending numeric sort.
  • Sort lines (9-0) : performs a descending numeric sort.
  • Sort prefix length (UTF-8 bytes to first TAB): performs a special sort which may be useful to programmers.
  • Sort prefix length (descending): descending variant of the Sort prefix length (UTF-8 bytes to first TAB) item.
  • Number lines: numbers the lines of the text window (prefixing the sequential line number followed by a TAB).
  • Pinyin or {hanzi|pinyin} to Braille (experimental) (new in Wenlin 4.1): transforms pinyin or {hanzi|pinyin} into 3-cell Chinese Braille. It outputs Unicode Braille symbols. You can also enter Unicode Braille symbols manually in Wenlin by typing the dot numbers followed by the letter b and pressing Convert, e.g. type 34b and press Convert to get Braille dots 3 and 4 (this may be useful for writing instructional materials about Braille).
  • Unicode Braille to ASCII Braille: transforms Unicode Braille symbols (see above) into ASCII Braille, which is an ASCII-based standard for representing Braille patterns used by some Braille displays and embossing equipment.

New in 4.2:

  • {hanzi|pinyin} to hanzi: converts {hanzi|pinyin} to hanzi only. Useful if you want to work in {hanzi|pinyin} stacks for reference but your final result should be hanzi only. Also useful if you want Wenlin to "re-do" a section of the {hanzi|pinyin} transformation after you've added some extra dictionary entries.
  • Title Case: converts words to title-case, e.g. “wénlín yánjiūsuǒ - xué hànyǔ ruǎnjiàn” becomes “Wénlín Yánjiūsuǒ - Xué Hànyǔ Ruǎnjiàn”. Works with Pinyin, English (and many other Latin-based writing systems), and {hanzi|pinyin}.

Hide ambiguities in all pinyin transformations

If this option is enabled, then ambiguities will be hidden (silently resolved) in all Hanzi-to-Pinyin transformations. (The word "all" is here because ambiguities are already hidden in all "quick" transformations.) Note that "best guess" resolution of ambiguities may not be correct, so use this option (and the quick transformations) carefully, and check your work. By default, this option is off. (First documented in 4.2.)

Try to rewrite “yi” and “bu” sandhi in pinyin transformations

New in 4.1: This option applies to the transformations Pinyin transcription and {hanzi|pinyin} transcription as well as Quick pinyin-over-hanzi (best guess) and the pinyin quick note hotkey. It causes the tones of (一) and (不) to be rewritten according to context, as is done in some pinyin publications. While great care has been taken to ensure the software does this correctly, occasional errors might result, hence the words “Try to” in the name of the option; for maximum confidence the results should be proof-read.

Pinyin transformations omit pinyin when a word’s hanzi are all in a file named “known-hanzi.wenlin” or in open classic flashcards

The file “known-hanzi.wenlin” will be found if it is located at the root of your Wenlin Tushuguan directory, or in the Tushuguan/Text directory.

By default, this option is off. (First documented in 4.2.)

Include Instant Lookup popups in HTML transformation

New in 4.1: This option applies to the advanced {hanzi|pinyin} to HTML transformation. It controls whether to add pop-up instant-lookup information to the generated HTML (which was done by default in Wenlin 4.0.2). You might want to turn this off if you wish the HTML code to be easier to edit, or if the person using the HTML document will not need pop-ups, or if you are working on a very large document and wish to speed up the transformation.

If you are working on a very large document and you do choose to include pop-up information, it is possible that the result will contain information from a significant number of dictionary entries, and this might be copyright infringement if distributed. Please use good judgement and only distribute excerpts from the ABC that are small enough to be considered “fair use.”

Allow TeX transformation to write Unicode numbers of variants that are unsupported by Arphic fonts

If this option is enabled, then TeX transformation will substitute bracketed Unicode numbers (e.g., [U+900E]) when a character is unsupported (has no glyph) in Arphic fonts. (First documented in 4.2.)

Display {hanzi|pinyin} markup as stacks

New in 4.1: This option causes any {...|...} markup in any document to be displayed as “stacks”, with the line in which it occurs becoming double-height and displaying the part after the bar (|) above the part before the bar. This is intended to be used with text generated by the {hanzi|pinyin} transformation. Wenlin takes care not to place a page break in between the pinyin and the hanzi.

Caution: This way of displaying pinyin over hanzi within Wenlin is experimental. It is primarily intended for use when viewing {hanzi|pinyin} documents, and we hope it will work reasonably smoothly in such cases. Editing documents is another matter. While extensive effort has been put forth to ensure it works well with all editing operations, we cannot guarantee it to be bug-free in all possible situations, and it’s not impossible that a complex editing operation with stacks will result in display corruption. We hope we have eliminated this, but the option remains experimental and it might be safer to turn it off before doing any complex editing, or at least save your work frequently. The option is made available for the benefit of advanced users who take the necessary precautions, as it can be very useful indeed to be able to view and print pinyin-over-hanzi from within Wenlin itself.

At any rate, Wenlin does not yet support editing inside the stacks with this option turned on, unless Reveal Codes in This Window is switched on so that the {..|..} markup is shown as-is. If Display {hanzi|pinyin} markup as stacks is switched on then {hanzi|pinyin} transcription will automatically set Reveal Codes in This Window on so that the transcription can be edited.

Enable C+Shift commands for Bold, Underline, Colorize, etc.

If this option is on, you can underline selected text by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N (MS-Windows) or Shift+⌘N (Mac OS), and you can colorize selected text by pressing Ctrl+Shift+C (MS-Windows) or Shift+⌘C (Mac OS). New in version 4.1: Bold via Ctrl+Shift+B (MS-Windows) or Shift+⌘B (Mac OS) (inserts a Bold tag but still displays as underline).

The effect is to insert HTML codes into the text: <u> for underline, and <font color='blue'> for colorize.

The implementation of underlining and colorization is somewhat incomplete and experimental. If they are used to underline or colorize long stretches of text, the display may be inconsistent, so they are better used only for short pieces of text such as a few words. If they are used repeatedly or in combination for overlapping or nested stretches of text, the display may be inconsistent.

The default color inserted is blue, but you can choose Reveal Codes in This Window from the Options menu and change the value to a different color. See also Set colorization color to change the default.

See also SET-COLORIZATION-COLOR for an alternative keyboard shortcut.

By default this option is off.

Set colorization color

This item provides a button with which to set the color used in the colorization command.

For example, if the current colorization color is the default:

▷Set colorization color (blue)

Changing this setting only applies to future codes, it does not affect codes already applied.

See C+Shift commands; see also SET-COLORIZATION-COLOR for the related keyboard shortcut. (First documented in 4.2.)

Copy hidden “wow” codes with the Copy command

New in 4.1: Copying text that contains hidden “wow” codes also copies those codes.

Copy hidden codes (other than “wow” codes) with the Copy command

New in 4.1: Copying text that contains any hidden codes at all also copies those codes.

Warn if copying has removed codes

New in 4.1: Disable warnings that codes have been stripped from copied text. This warning can be suppressed temporarily (for the current session) with the checkbox in the warning dialog itself.

Open Clipboard window in response to other programs

When other programs change the clipboard, Wenlin will open a “clipboard” window showing its contents. This may be useful if you frequently switch between other programs and Wenlin, using Wenlin to help you understand the Chinese being shown in the other program: it eliminates the step of pasting into Wenlin.

The clipboard window automatically changes whenever the clipboard is changed by another program. If you enable editing in the clipboard window, it will turn into a normal document window and its contents will no longer be updated when the clipboard changes. (A new clipboard window will be opened instead when the next change takes place.)

Clipboard window follows Wenlin’s own changes too

Normally, the clipboard window (above) is not updated when Wenlin itself changes the clipboard. This is so you can use Wenlin to move around parts of the text that another program put on the clipboard, without disturbing the clipboard window in the process. However, if you prefer that the clipboard window be updated by all changes to the clipboard, even Wenlin’s own, then set this option.

Ask clipboard for Rich Text when possible

When another program places text onto the clipboard, it sometimes makes formatting information available (e.g. Bold and Underline) via the Rich Text standard. Wenlin normally asks the system clipboard to discard such information and provide the plain text. If you would prefer Wenlin to ask for the Rich Text information so the formatting is preserved, choose this option. Wenlin will ask for the Rich Text first, and, if this is not available, the plain text.

Please note that we have not tested Wenlin’s understanding of Rich Text with every application out there. It is possible that some program will create Rich Text that confuses Wenlin when pasted in. If that happens, it is recommended that you turn this option off when working with that program. However, if your other programs are well-behaved enough, and you wish the text from them to have its formatting preserved in Wenlin, then you might want to try turning this on.

Automatically paste into new window when editing is disabled

Normally if you try to paste into a window that has editing disabled, Wenlin will ask if you wish to enable editing. If you answer No, Wenlin will ask if you wish to paste into a new window instead. If you wish to bypass these two dialogs and always paste into a new window, turn on this option.

Replace noncharacters with � [U+FFFD]

The Unicode Standard (through version 6.2) said noncharacters (such as U+FFFF) were "forbidden for use in open interchange of Unicode text data", and recommended that noncharacters "received in open interchange" be replaced with U+FFFD REPLACEMENT CHARACTER. The standard changed, so that text editors are expected to "support" noncharacters (treat them similar to private use). Wenlin supports noncharacters now, if the user turns on this option, which is off by default. (First documented in 4.2.)


Seal=Sòng variant folding if “Full=simple (見=见)”

This advanced option enables searches with “Full=simple” to find Shuōwén seal characters and a variety of related characters.

Full=simple itself enables limited variant foldings (for both Chinese and alphabetical text). For example:

  • a search for “CAT” also finds “cat” (and vice versa);
  • a search for full-form “說”[U+8AAA] also finds simplified “说”[U+8BF4] (and vice versa).

With this advanced option enabled, many more variants will also be matched. For example:

  • a search for “說”[U+8aaa] not only finds “说”[U+8BF4], but also “説”[U+8AAC], etc., and corresponding seal forms;
  • a search for a seal character finds full and simple forms and a variety of Unicode variants.

To learn more about Shuōwén variant foldings, see the file “variants.wenlin” which is accessed via the “異體字” yìtǐzì button in Zìdiǎn entries for seal characters.

For more about Shuōwén seal characters, see Looking Up Vocabulary and Appendix J.

This feature is still in development. It is not yet available in regex searches. By default this option is off.


Show additional transcriptions (Wade-Giles, IPA, Braille, etc.) in Pīnyīn database windows

If this option is turned on, Pīnyīn database windows (accessed by looking up any single pinyin syllable) will contain additional transcriptions (romanizations etc.) of Chinese syllables.

Pīnyīn database windows will also include a button providing access to Wenlin’s complete Comparative Transcription Table.

▷open Comparative Transcription Table

This table can be used to explore the relations among various transcription systems.

At present the following eight transcription systems are included in the table:

① Pīnyīn : 拼音; 漢語拼音/汉语拼音; Hànyǔ Pīnyīn; Chinese pinyin (official PRC transcription).
② Pin1yin1 : ASCII Pinyin with numeric tone marks (instead of diacritics), and “v” instead of “ü”.
③ IPA : International Phonetic Alphabet.
④ Romatzyh : 國語羅馬字/国语罗马字; Gwoyeu Romatzyh; Guóyǔ luómǎzì; GR; by Y. R. Chao.
⑤ Wade-Giles : 韋氏拼音/韦氏拼音; 威妥瑪拼音/威妥玛拼音; by Thomas Wade and Herbert Giles.
⑥ Bopomofo : ㄅㄆㄇㄈ bōpōmōfō; 註音符號/注音符号 zhùyīn fúhào; 註音字母/注音字母 zhùyīn zìmǔ.
⑦ Chinese Braille (3-cell) as ASCII.
⑧ Chinese Braille (3-cell).

(First documented in 4.2.)

Use short band names in dictionary (Cídiǎn and Yīng-Hàn) entries

This advanced option is only meaningful when you are editing dictionary entries. An example of a long band name is part-of-speech; the corresponding short band name is ps. Chapter 9 and Appendix E describe band notation. By default, this option is off.

Look Up Word command lists alphabetically adjacent words

If this option is turned on, when you choose Look Up Word... from the Dictionary menu and enter an alphabetical word (pinyin or English), the resulting window contains the list of all words in alphabetical order, as though you had chosen Words by Pinyin or English Words Alphabetically from the List menu.

This option also applies to the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+L (MS-Windows) or ⌘L (Mac OS), and to the 查 item in the toolbar. However, it does not affect what happens when you look up a word using the Mouse pointer finger.jpg hand tool. Also, it does not affect what happens when you enter a word in Hanzi.

By default this option is off, and the resulting window only contains the entry for the word you entered.

Resolve variant and mixed-type Hànzì during look-ups and transformations

When you try to look up a polysyllabic Chinese word written with non-standard variant character forms, if this option is on, then Wenlin tries to map the variant forms to standard forms. For example, in addition to the standard simple and full form characters for guī ‘tortoise’ 龟 and 龜, there are also variant forms 亀𪚨𪚧𪚺𧑴𪚿𪚦𪚴𤕣𠁴𠃾. If this option is on, then when you look up a word such as 烏亀, Wenlin will recognize that it is equivalent to 烏龜 and 乌龟. Also, if you mix standard full and simple forms in a word, such as 乌龜 or 烏龟, Wenlin should be able to find the word.

This feature is still experimental and is off by default.

Substitute for variant Hànzì during “Simple form characters” transformation

New in 4.1: This option converts any non-standard variant Full form Hànzì to the more usual Full form, as may be needed to accomplish conversion to Simple form characters.

Use dot notation instead of star notation when exporting Cídiǎn and Yīng-Hàn entries

New in 4.1: This option affects the notation used for exporting a list of new/changed dictionary entries, using the ▷analyze button for a dictionary when you choose Show Dictionaries from the Dictionary menu. The notation is described in Chapter 15 as part of the explanation of the Import List of Entries command. Normally, each entry is preceded by a line that starts with three asterisks (or stars). When you turn on this option to use “dot notation instead of star notation”, a shorter alternative format is produced instead, in which the first line of each entry is preceded with a period. The period is not on a line by itself: it begins the first line of the entry. Either of these notations can be used for importing a list of entries. By default, this option is off.

Convert to full form characters in Cídiǎn and Yīng-Hàn entries when the Simple Form Characters option is off

New in 4.1: This option is on by default. On older machines it may be slow, and might be best turned off.

Always show Pīnyīn first in Cídiǎn entries

This option controls one aspect of Cídiǎn database window display: if it is enabled, then Pīnyīn romanization comes before Hanzi and other entry information. (First documented in 4.2.)

Set prefix for new serial numbers

New in 4.1: This option lets you change the prefix that is given to new serial numbers when creating dictionary entries. Normally the serial number is R (for Random) followed by a random number. Wenlin ensures that the random number does not conflict with any other entry in your dictionary, and if you are importing somebody else’s entries then Wenlin can warn you about serial-number conflicts if you “Test” the import. However, if you regularly create entries using several different computers (and you don’t always keep their dictionaries in sync) then you might find it useful to set each computer’s serial-number prefix to something different, so that there is no possibility of a clash. You could also use this to keep track of which computer you used to create the entry.


Color seal characters red in Zìdiǎn entries (and in other key places)

Red seal characters are beautiful, but if you disagree, turn this off. By default it is on.

Enable advanced CDL (Character Description Language) features

Please see Appendix G for information about CDL.

By default, this option is off, since CDL features are a bit technical and may be distracting to new users.

If this advanced option is turned on, additional buttons may be available in Zidian database windows.

This includes:

stroke buttons and diagrams for CDL variants.

list characters containing buttons for CDL components (see also Characters Containing Components).

New in 4.2:

list similar characters button, to produce a list of similar characters; similarity is based on CDL, as used for Handwriting Recognition.

Enable native rasterizer for CDL font

New in 4.2: On Mac OS, if the advanced option is turned on, rasterize the Song Hanzi (CDL), Plain Hanzi (CDL) and Monospace Pinyin fonts using native Mac OS vector graphics instead of FreeType, for improved PDF printing (with scaleable outlines rather than fixed-resolution bitmaps). Starting with version 4.3, this option is turned on by default.

Use “heavier weight” instead of underline for bold markup

New in 4.1: Normally, bold markup (text surrounded by <b> and </b> tags) is represented as underline in Wenlin, since Wenlin does not yet have the general ability to display bold text correctly. This option enables generation of a “heavier weight” (pseudo-bold) by overprinting instead. It is turned off by default.


Use the “Text/convert_custom.wenlin” conversion file, if present (not “convert.wenlin”)

New in 4.1: The “convert.wenlin” configuration file (in the “Text” directory) is a tab-delimited file with at least two columns (and a third optional column). The file enables conversion and input of arbitrary strings using the Special Key (selected in the Options menu). The first column contains the Source string (the text to be converted), and the second column (after the tab) contains the Destination string (the target text to result from conversion of the source string). The optional third column (after a second tab character) is for comments, best prefixed with a “#” character. Whole lines beginning with “#” are also comments.

If you wish to customize the “convert.wenlin” configuration file, copy it to “Text/convert_custom.wenlin”, edit that copy instead, and activate the Use the “Text/convert_custom.wenlin” conversion file, if present (not “convert.wenlin”) Advanced option. From the file header:

# Wénlín Conversion Sequences
# Place this file in your Tushuguan “Text/convert_custom.wenlin”.
# This file contains TAB-separated conversion sequences, accessible by means of your Wénlín Convert Key.
# Each line maps a “SRC” sequence of one or more characters (followed by a TAB) to a “DST” sequence.
# To customize this file, copy (or rename) it to a file named “convert_custom.wenlin” (in the same location)
# and edit that file instead; then your changes will be preserved after future Wénlín upgrades.
# SRC : TAB : DST [: TAB : # Optional comment]

To find the active conversion file, see the next section.

Open “convert.wenlin” configuration file

New in 4.1: Pushing this button will open the active “convert.wenlin” (or “convert_custom.wenlin”) configuration file.


Scrollbars have no arrows

New in 4.1: This option turns off the up and down arrows in the scrollbar, and replaces the Scroll Box with an oval.

Display Unicode values (e.g., “文[U+6587]”) in Zìdiǎn window titles

By default, this option is off, and the title of a Zìdiǎn entry window is simply the character, such as “文”. If you turn the option on, then the title will be like “文[U+6587]” instead, where U+6587 is the Unicode Scalar Value. This is useful sometimes when doing technical work.

Space bar is equivalent to Page Down key (when not editing)

If this option is on, then when editing is not enabled in the active window, pressing the space bar is equivalent to pressing the Page Down key. This is similar to the behavior of many web browsers. This option overrides the normal effect of space bar in Zìdiǎn entries (with editing not enabled), which is to open the stroking box. By default this option is off.

Enable advanced navigation keys (when not editing)

This option enables an advanced navigation feature that will be familiar to users of the Emacs programmer’s editor. When editing is not enabled, you may press M to set a “mark” at the current position, and later press X to “exchange” the current position with the mark. For example, suppose you are in a classroom and are looking at a long document, and the teacher wants to skip over something and come back to it later. You can press M to mark the current position (say, the 47th sentence) before skipping; if later on you have made it as far as the 85th sentence and you need to jump back to your saved position, press X, and this will take you back to the 47th sentence but will mark the 85th. Later still, you might be at the 49th sentence and press X to go back to the 85th and mark the 49th. And so on: the “mark” effectively gives you two different cursors within the document, which you can switch between with a single keystroke (not even requiring any modifier keys, hence easy to press even on the most awkward of mini-laptops which you might have in the classroom). There is only one mark, and it cannot be saved, cannot be made visible, and will be forgotten if you change the text.

This feature is still experimental and is off by default.

Hide topmost titlebar for more screen space

New in 4.1: Particularly useful for working in very large print.

Quit if the last main window is closed

On MS-Windows, it is traditional for most programs to quit when you close their only remaining window. On Mac OS, on the other hand, most applications remain running when you close their only remaining window. Some people don’t like the way most programs behave in this regard, but for whatever reason, they don’t switch to the other operating system. In an effort to make everybody happy, Wenlin makes this an option. The default is on for MS-Windows, and off for Mac OS.

Quit requires confirmation

New in 4.2: This advanced option causes Wenlin to respond to the Quit command by asking the user to confirm that they really want to quit and didn't simply type the command by mistake. Protects novice and sleepy typists (who might have many dictionary and document windows open, but no unsaved editing changes) from exiting their Wenlin session by mistake. By default this option is off.

Quit discards unsaved changes (DANGER)

New in 4.3: This advanced option, when turned on, causes Wenlin to discard any (unsaved) changes in all windows before quitting. Implemented in response to a persistent user feature request. If you often launch Wenlin to create temporary Untitled documents for use as "scratch pad" for dictionary look-up in very short sessions, and don't want to be prompted each time to save text which you never intended to save. By default this option is off.

Hide/show toolbar items

New in 4.2: This button opens the Toolbar Display Options window, in which the user can select which Tools will be displayed in the Toolbar.


New in 4.2: Navigation Tools (◁ back and ▷ forward) were specially designed for use with the ABC Dictionary of Chinese Proverbs (Yànyǔ).

New in 4.2: The Reveal Codes tool allows you to toggle the Reveal Codes state of a sub-window.

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