>> Walkthrough

The following screenshots are taken from PAdict 0.9.0, and are similar to the screen of a Color 320x320 PalmOS5 unit with all valid options installed. Some screens adapt for different aspect ratios, and some funtionality may be different with a grayscale screen.

The Browser
[[Standard Browser screen & Multiple  Browser screen image]]
Once you have installed everything correctly, the firs screen you will see is the browser. You can look through every entry in the installed dictionary, with romaji, definitions, kana only and kanji/kana display. Of course, it is not likely you want to browse the whole dictionary, so the results of searches also show up in this format.
Tapping the buttons at the bottom of the screen takes you to one of the many search options.
If the proper fonts have been installed, you can switch between this and the "multiple result browser" by tapping the button at the top of the screen. Depending on the palm's resolution, you can see four or six entries at a time, with their first definition. Tapping on the entry will take you back to the standard browsing screen, tapping on the [H>] will prompt you to add it to a hotlist.
The drop-down list on the top right side of the screen will let you switch between the full dictionary, the results of your last search, and one of your hotlists.
Kanji Information (optional)
[[Kanji Information screen & Taka screen image]]
kjdef.pdb stores information the meanings, pronunciations, and lookup values of Kanji.
It can be accessed from two places. In the standard browsing window, tapping on a kanji will bring it up. In the search dialogues, information on kanji over the blinking selector is gotten by hitting the [kanji] button. If this button is not present, kjdef.pdb has not been installed.
Stroke Order (optional)
[[Kanji Information screen & Taka screen image]]
taka.pdb provides animated stroke order information. It is accessable from the Kanji Information screen if installed.
The Taka database is not nearly as complete as the Kanji Information, and will occasionally come up with missing or incorrect entries. You can help complete it.
A hotlist is essentially a dictionary you build on your palm. Hotlists survive installing new dictionaries and are backed up at sync time. They do have a limitation of not being searchable and being stored in main memory.
Hotlists are created from the hotlist menu in the browsing screens.
Hotlists are accessed in the top right corner of browsing screens.
Along with being able to browse hotlists, you can also quiz yourself on hotlist entries in the Trainer.
Converters for off-palm creation of hotlists are currently in the planning stages.
The Trainer
[[trainer image]]
The trainer tests you on the meanings of entries in your dictionary or hotlist. It is available in the mode menu from the browse screen.
As with the browsing screen, you can select the dictionary or a hotlist to test yourself on from the top right corner. The checkbox in the left column enables and disables the display of kana pronunciations.
The incorrect translations are taken from the installed dictionary.
Search by Meaning
[[meaning image]]
The [Engl.] button in the browse window.
Enter your words via graffiti or on-screen keyboard. Searching with less frequently used words first (like "sleep to" in the example) does really speed up your search - grammar is not checked.
As a special argument, a filter can be added to the end of the search string. For example; you have installed the Expanded Database, but only want public words in the results - you would add a "(p)" to the end. This will also work for verb inflections, like (v5r). This only works as a final argument.
Japanese search methods
All the other search methods - Hiragana and Katakana, Romaji, PocketKanji, and Multiradical have a similar set of options. They are available via the row of buttons at the bottom of the search screen.
In the search dialogues, the first row of buttons - [H] [K] [R] [K] [M] - can be used to switch between methods, for whatever is the easiest method to add a new character.
Second is a drop-down list. The default selection, "kana", which searches for exact matches in the kana reading. Also available is "kana*", which searches for any entries starting with those characters in the search string, and "kanji*", which works mostly like "kana*", but it looks for matches in the kanji definition instead of the kana reading. These modes are automatically switched between as needed.
[Search] does what one would expect it to do - start a search, showing results in the browsing screen.
[Clear] removes all characters from the search string.
[Del] removes one character before the highlight, like backspace.
[Kanji] takes you to the Kanji information screen, provided kjdef.pdb is installed and there is actually a kanji over the (blinking) cursor.
[Cancel] returns you to your last list.
Refer to the following screenshots to see these options.
Hiragana and Katakana Input
[[hiragana / katakana screens image]]
Although Hiragana and Katakana have seperate input screens, their layout and usage is exactly the same.
Tapping once on a kana character will add it to a search list. Tapping on a character in the search list will make it cycle through accented and small characters - try it! You can also insert characters you forgot by moving the highlight (click where you want it to be). The highlight mostly works as a normal text cursor.
An alternative to taping on already placed characters to change their accent is to enable kana corner tap or kana double tap in the main preferences dialogue.
Romaji Input
[[Romaji image]]
Use graffiti or the on-screen keyboard to enter romaji. One can choose between hiragana and katakana interpretation.
Users of Japanese-enabled Palms default to an exclusive "direct" input option, shown in the screenshot. In direct mode, you can enter japanese text with the IME that came with your PalmOS. Hiragana and Katakana are still available from the drop-down menu, if you want to use "true" romaji. If you believe the direct input option should be available and it is not, enable the force Japanese OS option and restart PAdict.
When switching in from another search mode, Kana characters are represented by their romaji equivalents, while Kanji are represented by their EUC number - unless in "direct" mode.
[[PocketKanji image]]
... is a great way to test your handwriting, including stroke order, if nothing else.
Just draw the character you want to add - stroke order matters! - and tap either the Kanji, Hiragana, or Katakana button. Undo, clear, and redo are also available. Several characters will appear (up to 8, 16 or 18 depending on your screen configuration); hopefully, one of them is the one you wanted. Tap it to add it to the search string.
After adding a kanji to the search string, all color (and newer greyscale) palms will give feedback on how easily it identified your strokes to get that kanji. The strokes marked as color "A" in the lower right corner are well done, other colors are progressively worse.
PocketKanji has is own preferences dialogue.
Multiradical Lookup
[[Multiradical Lookup Screen image]]
The MultiRadical lookup method will search for a kanji using standard radicals.
1. Select up to 4 radicals by tapping on them. Radicals are sorted by their stroke count; the dropdown in the upper left corner selects other sets.
After being tapped, radicals will appear in the small boxes along the bottom of the screen. Tapping on a radical already in a box removes it from the search.
2. If you know the stroke count of your kanji, enter it in the "stroke count" area. You can enter either one value or a range if you are unsure.
3. Tap [lookup] and any matching kanji are displayed. If your kanji is there, tap it to add it to the search string. If you did not find your kanji, you can reset the whole form, or add more radicals. Results from your last search are always available through the "Res" option in the radical selection dropdown. You can also change your stroke count and lookup again.