Plecodict is awful


Just kidding, thanks a lot for all your work. Plecodict is really full of good ideas. But still...

Plecodict look awful ! The small font look really bad, not only chinese characters, but also english ones !!! Please find a better looking font as I think it's very important for a tool used all day long.

The icons also are awful. I understand that you're not a graphist, but I think it's time to find somebody able to draw really nice looking ones... maybe in your userbase one can propose himself... just give the specifications (size, color) and meaning of each needed icon, maybe this can be fix very rapidly.

Still talking about look, it's nice to have character recognition on the same window (For myself, I prefer to have it at the bottom and to have the list on right side). But, of course, we should be able to choose the color of character drawing (!i normally use red in Penpower).

Concerning botton of page, I think 1 line could be saved from character recognition tool because I never had more than 12 proposition for a character, so only 3 lines are needed.

Concerning look of dictionnary, can you use unicode character in circle instead of "(1)" of "(A)" just to save some space. And maybe use some color to highlight different part of a definition (not too harsh color). Maybe it'll make reading big definitions more easy.

Concerning bugs, I've got only 1 disturbing one, on my Tungsten C, blue key and right arrow doesn"t work : with left blue-left, I can move 1 character back, but I can move 1 character forward with right.

Concerning request,I'm still hoping to be able to select a character to see is prononciation (instead of a big character).

Concerning contents of the new dictionnary : A lot of chinese character are missing, a lot of word in definitions are written only in pinyin and when both are present, pinyin often appear before Hanzi, I'll really prefer it the other way around. (At best, I'll prefer to have a small button near a chinese word or sentence that I can press to have pinyin appearing !). I don't know If you can do anything about it.

Concerning character recognition with vector, it's a little slow on my Tungsten C (compare to Penpower). And if I write too fact, I only get garbage and missing anchor points.

Concerning my proposition, it still actual : If you can have a licence for a Chinese-French French-Chinese dictionnary, I'll be more than happy to do the hard work to adapt it for plecodict (and to use and commercialise it in France).

Voila, c'est tout.

Bonne journ?e et encore merci

PS: Please forgive me for my bad english, I was really bad at school, my last quotation on an english exam was "-2", not kidding !


Staff member
Thanks for the feedback. Most of these suggestions are already being addressed (see - the fonts are indeed ugly and we're certainly planning to improve them for the finished version.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on the icons - it wouldn't be difficult to change them, but some people have actually said they like the new ones. Are there any particular icons you especially dislike? Is it the colors or the designs or what? And these are the high-resolution ones, right? (I'd be happy to hear from anyone else with specific thoughts on the icons as well)

We'll do something about character drawing color too... might even offer a rainbow option like PenPower does. And our new "Character Info" screen will offer pronunciation and a lot of other info.

And thanks for pointing out that cursor movement bug, we'll look into it.


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

You might want to change the heading on the thread. I thought Pampuk was serious! Then again, it did make me look into the thread immediately.

I'm an avid user of the Oxford Dict and have recommended plenty of friends to it. Can't wait to get PlecoDict with all avail. dictionaries, but will hold off from doing so until the flashcard system is ready.
Don't change the heading - it made me look fast too!

As for the icons, perhaps one problem is that they are a disparate bunch. No sense of them belonging to the same program. Some of the colours are a bit garish too. So if you can get someone to design better ones it woudl be great. Maybe something in line with your PlecoDict program icon which looks great.


The look of the individual icons are fine, but there are a lot of them squeezed in the top;. A configurable toolbar where the user can select their icons might be handy. I would remove the flashcard icons as well as the radical lookup icon, which I keep hitting when I mean to hit the drawing icon.

I don't mind the fonts except for the full-size numbers in front of the pinyin words.


Have to agree with Pampuk on this one, Plecodict doesn't look too good.

First time I started up the program i was a little dissapointed, it just doesn't look as cool as it is useful. It's not a big deal i guess, but if I should suggest a little design tip then go for some chinese inspiration. In general I think good design is about keeping it simple. Not too many different colors and keep a genral design theme througout the icons.

I still use the old Oxford version sometimes for flashcards and because it's easier to write the characters using Penpower. When this is possible with Plecodict its going to be awsome.


I?ve been playing with Plecodict quite happily for the last couple of weeks, and am finding it very useful already, even without all the features. I do have a pathetic tendency to do things like tap the flashcard icon, just on the off-chance it?s magically started working overnight. I agree with what?s said about the icons ? there?s no consistent ?look and feel?. Apart from that, nothing to add (apart from a blue-sky wish for a Chinese-Chinese dictionary designed for learners and based on the Plecodict engine)

Roddy (of - I think I recognise some faces around here 8) )



Staff member
Thanks for all the feedback.

I think I see what you're all talking about with the icons - we need a little more consistency there. The mix of colors and designs is a little jarring and not very sleek... We were trying to make a break from the dull, black/white/blue look of the Oxford E&C icons and we may have gone a little too far. We may not be able to do too much of a Chinese theme, since 14x14 pixels (low-res) isn't exactly a very large canvas, but at the very least I'm sure we can achieve at least a respectable level of consistency and tone down the garish color scheme a bit.

And there'll definitely be a configurable toolbar, the only reason there wasn't in this release is because there weren't enough icons to need one. (though I hadn't thought of the extra spacing possibility... actually with our new layout engine we could probably even make the spacing / number of icons adjustable, hmm...)

BTW, our next release should be ready sometime next week - I won't necessarily be sending out an announcement about it (every time I do that I spend the next 2 days answering e-mails :D) but there'll be a message on the main website page. Not too many added features, but a lot of bug fixes and (I think) the much-requested PenPower/CJKOS support.


still a fantastic tool

I agree with most comments, certainly re: icons, I did take me a while to adjust. But I've been using for at least an hour a day ever since it was launched and it's just great.
I have a Clie UX50 and 480x320 support is major improvement, as well as full-screen char recognition. No comparison re: dictionaries, I also use Wenlin on the PC, that makes things even trickier as their interface is so different.
I think its not just inconsistency in the icons that's puzzling, maybe placement as well, or general layout. But having some much stuff on the screen is indeed a challenge, and making it look nice at all resolutions, portrait and landscape.
It's probably a matter of personal taste but I feel the lighter icons are better than the darker ones, and there's a feel they're not properly aligned (they don't seem to all fit the virtual box that all hanzi are supposed to fit in). Still, icons colours is better than just b&w.
FYI, there's a new version of PAdict (Japanese-English) available freeware at other design choices there, maybe some ideas to explore but overall not that user-friendly


Staff member
Thanks for that link - we're just starting to think about PlecoDict 2.0, which among other things will (we think) include Japanese support, so it's interesting to see how other people have been working on those design problems. (their character component search is also a planned 2.0 feature, actually)

And it's looking now like there will indeed be adjustable toolbar icon spacing in the finished release of PlecoDict, in addition to the option to disable / blank out individual spaces, so that should help a little bit with the screen being overcrowded.


I agree that the incons look a bit squeezed - or not the same size.

I am a person who loves to use programs without looking into the manual. I have been using the Oxford C/E dit for a while. But I have a hard time to get used to all the different icons in the PlecoDICT.

Someone in the thread wrote that these icons seem not to belong to the same software... I agree. Some are in colour, some are b/w, some are square, some are round-shaped, sizes are different...

Could need some make-up... 8)

Okay - this only my humble input... other than that - I am using it for the first day anow and am impressed with the amount of vocabulary in it!!!




Icons and overall design

The icons and graphic layout can be amazing as witnessed by the
hi-res clie version of TacTic or TextTwist from

How about some color in the product, including user-definable

If resolution is an issue then only have full res beautiful color
icons for the high-res machines that support it.

Of course, like most, I'd rather have the content and functionality
no matter how it looks, first. The current dictionary content
is fantastic (although still not perfect).

And agree, main program icon is very cute.


Staff member
Well it'll certainly be better looking than it is now, but given how far behind we are I don't think we'll have time to implement a full-fledged graphical theme system for 1.0. It might crop up in a future release, though. The main goal graphics-wise for 1.0 is simply to have a consistent and attractive (or at least inoffensive) "look" to everything.


Of course, like most, I'd rather have the content and functionality
no matter how it looks, first. The current dictionary content
is fantastic (although still not perfect).
Yes - a great product. I entirely agree with the approach to make it simply consistent and to keep it consistently simple. Frankly, I'm not sure how much value there would be in customizable skins - I have no problem with the background of paper dictionaries being white? I'd much rather see Pleco spend their time licensing new dicts or adding useful functionality.