[Unofficial] Feature Request / Suggestion List

Weyland

举人
Been browsing through the forums for feature suggestions of the past to organize them in one place. Have a suggestion? Post it here, I'll update the list.

IF you have alternatives for the suggestions made, whether it be dictionaries or third-party alternatives; please post your suggestions here.

Dictionary
Search Function
•>(■) Word Class; Search by word class. You can search the Military Lexicon through #SYMR, but it would be neat if you could search for terms related to "physics", "aviation", "colloquial", and above all "self-deprecating". To then sort said words by frequency of use.
•>(■) Idiomatic Phrases; Make searching for idiomatic phrases easier. Having to count the number of letters in a word takes time, instead of
•>(■) Vague Idiom Search; trying to find 热泪盈眶 (rèlèi-yíngkuàng) from just the character "热" is rather difficult, as you'll might have to browse through 4 fields of search results before you'd find it (???热 / ??热? / ?热?? / 热???).

•>(■) Interrelated Idioms/Sentences; For entrees with more than 3 characters also provide any interrelated entree that differ a single character or so (e.g. 弄巧反拙 hits 弄巧成拙, 口讲无凭 hits 口说无凭). [Note 11]
•>(■) Search non-purchased; ability to search for words in dictionaries user hasn't purchased yet.
Definition Screen
•>(■) Search Counter;
A counter for the number of times the user has searched said word.
•>(■) Alternate Fonts; Extend the function to Android
•»>() Cursive Stroke Diagrams; Animations for cursive stroke diagrams. [Note 2]
•>(■) Synonyms / Antonyms; Have a tab containing all the relevant synonyms/antonyms. [C-Alt: Baidu汉语 is decent, or MOEdict for Taiwan]
•>(■) Homophones; Show words with the same pronunciation (including differences in intonation) without having to specifically search for it.
•>(■) Dialect Specification; Words like 甭 (bèng) are identified as dialect words, but which dialect? Pleco doesn't tell.
•>(■) Pinyin/Colors Examples; Automatic Pinyin and colors for the already existing example questions [Note 17]
More Dictionaries
•>(■) CedPane; A dictionary of transliterated Western names into the Chinese language. [Note 4]
•>(■) Min Dialect Dictionaries [C-Alt]
•>(■) Legal terms PRC [Note 10]
•>(■) Measure Word; Create prominence of relevant measure words for nouns. [Note 9]
History
•>(■) Delete search history
[Note 24]

Reader
Clip Reader
•>(■) Pinyin Annotations; Show Pinyin above or below words, toggleable.
•>(■) Intonation Coloration; Just like pinyin coloration for example sentences and headwords, togglable. [Note 30]
•>(■) Traditional to Simplified; Switch/Change the entire text to simplified/traditional.
•>(■) Google Translate; Make it so the button can be hidden in settings.
•>(■) Text-to-Speech Pop-up Dictionary; Allow the user to hide the Pop-up dictionary definition when using the TTS on the Clip reader. (See Note 1)
•>(■) TTS read-mode; Having the reader read only one sentence at a time. Where you can start the next sentence with the press of a button.
•>(■) Search function; Search for specific words within the text and highlight them.
•>(■) Line-breaks; Preserve line-breaks, double-spaces, etc. when copying to Reader.
•>(■) Sentence Flashcards; Create sentence flashcards through the file reader. Even without dictionary definition. [Note 23]
File/Ebook Reader
•>(■) Favorites;
Just like "Recent Files" add a tab for favorite files, so that you don't have to keep browsing your phone files.
•>(■) Reader Profiles; Dictionary results depending on whether simplified or Traditional.
•>(■) Vertical Reader; Allow the text from txt files to be shown vertically. [Note 26]

OCR

Flashcards
General
•>(■) Multiple tests; Continue test button pops up the latest tests.
•>(■) Image support

•>(■) Specific Definition; Choosing the only part of the definition for the flashcard. [Note 18]
•>(■) Unlimited Length; No limit to the length of words tested. [Note 20]
•>(■) Expand Marks; Instead of correct/incorrect allow the user to choose from a spectrum of marks when self-grading. [Note 21]
•>(■) Compound Tests; Test different content (Listening, Reading, Writing) depending on flashcard score.
•>(■) Auto-play/loop Review; have the cards advance automatically, with a selectable timer, e.g., every 3, 5 or 10 seconds; and the ability to loop again once the list is finished [Note
Test Interface
•>(■) C-C Headword Hiding;
Chinese to Chinese testing methods often also the headword in the definition, which defeats its purpose.
•>(■) End-of-test repetition; Give the option to revise the mistakes made in the same test session.
•>(■) Context Hints; Example sentences with the word blanked out to give a hint as to what the word is.
•>(■) Show tags; Tags from categories also portrayed when taking a test. [Note 19]
•>(■) Dated cards; set an option to study new cards last, after reviewing the old cards. [Note 27]
•>(■) Tone coloration of Headwords
Categories/Organization

•>(■) Sub-sub-sub...; Greater depth in categories. [Note 16]
•>(■)Read-all words of Category; Reading out aloud a complete set of flashcards of a test session without the requirement to press any button. [Note 36]
Statistics
•>(■) Flashcard Progress;
Have Pleco keep track of the words/characters the user is familiar with, a "passive dictionary" progress chart.
MISC
•>(■) Printable Flashcards
•>(■) Flardcard Recycle Bin;
Flashcards deleted by the user have a grazing period before they're deleted forever.
•>(■) Premade flashcards; More premade flashcards, maybe include the previous HSK versions or "survival guides" for specific sectors of society, or even popular slang based on certain regions. If there is a web plugin then having a shared user-driven flashcard collection would be helpful.

GUI
•>(■) Prompt Speech-recognition; Create a prompt/bubble to make sure the user knows the speech recognition's target language. As trying to pronounce 罢休( bàxiū ) will be picked up as "bar sure" when using English instead of Chinese.
•> Prompt long press; Holding one's finger over a button for a few seconds sometimes opens up a new menu / more options.
•>(■) Non-English Localization [Note 14]
•>(■) ID Prompt; "Enter New Registration ID" should specify whether or not any of the purchases/flashcards are lost/transferred to the new ID.
•>(■) Hide Features; Such as Flashcard buttons etc. [Note 15]
•>(■) 3D touch [Note 28]
•>(■) Handwriting Thickness; more choice when it comes to handwriting input, whether it be dictionary or flashcards. [Note 29]
•>(■) Keyboard Shortcuts [Note 31]

Instruction Manual
Dictionary
•>(■) Idiomatic Phrases;
Can be searched through TOPIC + X, but you'd only know through trial and error. So if you want to find a topic about "life" you'd have to type "LIFE X".

Miscellaneous
Pleco
•>(■) Lyrics reader
•>(■) Chinese books;
A selection of public domain books for the Pleco e-reader.
•»>(■) Classical Chinese; Collection of Classical Chinese books, whether free for only in Chinese or paid with an English translation.
•»>(■) Chinese Version of the Bible. [note 3]
•»>(■) Bookclub;
If future versions allow communication between users then allow for end-of-chapter discussion for curated books, like this you can "monetize" books in the public domain.
•>(■) Flashcard of the Day; Just like "Word of the Day" on dictionary websites provide a flashcard of the day, which is shared between everyone. And, maybe, keep track of these daily flashcards.
•>(■) Smart-pen support [Note 12]
Other Platforms
•>(■) PC;
Pleco on PC, both functionality and back-up. [C-Alt: Download Bluestacks Android Emulator + Pleco]
•>(■) Browser Plug-in; Pleco plug-in for browsers such as Chrome and Firefox.
•»>(■) Webpage OCR; Hover over dictionary definition popups. Having the position and margins of the dictionary pop-up be adjustable.
•»>(■) Flashcards Sync; Add newly learned words from webpages to Pleco's flashcard depository.
•>(■) X64 Redesign [Note 32]
Pronunciation

•>(■) 不/一 intonation; Have pronunciations like 一 and 不 change depending on the pronunciation of the character that follows it.
>(■) Extended Erhua: A better overview and consolidation of Erhua. [Note 37]
Backup
•>(■) Encrypted Flashcard Backup; backup of the flashcard database on your servers. [Note 33]


■ Already Available as of v3.2.69 (See Note #)
Released
■ Finished (for 4.0)
■ In-Development
■ Future Potential (Soon™)
■ Unknown
■ Previously Available

■ Unfeasible

Rejected


C-Alt: Current alternative solution from third-party apps or user-made directories, click on the C-Alt to be redirected.

Note 1: Already supported, just tap on the 'bubble' icon in the top toolbar (on iOS) or long press the megaphone button (on Android). [SOURCE]
Note 2: That would probably require commissioning a calligrapher to do them for us one at a time, though, so might be a bit of a lift. [SOURCE]
Note 3: No ... [SOURCE]
Note 4: This certainly looks like it might be interesting, but ... check back with me once the first 4.0 beta is out. [SOURCE]
Note 5: Thanks! [SOURCE]
Note 6: in 4.0 it's possible to have multiple 'reader profiles' and pick a Classical-Oriented set of a dictionaries for a Classical document and a modern-Chinese-oriented one for a modern Chinese document. [Source]
Note 7: But we could certainly look at licensing some dual-language Classical titles at some point, or even some with English translations. [SOURCE]
Note 8: we have added support for much more complicated flashcard stage progressions in 4.0, so it’ll certainly be possible to do that ... [SOURCE]
Note 9: Good idea, thanks - we'd eventually like to fill in the gaps in ABC/CC with our own data but in the meantime it would be logical to provide an option to list measure words in CHARS or WORDS. [SOURCE]
Note 10: We’d love to offer a legal dictionary, but we haven’t found an up to date one that we can license. [SOURCE]
Note 11: good idea, thanks. [SOURCE]
Note 12: We ... it proves to be a huge success and people start replacing their laptops with iPads ... [SOURCE]
Note 13: not for the next major update ... on iOS first since Apple has a built-in Chinese text segmenter and Google doesn't. [SOURCE]
Note 14: ... a future goal for us but it'll be a monumentally complicated project when we do it ... [Source]
Note 15: ... to be honest I think we'd need to see a lot more requests for this before we could consider it ... [Source]
Note 16: Already in 4.0 [Source]
Note 17: Good idea, thanks. [SOURCE]
Note 18: In the works for 4.0, but right now the only way to do that would be to edit the card definition [SOURCE]
Note 19: Makes sense - thanks. [SOURCE]
Note 20: is already implemented for 4.0 - unlimited length. [SOURCE]
Note 21: 4.0 actually will let you add arbitrary buttons to the main UI at an arbitrary stage in a test [SOURCE]
Note 22: Yeah, that's coming - tentative plan is to promote Browse Dictionary Entries up to its own sidebar item and give it a search bar. [SOURCE]
Note 23: taking some steps in that direction in 4.0. [SOURCE]
Note 24: Makes sense, I suppose, but I think in that case we'd want a simple option to disable history entirely [SOURCE]
Note 25: We got rid of it because it was too expensive to keep licensing (given that we weren’t charging for it). [SOURCE]
Note 26: Yeah, that's been in our to-do list for a while now - thanks. [SOURCE]
Note 27: this is extremely well supported in 4.0 [SOURCE]
Note 28: Navigation overhaul remains a hazy thing on my to-do list at the moment [SOURCE]
Note 29: Thinner line should be doable [SOURCE]
Note 30: That’s done for it too. [SOURCE]
Note 31: Definitely in the works, yes. [SOURCE]
Note 32: If Marzipan creates sales, then maybe kickstarter [SOURCE]
Note 33: I'm not sure if there's enough of a market for it. [SOURCE]
Note 34: That should be supported in 4.0 (though it may require digging into some settings screens). [SOURCE]
Note 35: Already implemented for 4.0 [SOURCE]
Note 36: ... we're kind of waiting for the wearables market to flesh out a bit more first ... [SOURCE]
Note 37: ... The new edition of PLC we're working on actually does do this [SOURCE]
Note 38: ... it's something we can easily punt to a later update ... wait for offline voice recognition in iOS [SOURCE]
 
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I would find it extremely useful if there were a feature in the graded reader to toggle highlighting words based on a few criteria, such as 'flashcard made' and 'card is learned.'

A friend recently introduced me to LingQ, another Chinese learning app, because of its graded reader which features just this. Unfortunately, I hate the user interface and it seems like all content is community submitted. I also would like to be able to use the feature in conjunction with all of the data/flashcards I have spent countless hours making on Pleco.
 

Weyland

举人
I would find it extremely useful if there were a feature in the graded reader to toggle highlighting words based on a few criteria, such as 'flashcard made' and 'card is learned.' ... LingQ ...
So, basically the current TAG system. But, instead, you want words to be underlined/highlighted based on Flashcards?

Screenshot_20191220-140359_Pleco.jpg


My issue is then that I don't want them to always "be there", or rather always highlighted. So if I have a score of 100% on these flashcards I'd like it if they we no longer highlighted/underlined.
 
Yeah, kind of. That's a better explanation for it than I can muster. Ideally, I'd like to be able to change the highlighting/underlining colors/criteria. As it makes sense to me to have the 100% flashcards without highlighting, but I think that's probably a personal preference thing.

This is what the highlighting looks like in another app
1576850765843.png
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Much of this is already either done or at least very easy to add based on our new foundation, but getting into a few unclear ones:

•> Idiomatic Phrases; Make searching for idiomatic phrases easier. Having to count the number of letters in a word takes time, instead of
•> Vague Idiom Search; trying to find 热泪盈眶 (rèlèi-yíngkuàng) from just the character "热" is rather difficult, as you'll might have to browse through 4 fields of search results before you'd find it (???热 / ??热? / ?热?? / 热???).
Why not just enter * wildcards around 热? (or is it that you want to be able to search for words containing 热 that are also at least 4 characters long?)

•»> Cursive Stroke Diagrams; Animations for cursive stroke diagrams.
Already supported, download our experimental Kai stroke order data in "Add-ons" / Features. (free if you own our regular stroke order add-on)

•> Homophones; Show words with the same pronunciation (including differences in intonation) without having to specifically search for it.
I assume this would be for multi-character words?

•> Text-to-Speech Pop-up Dictionary; Allow the user to hide the Pop-up dictionary definition when using the TTS on the Clip reader.
Already supported, just tap on the 'bubble' icon in the top toolbar (on iOS) or long press the megaphone button (on Android).

•> Prompt Speech-recognition; Create a prompt/bubble to make sure the user knows the speech recognition's target language. As trying to pronounce 罢休
( bàxiū ) will be picked up as "bar sure" when using English instead of Chinese.
That one we already do on iOS but we don't really have any control over that UI on Android unfortunately. (we just ask the OS to do some voice recognition and it handles the rest)

•> Have pronunciations like 一 and 不 change depending on the pronunciation of the character that follows it.
Sorry, you mean readings in then dictionary? (we already do this with audio)
 

Weyland

举人
Why not just enter * wildcards around 热? (or is it that you want to be able to search for words containing 热 that are also at least 4 characters long?)


The wildcard system is organized alphabetically. So, if I were to slowly search for 热泪盈眶 then I'd have to go through a few hundred words before I'd arrived at what I was looking for. For example, the first result is; "Abdulahat Abdurixit (1942-), PRC engineer and politician, chairman of Xinjiang"
1576858125379.png
Just being able to search for something like; 热 #IDIOM, would then show all idioms that contain 热.



Already supported, download our experimental Kai stroke order data in "Add-ons" / Features. (free if you own our regular stroke order add-on)
The provided 楷体 script is still in regular script and not cursive script (Wikipedia).



I assume this would be for multi-character words?
Yes.



Already supported, just tap on the 'bubble' icon in the top toolbar (on iOS) or long press the megaphone button (on Android).
Striked-through the suggestion and edited a note in the spoilers.



That one we already do on iOS but we don't really have any control over that UI on Android unfortunately. (we just ask the OS to do some voice recognition and it handles the rest)
Surely you can create a pop-up window that tells the user that the voice-recognition function is in English, as opposed to Chinese and that they have to take that in mind. Then be able to hide that popup in future by tapping a box.



Sorry, you mean readings in then dictionary? (we already do this with audio)
Pleco 一 & 不.jpg

Not quite; If you do a quick search on the current version of Pleco you'll see that a lot of the dictionary entries don't take in mind the tone shift. This is also true for a great number of example sentences.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
The provided 楷体 script is still in regular script and not cursive script (Wikipedia).
Ah, I see. That would probably require commissioning a calligrapher to do them for us one at a time, though, so might be a bit of a lift.

Surely you can create a pop-up window that tells the user that the voice-recognition function is in English, as opposed to Chinese and that they have to take that in mind. Then be able to hide that popup in future by tapping a box.
Checking this just now it actually seems like this is fixed, at least on the Galaxy Note 8 with Android 9 that I checked it on; there's a nice helpful 普通话(中国大陆)at the bottom of the speech recognition popup. Is that not showing on your phone? Do you have the latest version of Google's search app installed?

Not quite; If you do a quick search on the current version of Pleco you'll see that a lot of the dictionary entries don't take in mind the tone shift.
Yes, sorry, I'm aware of that, but you listen to those words with audio playback you should hear the tone changes then.
 

Weyland

举人
Ah, I see. That would probably require commissioning a calligrapher to do them for us one at a time, though, so might be a bit of a lift.
Kickstarter *hint* *hint*.

... Is that not showing on your phone? ...
It does, but you can do it either through the keyboard or through the Google one. Maybe I'm a bit blockheaded, but in the past, I kept having issues with the voice search and I always blamed my lousy pronunciation.

Yes, sorry, I'm aware of that, but you listen to those words with audio playback you should hear the tone changes then.
Some uniformity would be nice. When you search either "?不上" or "?不了" then it's great how 99% of all the 不‘s have neutral intonation. I know of the rule, but for new language learners, it can be quite confusing.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
It does, but you can do it either through the keyboard or through the Google one. Maybe I'm a bit blockheaded, but in the past, I kept having issues with the voice search and I always blamed my lousy pronunciation.
The keyboard one we really can't do anything about since we don't even know you've invoked that - it just shows up as a bunch of text input when it's done.
 

Weyland

举人
Under "Flashcards", I'd include: Flashcard "auto slide show"...
Doesn't seem to be an option to be added anytime soon. Especially if you look at the large amount of "IF"s attached to the feature.

Only peered through the content of "Future Products" because I assumed people would be as smart as ask for new features in here... I guess I have a few more forums to scavenge through.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
There’s a lot of “impossible” or “not anytime soon” stuff happening, actually, including flashcard auto advance :) (in fact we have an especially cool twist on that which I’m sure somebody somewhere has done before but which is not something anybody’s ever suggested to us)
 

orbis

Member
Here is a minor (?) suggestion:
Allow typing input using a physical keyboard whenever the input field is visible --- or even more often.

I am sorry for the long post, but I figured I should provide a more detailed description of what I hope for and why:
I use Pleco almost exclusively on my laptop, using the Android emulator Nox in landscape mode.
I find myself switching between input methods very frequently; I always use my laptop's physical keyboard for typing and the integrated touchscreen. This is far more efficient for me than using an actual smartphone.
Now it would be very useful for me if it were possible to start typing at any point, without having to tap (click) the keyboard icon first.
Although it is just a single tap on the keyboard icon that is required, due my constant mixing of the two input methods, this possibility would streamline things and make looking up words so much more convenient.
At the moment, when the input method is either handwriting or the radical method, any typing is completely ignored. Even when in the correct input method, if I tap anywhere below the input field, any typing is ignored until I tap the keyboard icon or the input field again.
For me, the most useful behavior would probably be if the app would switch to the typing input field whenever I start typing anything on my keyboard while in the dictionary mode, or at least whenever the input field is visible. This seems to be very natural for me. I often find myself typing something, only to notice afterwards that the input was not registered because I did not select the correct input mode first or, despite being in the correct mode, not having put the focus on the input field.
Another great option would be a combined handwriting/typing mode where I can mix drawing characters and typing. This could also just be the regular handwriting mode, I think.

Of course I would be very happy with just having this behavior as an option hidden deep in the settings somewhere if it would have suboptimal consequences for the standard smartphone user.

I do not know whether Android continually monitors the input of a physical keyboard, even if no input field is active, so I do not know how difficult an implementation of this would be.
Mabe there even is a special behavior of the emulator Nox that has to be taken in account, but I suspect not. I think it mimics the behavior of a physical keyboard attached the a real smartphone or tablet very accurately. But I do not own one, so I do not know.
The arrow keys seem to provide some navigation functionality though, so they might be a special case.

I have looked through all the documentation of Pleco and did not find anything concerning this typing detail. I apologize if I overlooked something. If it matters somehow, I bought and installed your professional bundle.

By the way, thousand thanks for this insanely great app and the continual improvements. I still hope to find something similar for Japanese that could somehow rival the quality of your app.
 

lau

Member
Suggestion: Scorefiles export / could be better if sync in cloud
So I use the pleco flashcard a lot, and I have many device and do different kind of test in each device, not to mention they have different OS, android and ios (i.e. use tablet to writing test and use phone to listening test). For now, I use to sync files with database backup, which have a lot of problem because it could overwrite other progress that are being done in parallel (i.e. if one day I have test in tablet in morning, phone in the day, tablet again in the night, and restore using tablet score files in the midninght, the phone scorefiles wouldn’t be captured).

Would be happy if this feature exist (or if anyone has any tips on this) :)
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Here is a minor (?) suggestion:
Allow typing input using a physical keyboard whenever the input field is visible --- or even more often.
Possible, though I'm not sure whether it monitors keyboard input continuously either in emulators at least; in theory it should be generating keyboard events and running them through the same queue as for example back button presses but I haven't ever checked how well this works in practice in desktop emulators. (perhaps Google will favor us with a 'standard' desktop emulator solution on Windows/Mac next year in order to keep pace with Apple's "Project Catalyst" and then we'll have a clearer thing to target)

Suggestion: Scorefiles export / could be better if sync in cloud
Yeah, that's a hard one - on our to do list and we're making progress towards it in 4.0 by designing our database system around sync (e.g. by making everything a GUID) but it'll probably eventually mean rolling our own online sync service with some sort of small subscription fee so it'll be a significant lift.

My most wanted feature: "Facility to load user-supplied sentences into the SENTS tab"
This is already supported in 4.0. In fact AFAIK the only data in Pleco you *can't* replace with a user-supplied version is stroke order diagrams; you can bring in your own character breakdowns or frequency lists or thesauri or any other word/character lookup table you like (even frequency, if you have a ranking of those you'd like to sort results by) and I'm about 90% sure you'll also be able to do this with audio syllables in addition to being able to attach recordings to specific flashcards. (this was another one of those cases where we had like half a dozen different ways to do this sort of thing over the years and we were able to replace them with just one and get rid of a bunch of code; now a character breakdown table is just a dictionary where the 'definition' is every component of a character and the app turns that into a result list)
 

jurgen85

秀才
Regarding tone sandhi of 不 and 一, it would be nice to do like Wenlin does and show a dot below, e.g. like "kẹ̌yǐ" or "bụ̀yòng". This way no information is destroyed.
 
Regarding tone sandhi of 不 and 一, it would be nice to do like Wenlin does and show a dot below, e.g. like "kẹ̌yǐ" or "bụ̀yòng". This way no information is destroyed.
I believe that information is extracted from ABC; if you have ABC installed this information also displays in Pleco.
 
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