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1. The CSS view (quick and dirty)
You should be able to see the contents of the dictionary in your browser
(Firefox and Opera have no problem with it; IE 8.0 doesn't work perfectly),
thanks to the CSS style sheet (make sure that the DTD file is also present
in the same directory/folder; sometimes, you may have to rename the .tei file
to .xml). The browser view is merely a working view, with some of the text
supplied by the CSS -- that's why copying from the browser won't yield the
results you'd expect (some brackets and some text may be missing). Also, the
CSS view may be difficult to use for large databases, unless you have lots
The CSS view is triggered by the following line at the very top of the dictionary:
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/css" href="freedict-dictionary.css"?>
If in your dictionary this line is missing, you can safely add it somewhere below
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> (which always needs to be at the very top)
Obviously, the CSS view requires a CSS stylesheet, which in FreeDict is called
freedict-dictionary.css by default.
If any of the above is missing in the dictionary you are viewing, please be so kind
as to report this fact to us (see the bottom of this file for directions).
Please note that the CSS view may need to be customized for your particular
dictionary. If you are a developer of this dictionary and decide to customize
the CSS view, please delete the symlink, copy the .css from /shared and have a go
2. The DICT view
One way to access the dictionary properly is to use the DICT database
generated from the TEI source. The database is offered in a separate
download and it can be accessed online, e.g. at
* http://freedict.org/dict (official Freedict WWW front-end)
* http://www.dict.org/bin/Dict (official DICT WWW front-end)
(make sure to check the version of the dictionary: these online
repositories may sometimes offer earlier versions!)
You can also download a desktop/plugin client, see
* http://www.dict.org/w/software/software for a long list, and
* https://github.com/freedict/fd-dictionaries/wiki/Dictionary-Clients for a short one.
Very often, you will have to tell the client which DICT server it
should use; look for "Freedict" in the server description. The relatively
current list of Freedict servers that identified themselves to us is
available at http://luetzschena-stahmeln.de/dictd/index.php?freedictonly
Apart from using DICT databases online, you can also access them on your own
computer. To do that, you will sometimes need to run a server (don't worry,
they are small programs; see the list at http://www.dict.org/w/software/software or
choose something suitable for your platform) and set the client to use the localhost,
rather than an online server.
Some clients read dictionary databases directly (no server is needed). This is not verified
information, but look among GoldenDict, OpenDict or StarDict.
3. Schemas (DTD, RNG), ODD
The dictionary should standardly come equipped with a schema, in the form of a DTD (deprecated)
or a RelaxNG document. The standard way to associate a DTD with a dictionary is with the line
<!DOCTYPE TEI SYSTEM "freedict-P5.dtd"> somewhere near the very top of the file. There is currently
no standard way to associate a RelaxNG schema (freedict-P5.rng) - this is still editor- or tool-dependent,
but the W3C is slowly working on changing that. Some dictionaries may be equipped with a freedict-P5.sch
file -- such files contain a Schematron schema.
The schemas are derived from what you may think of as the meta-spec for schemas, namely the TEI P5 ODD file,
named freedict-P5.xml. This is usable with e.g. the Roma application at http://www.tei-c.org/Roma/
Because the ODD and the schema files (as well as the CSS file and the document you are reading right now)
sometimes get modified, they are kept in a single place across the project, namely the shared/ directory
of the SVN repository. If you are using SVN, you should see them as symlinks (they may refuse to work under
Windows). But if you have downloaded a .tar or .zip archive, they should be contained in it in their full
form (copied at the moment when the archive was created).
If you notice that this information
appears to be outdated, *please* file an issue at
or mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!