Welcome to the XJDIC Home Page

This is a page I have created to consolidate WWW information about my XJDIC dictionary program for X-Windows. I have been receiving a few questions about XJDIC recently, so I thought I'd tidy up the documentation and consolidate some information.

There is a French translation of this page, kindly provided by Raphael Carrand, who also did the translations of the documentation and installation pages (below). There is also an Indonesian translation of this page provided by the people at chameleon.com, and a Russian translation provided by the people a BestReviewsBase.

[Please note that if you want to do translations of pages about my dictionary work, this page is not particularly useful as it describes some old software which is no longer supported. I suggest translators look at the main JMdict paper or the WWWJDIC User Guide.]


XJDIC is an electronic Japanese-English dictionary program designed to operate in the X11 window environment. In particular, it must run in an xterm environment which has Japanese language support such as provided by kterm or internationalized xterm, aixterm, etc. It also works on Mac OS X within an OS X Terminal (which must be like kterm). (This needs to be OS X 10.2 or higher if you want to input Japanese. Also see the FAQs below.)

XJDIC is currently at version 2.4 (June 2003)

Here is a sample of a couple of XJDIC searches:


The program has been written by Jim Breen, and is based on JDIC and JREADER which were developed to run under MS-DOS on IBM PCs or clones.

Click here to see a larger sample of a typical XJDIC screen.

XJDIC functions as:

XJDIC is typically run in a window of its own. The user can then use it as a free-standing on-line dictionary. It can also be used as an accessory when reading or writing text in another window (e.g. reading the "fj" Japanese news groups.) Strings of text, either English or Japanese, can be moved to and from XJDIC using X11's mouse "cut-and-paste" operations.

Search keys can also be entered directly from the keyboard, and XJDIC incorporates a built-in romaji_to_kana facility which can handle both the Hepburn and kunrei-shiki forms of romaji.


The program can be downloaded from here. Note that it is free-of-charge and under the GPL.

Online Documentation

The HTML conversions of the following are available:

(These mention the older V2.3, but apply to V2.4 just as well.)

Also there is a message about the Makefile.

In addition, there are French translations of the Documentation, and Installation Guide (thanks to Raphael Carrand for these too.)

OS/2 version

Yes there's even an OS/2 version compiled by Alex Taylor. (Screen-shot)

Infrequently Asked Questions (IAQ)

Q. What was new in V2.4

A. Very little. One extension was made to the Global (multi-dictionary) Search option. Some patches suggested by the Debian maintainers were installed, including the option to set "exactmatch" in the control file, and the "kdnoshow" that was left out from V2.2 was put back in.

I never planned to have a 2.4. I am thinking ahead to V3.0 which will be XML/Unicode-based and will use the JMdict file rather than EDICT, etc.

Q. I tried to compile it with Mac OS 10.x and got a mass of errors.

A. You need to compile with the "__STRICT_BSD__" option. See the Makefile for details of this.

Q. What happened to the "kdnoshow"? It vanished from V2.3.

A. Yes, that was an accident in Revision Control. I reinstated it in V2.4

Q. The RPM doesn't seem to install the .xjdicrc file

A. Actually I had nothing to do with the RPM. I have never even seen it. Yes, I have heard it does not install the .xjdicrc from the skeleton. You will need to find the file (/lib/doc/xjdic/?) edit it and put it where you are going to use it (probably at the top of your HOME directory.

Jim Breen
March 2004