Dictionaries, Word Lists, and Lexicons
Wintertree Software has redistributable and single-user dictionaries and word lists for Sentry Spelling Checker Engine, WSpell, Wintertree Spelling Server, and Wintertree Spell Check Applet.
What is the difference between a word list and a dictionary? Which should I get?
A word list is a set of words in an editable text format. You can view and modify a word list using a text editor or word processor. A compressed dictionary contains a set of words that has been compressed to reduce the amount of disk space and memory required to hold it. For example, Wintertree's American English word list occupies about 922K, whereas the compressed American English dictionary uses only about 302K.
Because a word list can be opened using a text editor or word processor, it can be modified. A compressed dictionary is a binary file in a complex format that cannot be edited or modified.
Wintertree's compressed dictionaries are stored in a proprietary form that works only with Wintertree's spell checker products.
If you are using one of Wintertree Software's spelling engines or programs (Sentry, WSpell, Spelling Server, or Spell Check Applet), most likely you would need the dictionary rather than the word list. You would purchase the word lists only if any of the following is true
You intend to edit the word list by deleting many words, creating a subset of the words, etc. (You don't necessarily need the word list if you intend to add words only, since you can add words to a text dictionary you open with the main dictionary. You don't necessarily need the word list if you intend to delete only a few words, since you can add them with the exclude action to a text dictionary you open with the main dictionary.)
- You have the Sentry Source SDK in a version prior to 5.1, and built it for use on a big-endian computer platform. (Prior to version 5.1, compressed dictionaries contained byte-order sensitive information. Pre-5.1 compressed dictionaries were compressed for use with little-endian platforms (e.g., Intel), whereas compressed dictionaries used by Sentry version 5.1 and later have a portable, platform-independent format that works on both big-endian and little-endian computers.)
- You have any version of Sentry prior to 4.13. (The format of compressed dictionaries sold currently is incompatible with Sentry versions prior to 4.13, so you will need to create your own compressed dictionary using the word list and the SQLEX program included with your version of Sentry.)
- You intend to use the dictionary with a spelling-checker engine not created by Wintertree Software. (The compressed dictionaries are in a format proprietary to Wintertree Software and are incompatible with other products, unless they happen to use Wintertree's spelling-checker technology.)
What is the difference between a dictionary and a lexicon?
There is no difference. The two terms can be used interchangeably.
What products do your dictionaries work with?
Wintertree Software's dictionaries work with any of Wintertree Software's spelling products, including Sentry Spelling Checker Engine, Wintertree Spelling Server, Wintertree Spell Check Applet, and WSpell.
If you are an end-user using a third-party product which incorporates Wintertree Software's spelling technology, we recommend that you contact the third-party product's manufacturer to purchase dictionaries. Although our dictionaries work with our technology, we cannot provide instructions or help on using the dictionaries with the third-party product. Furthermore, certain dictionaries require special option settings which may only be effected through the third-party product. Our dictionaries come with instructions explaining how to use them with our spelling technology, not how to use them with other products. You can purchase the dictionary directly from Wintertree Software, but you must take responsibility for determining how to use them with the third-party products.
Do your dictionaries work with your thesaurus or grammar products?
No, sorry. Our dictionaries work with our spelling products only.
Do your dictionaries contain definitions or pronunciation?
No, sorry. Our dictionary contain only correctly spelled words, and are searched using our spelling products to validate the spelling of text.
I purchased one or more of your dictionaries previously. How can I tell if I have the latest version?
The easiest way is to send an e-mail message to Wintertree Software's Support group. If you provide your dictionary serial numbers, they can tell if the dictionary has been upgraded and whether the upgrade was major or minor.
How do I purchase a dictionary upgrade?
We offer minor dictionary upgrades at no charge on request. To request an upgrade, contact Wintertree Software's Support group.
Major dictionary upgrades are available at a discounted price to registered customers. Click here to order a dictionary upgrade.
What source are Wintertree Software's dictionaries based on? For example, are your dictionaries based on Webster's, or the OED? Is your medical dictionary based on Stedman's?
All of Wintertree Software's dictionaries were developed by Wintertree Software. They are not derived from the work of any other author.
We need a dictionary in a language not sold by Wintertree. What can we do?
See How to create a dictionary for advice on developing your own dictionaries.
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