The IDP Companion, 4th Edition

The IDP Companion runs on Windows 3.1, 95, 98, and NT. It allows you to search the IDP dictionaries on your home computer, when you're not connected to the Internet. It uses the dictionary files available from the "Files" area of the IDP. That means whenever those files are updated, it's a snap to update your home computer's dictionaries as well. To see if there are updated dictionaries available, visit the IDP Files page.

The 4th edition of the IDP Companion has been entirely rewritten in C++ (previous versions were written in Visual Basic). This means it's smaller and faster, but will only work in Windows 95, 98, or NT. Version 3.0 is still available for Windows 3.1 users, but it will not be updated.

Downloading instructions:

Windows 95, 98, Millennium Edition (ME), NT:
IDPC 4th Edition (32-bit, PKZipped) (1.2MB)

Windows 3.1:
IDPC v. 0.30 (16-bit, PKZipped) (1.8M)
Click on a link above and save the file on your computer. Unzip it into a temporary directory and run the "Setup.exe" program. (A very easy to use "unzipping" tool is WinZip, which you can try at www.winzip.com.) This should copy the necessary files into their proper directories. This distribution already has the German, Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, and Romanian dictionaries with it, so you don't have do download anything else. Once the IDP Companion is installed, you can select the IDPC icon from the Start Menu to run it. See below for new features to the 4th Edition of the IDPC.

Windows 3.1 users need to restart their computer after installing the IDPC. Once your computer has restarted, just double-click on the IDPC icon.

MacOS X users can try WordLookup by Lindesay Software which can use the IDP dictionary files.

How to use it

The main screen allows you to select the source and target languages, then type in a word (or part of a word) and click on the "Translate!" button to search the appropriate dictionary. You can only translate to/from English - if you select another language in either the source or target language lists, the other list switches to English for you. The option below the lists lets you choose whether to search for the exact word you entered or to search for words which contain that word (or partial word). The "Results" box at the bottom of the IDPC screen displays the matching words found in the dictionary, up to a maximum of 100.

The Properties/Config menu option brings up a box which lets you set your default source and target languages, and whether you want the Results box to be updated as you type into the word box on the main screen. These options will be the default every time you run the IDPC (unless you change them again). The "update as you type" option will slow down the IDPC, but it might be useful to you. With this option on, when you enter a "d" into the translate word box, the Results box will display all words matching "d". If you then press "o", the IDPC will search for "do" in the dictionary. Play with it if you want a better understanding of what it does. You'll probably want the "Words containing this word" option selected to make the most use of the "update as you type" option.

There are not currently any help screens in the IDPC - that may come later.

What's new in the 4th Edition

What's new in version 0.31 What's new in version 0.30 What's new in version 0.20

If you have further questions

If you have a question about the IDP Compaion that isn't addressed here, or you've tried it out and want to let me know what you thought, please send me mail. I look forward to hearing from you.

Tyler Jones