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Email: miromaa@acra.org.au 

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Miromaa Community Dictionary Maker

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Introduction

The Miromaa Community Dictionary Maker (MCDM) comes as a feature built right into the Miromaa software program. That means all you need is a valid Miromaa license and the latest version of Miromaa installed on your computer to be able to produce high quality, community dictionaries in just a few clicks.

The MCDM allows you to produce dictionaries based upon categories (such as wildlife, body parts, plants) library items, people, and many other alternatives. If you make a mistake, find a new word or want to reprint for any reason it can all be done right in Miromaa.


Presets and Layout

The MCDM comes ready to make your first dictionary with basic presets already chosen. We have developed an initial dictionary style template based upon a nice community based design which follows this layout:

  • Line 1 – language + translation (language word in bold Arial font size 10)
  • Line 2 – extra information (may extend of multiple lines)
  • Line 3 – knowledge (by default not selected)
  • Line 4 – part of speech (italics Arial font size 8)
  • Line 5 - word category (italics Arial font size 8)
  • Line 6 – your default image Line 7 onwards are determined by you.

(Nb. each field starts on a new line and will use Arial font size 10)

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The dictionary will also have a title page for you to customize to your language. Our initial layout includes page headers based upon first and last entry on each page, two columns of entries, page numbers and alphabetical section headings.

We have set these presets for you but please note you have full control to edit these presets and customize the dictionary to your languages’ needs. This includes controlling which information appears in your dictionary, which fields appear, whether you would like field titles or formatting by using the MCDM prefix/suffix feature. You will be able to change the sort order of how your entry fields will appear. (see below on page 20 for how to do this).


Document format

MCDM will save your dictionary in the .RTF (Rich Text File) format which can then be opened by Microsoft (MS) Word and saved in .RTF or any other MS Word formats for instance .DOC or .DOCX.

You can then Save to .PDF and share it electronically or even distribute it as an eBook. There are other office programs which may open .RTF files but we only test and recommend MS Word for its compatibility and features. (We may offer alternative templates and features at a later stage).

Once you open your dictionary in MS Word you will be able to edit the document quite easily using normal editing features or even by changing styles or using find/replace amongst the many features available in MS Word. If you are familiar with editing Styles in MS Word you can change various field styles by modifying the document styles using the MS Words Styles Pane.


From the Miromaa team

We hope the introduction of the Miromaa Community Dictionary Maker is something that will further help you in your language work and provide you with more opportunities to share your language quickly and easily. If you wish to continue using Toolbox, Shoebox, FLEX or Lexique Pro to produce your dictionary using the MDF standard you will be able to do so, nothing has changed there at all, Miromaa continues to export your data to those programs.


First Steps – Updating Miromaa to Latest Version

If you have recently updated or installed Miromaa you can skip this step and go straight to Using the Miromaa Community Dictionary Maker. If you are unsure, please follow the steps below:

  1. Start Miromaa
  2. At login screen note which version you have by looking at bottom right hand corner
  3. Under the [Help] menu you click on [Check for Updates]

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  4. If you see this message you have the latest version
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  5. You can now proceed to the next section and make your first dictionary.
  6. If you see this message – ‘An update is available’ continue with step 7.

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  7. Click [Yes] to download this update.
  8. The Miromaa Update Download will appear in a separate window:

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  9. Before you click start please close down Miromaa, otherwise the auto-updater won’t work.
  10. Click [Start] to commence the download.
  11. When the download has finished you will now see this window:

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  12. Click [OK] to commence the install. The Miromaa Setup Wizard will appear:

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  13. Click [Next].
  14. Confirm you wish to proceed by clicking [Next].
  15. Installation Complete window will now appear. Click [Close] to exit.

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  16. Congratulations you now have the latest version of Miromaa.
  17. You can now restart Miromaa by double clicking the Miromaa Icon.

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Updating Miromaa Manually

If you are using Miromaa on a computer that isn’t connected to the internet or the auto-update isn’t working you can install it manually. It’s easy.

  1. You can download the latest version of Miromaa:
  2. From the learning room on our website in Section 4 - Updating Miromaa. http://www.miromaa.com.au/miromaa/learning-centre/learning-room.html 
  3. You can also ask us for a direct link to download by emailing miromaa@acra.org.au or PH: +61 2 49278222 
  4. You will have received a link to download it in the email we sent to let you know about the new version.
  5. Once you have downloaded it, navigate to it your downloads folder it should be called Miromaa3.5.1Update (please note, the numbers will change with each version so will be different).
  6. Click Run to commence the installation.

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  7. The Miromaa Setup Wizard will appear:

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  8. . Click [Next].
  9. Confirm you wish to proceed by clicking [Next].
  10. Installation Complete window will now appear. Click [Close] to exit.

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  11. Congratulations you now have the latest version of Miromaa.
  12. You can now restart Miromaa by double clicking the Miromaa Icon.

Using the Miromaa Community Dictionary Maker

Let’s Make Your First Dictionary in 10 Easy Steps

You can start the MCDM feature two ways:

  1. By selecting [Dictionary] from the Tools section of the Main Menu.

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  2. Or from the Tools menu on the Editor screen

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  3. The Dictionary Maker feature window will now appear

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    As you can see by this image and on your computer we have preselected everything for you to make your first dictionary quite easily by accepting our initial set of default settings.

    Your first dictionary will have your language word, its translation, extra information or what some people may call the definition which is a more detailed description, part of speech, word category and the default image if that word has one attached.

    As you can see by the filters we have chosen this first dictionary will publish only the MAIN words which have been selected as UNRESTRICTED. It will not publish any ARCHIVE words. It will publish from every LIBRARY item you have entered into Miromaa.

    Nb. Only words selected as MAIN will be published. If you have not selected all or any entries as MAIN, you can do two things: 1. Choose [either] from the [Main] filter dropdown box or 2. Go and edit your words as MAIN in the Editor screen.


  4. Accept these defaults by clicking the big [Make Dictionary] button

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  5. . Decide where you would like to save your dictionary:
     
    1. Navigate to Documents
    2. If you don’t already have a place to save your dictionary you can create a New Folder in your work area. (If you have a place already skip to step 4)
    3. Name the New Folder something descriptive which will help you find your dictionary.
    4. Double click or select then open the New Folder
    5. Give your dictionary a nice name. 6. Click [Save]


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  6. MCDM will start making your dictionary which will either take seconds or a minute or more at the most. You will see the [Creating Dictionary] progress indicator.

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  7. Wait nervously.
  8. You have success (fingers crossed) when you see the Dictionary Completed message box.

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  9. Now leave Miromaa and MCDM and navigate to where you saved the dictionary and open the document using Windows File Explorer and open your document. We hope you are happy.
  10. Congratulations.

Let’s Have a Look at Your First Dictionary

Title Page
You can edit the title page just like any other page in MS Word. Keep it nice and plain or pretty it up with nice images from your collection.

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Dictionary Page
Easy to read, clean and reference friendly.

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Features of Dictionary
Page Shows the content you need by default

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My Dictionary is Empty or Won’t Open

Oh no, this is not good! So let’s think about what has happened.

If the Miromaa Community Dictionary Maker did not produce a document for you it may be because the options you have selected in the Controls section of Miromaa do not match with the Filters selected in the MCDM screen.

  1. Check in your Editor screen the settings that you have set for the words that you wish to appear in your dictionary, particularly for the Main and Visibility options. Main should be ticked for the words confirmed as the official entry for that word, for the entry you wish to be public.

  2. These settings are there to make sure our work complies with community protocol and so they’re super important. Please see our tutorial about the Controls section of you are not clear about what these settings mean and how to use them.

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  3. Check in the Filters section of the Dictionary Maker screen that the filters match the settings you have put in the Controls section in the entry screen, for the specific type of dictionary you would like to export.

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    If you just can’t work it out, please contact us, we are here to help. We have successfully had the MCDM feature produce 7000+ word dictionaries with images. If we can do it, you can do it.

Advanced Features 

Dictionary Maker Screen Features

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Adding Multiple Images
One of the great features of Miromaa is that it can easily allow you to add your extra images as well as audio and video. The Dictionary Maker will also bring your extra images into your dictionary. You do this by selecting the field.

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Sort Order
If this is all you are selecting as extra to appear you can just now go ahead and make your dictionary with all your images now showing. But if you are selecting other fields you can now change the sort order. Ideally it is best to keep all of the images together so we should move our [Images – others] directly below our [Image – primary]. We will do that by changing the sort order position from 280 to 75 for example which is now below Images at position 70.

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When you press enter it will now move upwards to its new position:

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You can see in the image below that we have also now selected [Library Item – Code] to now appear in position 61:

 

 

Adding a Prefix or Suffix
By adding a prefix, you can label the field to help readers understand what this field defines. This feature can give you endless abilities on how your dictionary can be formatted and the information which can appear.

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Adding more than one meaning for the same word
For example, you could setup custom fields in Miromaa (you know, the bits and pieces area or commonly known as the Custom Field tab) for alternative meanings. You can then select those custom fields in the MCDM window and label them 1., 2., 3. Etc. Suffixes can be used to end the field with a symbol or text as well.

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Filters

Filters will give you even more control of what you can produce. How about making an animal or wildlife book. Maybe a book just on food or plants. Maybe you want to have it based upon birds with all of your bird pictures.

You can even make a dictionary based upon a particular library item whether that be a person who you recorded or a book where you found language words and knowledge.

Maybe you could make a verb dictionary, how exciting would that be!

As you can see by the image below the Wildlife category has been selected. This means that when you click the [Make Dictionary] button it will produce a dictionary with only the Wildlife entries.

You have then made your first Wildlife only book, wow!

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Making an English to Language Dictionary Using Sort order.

The default settings will make a Language to English Dictionary, with the language word first, sorted alphabetically for example. You may want to be able to make an English to Language dictionary:

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It’s easy! With the dictionary maker feature window open:

  1. Click in the Sort Order column for ‘Your Language – Word’ (Awabakal – Word in the example), change it from 10 to 25
  2. Click in the Sort Order column for Australian English – Word, change it from 20 to 15

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  3. Select your other preferences or leave the default
  4. Click on Make Dictionary
  5. Get excited: You just made your English to Language dictionary, time to celebrate!

What’s Next

We have lots of ideas on what we will do next to make this one of the easiest and most powerful dictionary makers to be placed in your hands.

But this is what technology is all about, it is about empowering you to take control and produce dictionaries, word books, lexicons, knowledge books whatever you would like to call it does not matter, what does is that you now have the ability to do it yourself. The quality of what you produce will be determined by how rich you make the data that you enter into Miromaa.

So go for it, there are no excuses.

Dictionaries can become the most valuable resource you make as it will become the reference publication which all speakers and learners will draw upon. This will become the ‘go-to book’ when seeking words and meanings within your language.

We would love to hear your feedback on the Miromaa Community Dictionary Maker so please don’t hesitate to tell us about your experiences.

Our email is miromaa@acra.org.au or find us on the web at www.miromaa.org.au

If you would like further help we can assist by providing support by email or by using our remote support software TeamViewer - http://miromaa.org.au/miromaa/support.html

All the best, The Miromaa Team