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A tool for converting dictionary files aka glossaries.

The primary purpose is to be able to use our offline glossaries in any Open Source dictionary we like on any OS/device.

There are countless formats, and my time is limited, so I implement formats that seem more useful for myself, or for Open Source community. Also diversity of languages is taken into account. Pull requests are welcome.


Linux - Gtk3-based interface

Windows - Tkinter-based interface

Linux - command line interface

Supported formats

Format Extension Read Write
Aard 2 (slob) 🔢 .slob
ABBYY Lingvo DSL 📝 .dsl
AppleDict Binary 🔢 .dictionary
AppleDict Source 📁
Babylon 🔢 .bgl
CC-CEDICT (Chinese) 📝
cc-kedict (Korean) 📝
CSV 📝 .csv (SQLite3, German) 🔢 / Dictd server 📁 (📝.index) / dictfmt source file 📝 (.dtxt)
dictunformat output file 📝 (.dictunformat)
DictionaryForMIDs 📁 (📁.mids)
DigitalNK (SQLite3, N-Korean) 🔢
EDLIN 📁 .edlin
EPUB-2 E-Book 📦 .epub
FreeDict 📝 .tei
Gettext Source 📝 .po
HTML Directory (by file size) 📁
JMDict (Japanese) 📝
JSON 📝 .json
Kobo E-Reader Dictionary 📦
Kobo E-Reader Dictfile 📝 .df
Lingoes Source 📝 .ldf
Octopus MDict 🔢 .mdx
Sdictionary Binary 🔢 .dct
Sdictionary Source 📝 .sdct
SQL 📝 .sql
StarDict 📁 (📝.ifo)
Tabfile 📝 .txt, .tab
TreeDict 📁
Wiktionary Dump 📝 .xml 📁
XDXF 📝 .xdxf
Zim (Kiwix) 🔢 .zim


  • 📁 Directory
  • 📝 Text file
  • 📦 Package/archive file
  • 🔢 Binary file
  • Supported
  • Will not be supported


PyGlossary requires Python 3.6 or higher, and works in practically all modern operating systems. While primarily designed for GNU/Linux, it works on Windows, Mac OS X and other Unix-based operating systems as well.

As shown in the screenshots, there are multiple User Interface types (multiple ways to use the program).

  • Gtk3-based interface, uses PyGI (Python Gobject Introspection) You can install it on:

    • Debian/Ubuntu: apt install python3-gi python3-gi-cairo gir1.2-gtk-3.0
    • openSUSE: zypper install python3-gobject gtk3
    • Fedora: dnf install pygobject3 python3-gobject gtk3
    • ArchLinux:
    • Mac OS X: brew install pygobject3 gtk+3
    • Nix / NixOS: nix-shell -p gnome3.gobjectIntrospection python37Packages.pygobject3 python37Packages.pycairo
  • Tkinter-based interface, works in the lack of Gtk. Specially on Windows where Tkinter library is installed with the Python itself. You can also install it on:

    • Debian/Ubuntu: apt-get install python3-tk tix
    • openSUSE: zypper install python3-tk tix
    • Fedora: yum install python3-tkinter tix
    • Mac OS X: read
    • Nix / NixOS: nix-shell -p python37Packages.tkinter tix
  • Command-line interface, works in all operating systems without any specific requirements, just type:

    python3 --help

When you run the program without any command line arguments or options, PyGlossary tries to find PyGI, if it's installed, opens the Gtk3-based interface, if it's not, tries to find Tkinter and open the Tkinter-based interface. And exits with an error if neither are installed.

But you can explicitly determine the user interface type using --ui, for example:

python3 --ui=gtk


python3 --ui=tk

Feature-specific Requirements

  • Using --remove-html-all flag

    sudo pip3 install lxml beautifulsoup4

  • Reading from FreeDict, XDXF or JMDict

    sudo pip3 install lxml

  • Reading from cc-kedict

    sudo pip3 install lxml PyYAML

  • Reading from Babylon BGL: Python 3.6 to 3.7 is recommended

  • Reading or writing Aard 2 (.slob) files

    sudo pip3 install PyICU

  • Writing to Kobo E-Reader Dictionary

    sudo pip3 install marisa-trie

  • Reading from Zim (see #228)

    sudo pip3 install libzim

  • Reading from CC-CEDICT

    sudo pip3 install jinja2

  • Reading from Octopus MDict (MDX)

    python-lzo is required for some MDX glossaries. First try converting your MDX file, if failed (AssertionError probably), then try to install LZO library and Python binding.

Using Termux on Android? See doc/

User Plugins

If you want to add your own plugin without adding it to source code directory, or you want to use a plugin that has been removed from repository, you can place it in this directory:

  • Linux: ~/.pyglossary/plugins/
  • Mac: ~/Library/Preferences/PyGlossary/plugins
  • Windows: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\PyGlossary\plugins


See doc/ for AppleDict requirements and instructions.

Internal Glossary Structure

A glossary contains a number of entries.

Each entry contains:

  • Headword (title or main phrase for query)
  • Alternates (some alternative phrases for query)
  • Definition

In PyGlossary, headword and alternates together are accessible as a single Python list entry.l_word

entry.defi is the definition as a Python Unicode str. Also entry.b_defi is definition in UTF-8 byte array.

entry.defiFormat is definition format. If definition is plaintext (not rich text), the value is m. And if it's in HTML (contains any html tag), then defiFormat is m. The value x is also allowed for XFXF, but XDXF is not widely supported in dictionary applications.

There is another type of Entry which is called Data Entry, and generally contains image files, TTL or other audio files, or any file that was included in input glossary. For data entries:

  • entry.s_word is file name (and l_word is still a list containing this string),
  • entry.defiFormat is b
  • gives the content of file in bytes.


A tool for converting dictionary files aka glossaries. The primary purpose is to be able to use our offline glossaries in any Open Source dictionary we like on any OS/device.





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