JDrill main window

(main window screenshot)

This is the main quiz window of jdrill, the free kanji learning program. It should run on any system that has support for both java and Japanese fonts. It is a standalone application, not meant to be run in a browser. If you absolutely positively *must* see it running in your browser right now, you can try the applet demo. However, it is extremely limited, to ensure all browsers can view it. There are many many more features in the full version.

At the top is currently shown a kanji character. Your goal is to choose which of the five buttons below, matches with the character.

Through the View menu, you can choose to display any mix of kanji, kana, or English, in the top or bottom sections. So you can change the top to be an English meaning, and guess which kanji matches it, if you like.

Beyond just drilling, you can also search for words in a variety of ways.

If you are on a unix platform, you may also want to look at my X window version, kdrill. It should save you some memory :-) It will also let you use the additional "edict" phrase dictionary, if you want to install that in addition to kanjidic.


2012 Update! There has been a problem getting AWT java to display unicode on later versions of java under ms-windows. I have finally found the solution! Please see my Unicode on ms-windows page for the simple fix.

Latest Version

Latest version is jdrill 2.3.1, made on Dec 18, 2002. This fixes a few bugs, including the "never pick button #5" bug, and also gives you keyboard accelerators: 1,2,3,4,5 enters one of the 5 buttons as your answer. You can now also change the font sizes, in the ".jdrill" preferences file, by setting "bigfontsize" and "normalfontsize"

Download v2.3.1 now
[or you can try loading and running it using it via a java webstart link]

Remember to shift-click, if neccessary, if it complains about signing. If on a mac, you might run into extra difficulty, so you can use "fetch" to my ftp site instead.

font issues

ms-windows 2000 warning: It has been reported to me that jre1.3.1_01 does not fully work with jdrill, even if you get the international version. However, jre1.3.1 does work. So use 1.3.1, or an earlier java runtime.

JRE 1.5.0 issues: oooold JREs needed to have their font.properties file manually tweaked, to display japanese properly. It seems like 1.5.0 has reverted to this type of problem. Happily, it is reported that you can resolve this problem by once more manually editing the font.properties file again.

If you are still stuck, you might try my Unicode in Java pages

Dictionary tool

If you happen to have a file in UTF format, that you would like to convert to EUC format (the character encoding format of edict), you can use [oops.. its not ready yet]
If you have any suggestions, comments, or "hey, it works on platform xxx, cool", drop me a line!
email phil@bolthole.com , or use the feedback form