Tips for dictionary maintenance

There was a time when having a large dictionary was the telltale sign of a low translation rate. Today a clean dictionary will be even more effective for outputting the best realtime translation possible. Below are some tips to make your dictionary work better for you.


The first step is to create a backup of your dictionary. Remember to add the date of the backup to your file. Dating your backups will help ensure a new dictionary backup won’t be overridden. Archiving previous backups allows you to refer to previous dictionaries you may have modified or deleted.

Delete unused/old entries

Sort your dictionary by usage. If there are dictionary entries that have never been used or rarely used, delete them. Next, sort your dictionary by date. If you have entries you haven’t used in years, delete them. Your writing continually evolves. Delete entries that no longer pertain to your theory.

What is the benefit of deleting old entries?

If you are utilizing Brief-It or Live Suggestion, excess entries in your dictionary limits the strokes Brief-It is able to create for you, because those strokes are being held up by old/unused entries. Brief-It and Live Suggestions suggest strokes based on your writing style. If you have strokes that are not representative of the way you write, the suggestion may not be useful to you.

Regular dictionary maintenance

Your work product is as good as your dictionary. Be sure to back up your dictionary on a regular basis. After each job or day, look at your new dictionary entries and decide if you want to keep any or all of these entries. Check them to ensure they’re defined correctly and add them to your personal dictionary.

What to define

If you have strokes you tend to shade or stack, sometimes referred to as slop, if they do not conflict with anything else in your dictionary, define them.

Have more than one dictionary?

There is a benefit to having more than one dictionary.

  • Example 1: Cuss words
    Some jobs may specifically require you to take out all cuss words; while with other jobs, cussing is part of the record. To manage this, create a dictionary of all your cuss words so they don’t come up when you don’t want them to and they do come up when you need them.

  • Example 2: Case and job dictionaries
    You can create a dictionary that will be specific to a job, case, or topic. In that dictionary, you can create short forms that will not conflict with entries in your personal dictionary.

Separate your cart and captioning dictionary from your Q & A dictionary

Create separate dictionaries for Q & A and captioning. To avoid having Qs & As coming up in your captioning feed, define those strokes as chevrons in your captioning dictionary. In your Q & A dictionary, define your chevron strokes to come up as Qs & As.

Using multiple dictionaries

When selecting dictionaries, the order in which you select your dictionaries determines the order of precedence. Job dictionaries will override your personal dictionary.



Last updated 8/1/2018