Written languages

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SooSL can provide glosses and translations in more than one written language. You can choose which written language(s) you want to see and in what order. How this works is different in the SooSL Web and SooSL Desktop. Why? In SooSL Web you can only view a dictionary, but in SooSL Desktop you can change it. That means SooSL Desktop offers more choices.

SooSL Web 

You can change what written languages you see. To do so, click graphic Written languages in the toolbar. You will see a dialog showing what languages are available.

This dialog controls the written languages in the senses and notes. (To choose the written language in the gloss list, look just above the gloss list for a language choice.)

This dialog also tells how many signs, senses, and glosses are in each language.

SooSL Desktop 

You can change what written languages are in a dictionary project and which ones you see. To do so, click graphic Tools > graphic Written languages. The Written Language Settings dialog will open up. Then, click .

The Edit Written Language Settings dialog looks a little different in Windows/Mac vs. Linux.

Windows and Mac


You can control several things (look at the red numbers in the pictures above):

  1. Choose which language appears in the gloss list. The magnifying glass shows which language is in the gloss list now. Click a circle in column 1 to pick another language.
  2. Choose which language(s) you see in senses and notes. Click the eye in column 2 to show or hide each language.
  3. Change the name of a language. Click the language name in column 3 and type a new name.
  4. Choose the font size for each language. Click the number in column 4 and type a new number, or click the arrowheads next to the number to increase or decrease the size.
  5. Choose the font for each language. Click the font name in column 5 and type a new name, or click the arrowhead on the right to drop down a list of all the fonts on your computer. Be sure to pick a font that contains all the characters you need for the language.
  6. Choose what keyboard to use for each language. (The keyboard you need must already be installed in your computer.) SooSL will remember what keyboard you use for each language and automatically switch to use it in the fields for that language. How you make this choice is different for Windows/Mac vs. Linux.

See also the extra help topic on keyboards

  1. Choose whether to use automatic keyboard switching with checkbox 7. Normally leave it turned on (checked). If it isn't working right, you can turn it off, but then you will need to change the keyboard yourself as you move from one field to another. 
  2. Choose the order of the languages. Click the arrowheads in column 8 to move a language down or up in the list. This controls the order of the languages in the senses and notes
  3. See how many signs, senses and glosses use each language, in column 9.
  4. Add a written language (see below).
  5. Delete a written language (see below).

To save your changes, click graphic. If you change your mind and decide not to make any changes, click

Add a written language

You can add written languages to your dictionary project. You may add as many as you need.

To add a new language, click graphic (#10 in the pictures above). A new row will appear in the list. 

Fill in the information for the new language.

To save the new language, click graphic. If you change your mind and decide not to add the language, click

Delete a written language

Click thegraphictrash can next to the language you want to delete (#11 in the pictures above). 

If that language is used by any signs in the dictionary project, either for glosses or notes, then you will get a warning. 

Be careful! If you choose “Yes” (and later choose ), all the glosses and notes in that written language will also be deleted. (If all you want to do is to hide the language, click the open eye and the language will disappear.)

Then the language will be in red strike-through text, to warn you what will be deleted.

To finish deleting the language and all the information in that language, click graphic. If you change your mind and want to keep the language, click


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