When you launch the zdt you'll see that it is composed of different views. These are a list of the current views:
- Flashcard view
- Category view
- Dictionary view
- Annotator view
- Browser view
Using the Flashcards
To test yourself using the flashcards view, you'll need to group a set of characters into categories. Entries can be added either manually or imported from a file. Some pre-made character lists are available here.
Adding new categories is easy. To do this, open the Category View and click the 'New' button. Type in a category name in the dialog and click Finish. The category will show up in the view.
Adding characters to categories
The zdt is very flexible in its way to add characters. Each category has it's own editor associated with it. The user can access an editor by double-clicking on the category name in the Category View. To manually add entries to a category, use the Add Character dialog which can be accessed via the Edit -> Add Character menu. If you have the Chinese IME installed, you can type in the chinese character(s) you would like to add and the corresponding pinyin and definition will be filled out for you. Hit save (Ctrl-S) to save any entries you've added. The editors also support copy and paste and limited drag and drop functionality. This makes it easy to add characters from any source of chinese text.
Hit the start button in the Flash Card View and a dialog will popup asking what categories you would like to test. You can select one or more categories to test as well as how many flashcards you would like to see. The 'Smart filter' option uses a (simple) algorithm to filter out characters that you already know quite well and tests you more on characters you have trouble with. There are three flashcard modes. In Pinyin Recall mode, a chinese character will pop up and you will need to type in the corresponding pinyin for it with tone. Definition Test shows a chinese character (and optional pinyin) and you need to select from multiple definitions. Self Review mode allows you to select what to display (character, pinyin, definition) and you can 'flip' the flashcard to see the answer. This mode is entirely self paced.
Looking things up
Looking up entries in the database by characters, pinyin, or english definition can be done in the Dictionary View. Just type your query in the 'Search' text field. There are currently four search modes. 'Exact Match' search will find entries that contain the exact squery tring that you type in. 'Contains' search which will find any entries that include the query string. Then there are 'Begins with' and 'Ends with' search modes. If you don't have Chinese IME installed, you can look up words in the dictionary view by pinyin or english definition and then copy and paste them into a category editor.
In the Annotation View, type or copy and paste chinese text into the top text area and the view will annotate the text. On the bottom area you will see the corresponding pinyin. Hover your mouse over each character to see it's pinyin and definition. Chinese text that is highlighted is in green means that it has been annotated. When the text is highlighted in red, you need to tell the view to re-annotate. This can be accomplished by hitting (Ctrl-R). The Annotation View supports simplified and traditional characters.
You can browse to your favorite chinese websites using the integrated browser view. Copy and paste words you would like to learn into a category's editor.