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tdv - Translation dictionary viewer


tdv [OPTION]…​ [DICTIONARY.ifo]…​


tdv is a StarDict dictionary viewer, custom-tailored for translation dictionaries, with a simple curses-based terminal UI, and a GTK+ graphical UI.

Without any command line arguments, the program expects to find a list of dictionaries to load on start-up in its configuration file. The .ifo files contain information required to load dictionaries from their accompanying database files.



Launch the GUI even when run from a terminal.

-h, --help

Display a help message and exit.

-V, --version

Output version information and exit.


You can start your tdv.conf file with the following snippet:

center-search = true     # Ensure visibility of preceding entries?
underline-last = false   # Underline the last line of entries?
hl-common-prefix = true  # Highlight the longest common prefix?
watch-selection = true   # Watch X11 selection for changes?

The watch-selection option makes the application watch the X11 PRIMARY selection for changes and automatically search for any selected text. This feature requires XCB. Wayland is currently unsupported, but would require a compositor supporting the wlr-data-control protocol. Luckily, some compositors, such as Sway, synchronize selections with Xwayland.

To set up automatically loaded dictionaries, use the following scheme:

name 1 = ~/path/to/dict.ifo
name 2 = ~/another/dict.ifo

The left-hand side keys define their appearance in the tab bar.

Finally, to make the program look nicer in 256color black-on-white terminals, rather than rely on the universal default, try:

header = reverse
header-active = ul
search = ul
even = 16 231
odd = 16 255

Terminal attributes are accepted in a format similar to that of git-config(1), only named colours arent supported.


Because the StarDict file format is a bit of a clusterfuck with regard to collation of dictionary entries, this software introduces an additional, optional "collation" field into the .ifo file. When tdv discovers this field while reading a dictionary, it automatically reorders the index according to that locale (e.g., "cs_CZ"). This operation may take a little while, in the order of seconds.


tdv follows the XDG Base Directory Specification.


The configuration file.

Reporting bugs

Use to report bugs, request features, or submit pull requests.

See also