Techniques and packages for effective use of Toolbox
This page contains helpful information on using Toolbox. Also see the Toolbox documentation page for useful information.
Many of the Toolbox downloads are packaged in .zip files. To use a zip file, download it to your computer. In Windows Explorer double click it. You will see a folder. Select the folder and choose Edit, Copy. Navigate to the place where you want it. Choose Edit, Paste. This will extract all the folders and files from the zip file.
On Mac, first move the zip file to the place where you want to install the contents. Then double click the zip file to automatically expand it.
Toolbox Training Package
The Toolbox self-training document describes a variety of useful techniques. It contains a large number of exercises illustrating these techniques. It also contains many screen shots so that the exercises can be understood without actually doing them.
If you have not yet installed Toolbox, you can read the self-training document for instructions on how to install Toolbox and for an overview of how Toolbox works. Here is the Toolbox Self-Training Document in pdf form that can be read here or saved to your local disk.
Toolbox Standard New Project Kit
The Toolbox standard new project kit will save you a lot of time and trouble getting started on your own project. If you are a new user of Toolbox, you should begin with the new project kit. It gives you a fully functional setup with which you can begin to do real work. But it does not tie you down. After you begin with the new project kit, you can customize the standard setup in a wide variety of ways. The training package tells how to use the kit.
Toolbox Dictionary Factory
The Toolbox Dictionary Factory is a package designed to help you make a dictionary, even if you have no training or experience in linguistics or dictionary making. It contains a special new project kit designed to help you start a dictionary. It contains instructions and exercises to walk you through the basic steps in starting a dictionary, and to help you build your dictionary to whatever size and depth you want.
Download Toolbox Dictionary Factory
- Searching for Toolbox information on the web
The full name of Toolbox is Field Linguist's Toolbox, but almost no one uses the full name, so it can be hard to make a search that finds relevant web sites. Some people use Shoebox/Toolbox. This finds mostly relevant sites. If you want your site to be found, it is good to include that on the site. A search for sites that contain both Shoebox and Toolbox on the same page finds a lot of hits, but only a small percentage are about Shoebox/Toolbox. Some Shoebox/Toolbox sites contain links to other sites, so you may find some useful information by following those links. A few sites use Shoe/Toolbox, but that is very rare, and searching for it brings up mostly irrelevant sites.
- Using MDF with Unicode
To use Unicode with MDF, you must set all language encodings to Unicode. In particular, you must set "vernacular" and "national" to Unicode even if you don't use them. The new project kit has this correct, but if you are upgrading from an older version of MDF, you should check this.
We plan to expand this section in the future, so please send any helpful techniques or user ideas you may have.