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JWPce is a professional, open-source, Japanese word processor that originated in the late 1990s. In addition to word processing / text editing capabilities, it also provides numerous kanji lookup tools and integrated dictionaries. It runs on most versions of Windows, including WinCE, from which its name derives. The last update was released in 2005, and the official webpage went offline in 2015.

It is an old-school Win32 program written in C++ and utilizing MFC. It does not have eye candy in its GUI or a "ribbon" interface, nor does it use .NET. Although it has always been free, its feature set is commensurate with commercial-grade products of the time.

At one time it was successful enough to merit a Wikipedia article.

A New Hope

I've been using a modified version of JWPce internally for years, and recently decided to attempt a public release of same now that official development appears to have ceased. This page is a placeholder for the eventual release.

JWPxp is the tentative title of my JWPce fork, so named due to the removal of support for WinCE and DOS-based Windows as well as to differentiate it from Glenn Rosenthal's original product.

Prominent Enhancements

  • Unicode support: files with non-ANSI characters in the name or path can now be operated upon
  • IME-style input seems to work now (due to Unicode support)
  • Improved speed when working with huge files such that you can even manipulate EDICT directly
  • Will now display the largest EDICT entries (suru, tsukeru, etc.) without truncating them
  • Better dictionary searching, particularly for advanced searches
  • Single-kana searches are now possible (useful for looking up particles)
  • Greatly expanded sorting abilities for dictionary searches
  • Kana-only searches now accept an asterisk (pattern search) at the end as a special case
  • Numerous usability enhancements and additional keyboard shortcuts
  • Brace matching (for source code)
  • Lots of other minor improvements that will be noted in the documentation

  • Dozens of bugs have also been fixed. It should no longer crash on any dictionary search, for example.

    Don't get too excited though

    Due to limited time and interest, I cannot commit to providing a high level of support for this program. In its heyday, JWPce may have had over a hundred thousand users — tens of thousands at least — across many operating systems and platforms. Realistically, if I am to pick up development for JWPce, it will have to be for a more streamlined set of users.

    Therefore, I do not intend to provide

  • Special versions for ANSI, Wine, WinCE, or DOS-based Windows (95, 98, ME)
  • Localized versions
  • Updates or corrections to the (massive) help file
  • Updates or support to ancillary programs
  • Support for unusual use cases
  • Comprehensive technical support

    Bug reports and change requests will still be considered.
    The easier they are to implement, the more likely they will be acted upon.

    Ultimately I consider this a personal project I am sharing rather than a service being provided gratis. That said, I've tried to be conscientious about maintaining features I do not use myself.

    Fortunately for you — one of the lucky few — I am not expecting this fork to acquire a large user base, so limited technical support should be feasible. No commitments though.

    How to Contribute

  • Link to this webpage using the anchor text JWPxp. If nothing else, you'll help undercut certain sites that profit from distributing free software with crapware installers. It's important to lay the groundwork early, hence this announcement and placeholder page.

  • Please don't submit bug reports yet since there is a good possibility the defect in question has already been fixed. I had no idea there were so many bugs but I've fixed or at least documented all the ones I've found.


    Q: When will the first release be?

    A: When I consider it to be stable. I don't have a lot of free time, and there are other projects that I need to finish first, so the release won't be any time soon. Another reason I don't want to rush things is the new configuration file format, which can't be changed (much) after release without breaking compatibility yet again.

    At the moment it's looking like sometime in the first half of 2017.

    Q: What qualifies as stable?

    A: When I've finished adding features and fixing bugs, and after I've been using the release candidate version for an arbitrary period of time without incident.

    Q: It's been x months since you first announced this. Is it just vaporware?

    A: Barring some major catastrophe, no. I think I've got enough history with other successful undertakings (including Win32 programs such as XM6 Pro-68k) to have my announcements taken seriously. I am making no promises regarding the release timeline, however.

    Q: Why is it taking so long to get to a stable first release?

    A: The main reason is that, with the required configuration format change, I'm trying to add as many future-growth options as I can think of prior to release. Once it goes public I don't have as much flexibility to make changes without breaking backwards compatibility again.

    A secondary reason is that I keep adding features and fixing bugs (many of which I've introduced, admittedly).

    Then there are the usual time and interest excuses. I've currently got about four unreleased projects I work on from time to time.

    Q: How often will updates be released?

    A: Assuming the number and severity of reported defects is low, it will depend largely on the vagaries of my interest in developing the program. I tend to do development work in brief but intense fits with long fallow periods in between, so there could end up being many months or even years between releases. But again, that assumes a low level of actionable user feedback. (Even if there is never any user feedback, I still maintain a list of items that did not make it into the latest release, so there is always work to do.)

    Q: Any chance of resuming support for such-and-such?

    A: I would be delighted to continue supporting Windows 95, obsolete PDAs, and other platforms; I just don't want to do the maintenance (compilation and testing, mostly). I have not removed the conditional compilation statements and I've even added a few for Unicode-specific sections I introduced (although ANSI support might not even be necessary anymore as I vaguely recall some sort of Unicode layer for Win9x and possibly WinCE). Please coordinate with me if you are interested in accepting responsibility for one of the formerly supported environments.

    Q: Are there any other forks of JWPce?

    A: None that I am aware of. If there are any, they are probably on obscure corners of the Internet, just like JWPxp.

    Q: Can I email you?

    A: Yes but don't expect a quick response. You may get a reply in a few days, if fortune is on your side, but you should assume that I won't read your email for several months in the worst case. I may be more responsive post-release.

    Q: Any plans for other Unicode conversions?

    A: Yes, if I can ever clear out all these other unfinished, unannounced projects in the priority queue.

    Q: Why would I want to use this program?

    A: It has some features that may benefit your use case. I used JWPce for most of my translation work. Some of the features I consider to be the most useful are listed below.

  • Integrated dictionaries, including user-defined entries
  • Fairly powerful dictionary search features, including automatic deconjugation
  • Numerous kanji lookup methods (and one built-in input method)
  • Ability to read/write several common Japanese encoding standards
  • Portable and completely self-contained — no need to install anything, including the program itself

    It also has other features I have limited use for, such as printing, page layout, colorized kanji (a learning aid), statistics, and the ability to export text in graphical form.

    JWPxp Downloads

    Coming eventually...

    JWPce Downloads

    Here are some archives of the original (unsupported) JWPce for you to try. Please do not hot link these files.

    JWPce complete package, repacked as a single 7-zip archive for convenience and bandwidth

    JWPce source code

    Don't forget to update your dictionary files periodically!

    EDICT (latest version, with index)
    ENAMDICT (latest version, with index)

    The main EDICT page has additional documentation and related files. You have to do quite a bit of digging to find the indexed ENAMDICT, and it can be confusing to decide which files to download from that page, so you're generally better off using the links above if you only want to update your dictionaries for use with JWPce.

    Thank you, Glenn Rosenthal, for your hard work on this excellent program.

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