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The first public release is now available!

It's not as polished as I had originally intended the first release to be, and a lot of new features didn't make the cut, but it should still be quite stable with only minor bugs left to fix at a later date. The new text-based configuration makes it much easier to add new settings without breaking compatibility, which largely ameliorated my earlier trepidation about releasing it.

At the moment, the only public documentation for the new version is contained within the rather formidable change log. At some point I'd like to either update the manual or at least write a supplement giving an overview of all the new features and how to use them, but I don't anticipate that anytime soon due to the recent emergence of higher priority projects.


This is a greatly enhanced fork of the defunct JWPce Japanese text editor (described below). Many bugs have been fixed and plenty of new features have been added.

I have named it JWPxp due to the removal of support for WinCE and DOS-based Windows (e.g. Windows 9x) as well as to differentiate it from Glenn Rosenthal's original product. The ur-program was called JWP. Later, the "ce" was added to the name by Rosenthal because he added support for WinCE (more or less completely rewriting the program in the process). Now I've changed it to "xp" because Windows XP is the lowest officially supported OS, although it probably works fine on Win2k and possibly even NT 4.x. Maybe by 2025 we'll see JWPw7.

Introduction to the Progenitor

JWPce (the precursor to JWPxp) 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++ for the MFC framework. It does not have eye candy in its GUI or a "ribbon" interface, nor does it utilize .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.

JWPce has been largely superseded by JWPxp, although it might still be useful for users of older operating systems. You can download it below.

Prominent Enhancements

  • Unicode support: files with non-ANSI characters in the name or path can now be operated upon
  • IME-style input is now functional (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
  • Numerous usability enhancements and additional keyboard shortcuts
  • Brace matching (for source code)
  • The binary configuration file has been abolished in favor of text-based
  • Lots of other improvements as noted in the change log

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


    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 be done.)

    Q: When will all the bugs be fixed?

    A: I naively figured that a mature program such as this would not have too many bugs and that a state of near-perfection could eventually be reached. Despite all the progress I've made, that theory has not borne out. If you want a particular bug to be fixed quickly, you should report it, thus guaranteeing my awareness while simultaneously generating urgency to act.

    Q: May I submit feature requests?

    A: Certainly.

    Q: What about source code changes?

    A: Please send entire source files, not diffs or patches. Makes sure your editor is not inserting tab characters. Indentation is 2 spaces. I recommend comparing against the unedited source files to check for typos and the like prior to submission.

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

    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 of code 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: What's a good way to learn to use this program?

    A: Read the online help. Though outdated and slightly inaccurate at times, it's still highly relevant and very thorough.

    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: Why would I want to use this program?

    A: It has 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.

    Little-Known Licensing Facts

    This software is licensed under GPL Version 2, but you are not required to accept the license in order to merely download or execute said software. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute the software or its derivative works, and such actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept the license.

    JWPxp Downloads

    JWPxp complete package as a single 7-zip archive

    JWPxp source code

    Don't forget to update your dictionary files periodically! I only include the original 2005 dictionary (from the final JWPce release) in the distribution archive since it's good enough for most purposes and saves space. Besides that, EDICT is updated constantly so it is impractical to keep current. Be aware that ENAMDICT is not included so if you want to look up names, get it below and unzip the files into the same directory as the JWPxp executable.

    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 JWPxp/JWPce.

    Old Downloads

    Here is an archive of the original (unsupported) JWPce for historical or comparison purposes. You probably don't need this unless you are running a very old Windows OS. The complete source code for this version is included with the JWPxp source code above.

    JWPce complete package

    Final Words

    I've held a longstanding skepticism towards the GPL. This is the first time I have released any of my own source code under it. Please don't make this a negative experience for me.

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

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