Fora Reader is a foreign reading tool with a simple-dedicated-embedded browser, dictionary management, rapid word translations and text annotation for viewing with any web browser.
Written in the Java programming language, Fora is cross-platform and internationalized. It works on Windows XP/Vista, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems and currently available in English, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Russian, Arabic and Portuguese interfaces (note that the translations are in beta stage). Currently it has only one comprehensive English-English dictionary out-of-box due to file size and bandwidth constraints.
Fora uses various types of inline tooltips to display translations and never suspends reading/browsing activity by using well-tailored tooltips right around the word to be translated.
Whether you are a professional translator, a student doing homework or a web surfer looking for new horizons, the intuitive functionality will greatly help you communicate in languages which isn't your native and will enhance your productivity.
Fora can be viewed as a tool that virtually converts every document (or website) to an interactive one that has a complete integrated glossary.
The name Fora is an acronym derived from "Foreign Reader's Aid". It has no connection with the English word "fora" which is plural form of "forum".
Rationale behind application
When the number of words in a paragraph that which you don't know meaning exceeds about approx. 20% of the total, crawling regular dictionaries becomes increasingly tiring, even infeasible, and a need to better utilize the computer's graphical user interfaces (e.g. tooltips) and interaction hardware (e.g. mouse), arises.
Fora uses various tooltip-like customized pop-ups to display translations.
The tooltips are controlled completely with trivial mouse movements or clicks.
While you can use auxiliary tray mode to translate from every application, Fora's principal usage is not designed for a "general-purpose" contextual dictionary, but a reading tool that works exclusively with web based documents. Since most documents can be converted to a web-based one (e.g. html), workspace is not limited to html files or the web.
Important Note: Starting with version 2, Fora uses Mozilla/XULRunner as the underlying rendering engine. In order to keep file size reasonable, XULRunner library is not included in the application. Thus, you will need an installed and registered XULRunner v1.9 or newer in order to use Fora.
Here are some key features of "Fora Reader":
· Quadruple activation methods - to suit best to your needs contextually
· Hover activation - simply hover on the word of interest (extremely useful when you need to translate words very frequently, for example reading/translating a foreign document that's out of your profession)
· Hotkey activation - simply hover and hit control-key to activate (in cases where you need to have control over hover tooltips' pop up)
· Selection activation - select the word you want to translate with mouse (useful for moderate and less frequent translations)
· Clipboard activation - copy the word you want to translate to the clipboard from any application (let the application monitor the clipboard and display translations whenever a new word is detected)
· Split views - a true integration of browsing and dictionary applications
· Cross-lookup - translate words in a translation using another dictionary (allows availing more decent general dictionaries with the help of even a single small native dictionary that you understand at first look)
· Visual navigation - navigate visually within translations
· Complete dictionary management
· Add/Remove dictionary - drag and drop support, even archived dictionaries can be used as resource
· Enable/Disable dictionary - temporarily disable dictionaries you don't need at a given context
· Reorder dictionaries - reflect importance of dictionaries as it's order in the list
· Color identification - assign a unique color to visually identify dictionary in translations
· Profiles for arrangements: save and reuse dictionary arrangements devoted to specific contexts
Support for multiple dictionary formats (most open dictionaries found on the internet):
· XDXF (XML) dictionaries (an emerging standard for XML dictionary exchange and distribution)
· DICTD database dictionaries (database dumps)
· StarDict dictionaries (wide selection of useful dictionaries)
· Plain text dictionaries (tab separated dictionaries especially useful for creating user glossaries right in a text editor)
· Tabbed interface - features are organized as trivial tabs, for instance, you can translate several words simultaneously in separate tabs
· Fora Reader is an ideal application for;
· Language students
· People studying languages as a leasure activity
· Using as a secondary browser for language-related browsing
· Fora Reader is not recommended for;
· Using as the default web browser for daily browsing activities
· Some alternate titles for Fora are;
· A foreign reading tool with extensive dictionary support and tight integration
· A general purpose generic dictionary application
· A research tool with built in search shortcuts (namely Wikipedia, Google Definitions Search etc.)
· A text annotation tool for helping others in their foreign reading
· Some titles not recommended for Fora are;
· A general purpose web browser replacement for daily browsing activity
· Java 2 Standard Edition Runtime Environment
· Mozilla Firefox