Back to the software page

The home of Strokes

Download Strokes 1.00 


09/28/2007: version 1.00 is out. I've removed dead links to WWWJDIC, added the Kakijun website as a SOD provider, and implemented the offline mode for those who work disconnected. You can switch Strokes to the offline mode via the File menu; see the details below.

The problem

JISHOP is a great application for all scholars of Japanese language, both aspiring and accomplished. However, it sorely lacks one piece of kanji information - the proper stroke order of writing. Fortunately, one can find that for free on the Web - stroke-order diagrams (SODs) are easily available on the Net - for example, at Jim Breen's WWWJDIC, or at the Yoshida Institute. So I wrote Strokes - an add-on for JISHOP that ties the two dictionaries together. Once you locate a kanji in JISHOP, if you have Strokes, you can bring up the SOD with a single keystroke (Ctrl+Shift+S as of this release).


In the current version, Strokes only supports NT-series Windows operating systems - that's Windows 2000/XP/Vista. Windows 95/98/Me are officially not supported. I might be willing to add support if there's sufficient demand. If you feel like Strokes is the tool for you, and you happen to be a Windows 95/98/Me user, please let me know.

Strokes was tested with JISHOP 2.6 and 3.0.

In the online mode, which is the default, Strokes requires an active Internet connection to display SODs - it does not come with kanji images, it pulls them from the Net on demand. In the offline mode the connection is not necessary, but you must build the local SOD cache beforehand.

Dependent functionality disclaimer

Since Strokes is, by definition, an integration project, its functionality is contingent on implementation details of both JISHOP and the websites out there. A new release of JISHOP may break it; so may a design change at WWWJDIC.

The kanji database of JISHOP has over 6000 characters; SODs are available for about 2700 of those.. So chances are, for more exotic characters the SOD won't be available. In that case, Strokes will warn you accordingly.

Terms of use

Strokes is freeware. Download it and use it all you want. E-mail me at if you have troubles.


If you're using Windows Vista, log on as somebody with administrative rights.

If you already have an earlier version of Strokes, close the Strokes window, if it's open. You don't have to shut down JISHOP.

Download the Strokes setup by clicking on the link below:
Download Strokes 1.00 
Run the file.
Click "Install".
If an error message appears, e-mail me.


Load JISHOP, navigate to the kanji you want to see and press Ctrl+Shift+S.

To see the SOD animation all over again, choose "Refresh" in the View menu. Also you may use the View menu options to switch between different SODs for the same character - whenever there are several. If WWWJDIC is down, use Tools/Settings to point Strokes to one of the worldwide mirrors of WWWJDIC. You may also specify which SOD to display by default.

You can switch to the offline mode by clicking "Offline" in the File menu. The first time you do that, Strokes will suggest that you build the local SOD cache. Until you run that process to the end, offline mode won't be available.

When building the SOD cache, you may choose which set of SODs do you want. If you don't download the full set of images from all providers, later you won't be able to see some SODs for some characters, even though those SODs do exist on the Net. You can download additional images anytime; to do that, click on "Rebuild local cache" in the File menu and select a more extensive image set for downloading.

The process of local cache building blocks neither JISHOP nor Strokes. You can minimize the progress window and keep working with JISHOP as usual. You can also stop the process anytime - next time you run it, it will correctly pick up where it left. You can even run the process with a different parameters - the images that were already downloaded once won't be downloaded again.

Release history

Release 0.50 - Sep 12, 2007. The first one, probably very buggy.

Release 1.00 - Sep 28, 2007. Added Kakijun as a SOD source, implemented offline mode.

frontpage hit counter