DimSum: Chinese Reading Assistant and Dictionary

Chinese Tools with Something for Everyone

Many people have requested versions of the tools on this website that can be run locally. DimSum is the answer to these requests. I'm currently integrating most of the tools on the website into one package: DimSum. Right now it supports adding pinyin to text files, Rich Text Format files, and web pages.

Please be aware that program is currently only at version 0.7.9 and there's still a lot of improvement to be done. The program may run slowly and some characters may appear as boxes. Your suggestions (and critiques) are welcome. If Chinese does appear as boxes, users can solve this by upgrading to Java v1.5 (aka J2SE 5.0).

Questions or comments? Visit the DimSum Discussion Board.



If you haven't already installed Java on your system, you can get it from the Sun Java site. If given a choice, be sure to get the JRE version for all/multiple languages.

Important Note: Recent versions of the JRE installer require an additional step to get Chinese support. During installation select Custom installation and make sure "Support for Additional Languages" will be installed to the hard drive.

A quick solution for an existing installation would be to go to "Control Panel", then "Add or Remove Programs", select J2SE Runtime Environment 1.5, then click "Change". Then select "Modify" and then make sure "Support for Additional Languages" will be installed to the hard drive.

Also install Chinese support for your computer if you haven't already done so.

Automatic Install (Windows Only)

Download and run the DimSum setup program. It will create a entry for DimSum under "ChineseTools" on your Start menu.

If another program such as WinRAR or similar compression software comes up when you try to start DimSum, run the jarfix program from www.jonelo.de and then try running DimSum again.

Manual Install

To install the program yourself, download DimSum. On Windows, the easiest thing to do is save it to your desktop. Once the download finishes, there should be a new icon on your desktop called DimSum. You can double click on the icon to start the program.


You can download the DimSum jar file and save it to your desktop. Then double-click it to start DimSum.


I have successfully run DimSum on a Linux machine with Java 1.4 installed.

Thanks to Francois, a DimSum Linux package is now available.

To install and use DimSum without the above package, download the DimSum JAR file. To use DimSum you will also need to have some Chinese TrueType fonts installed. To get Chinese fonts working, you can also copy a Chinese Unicode True Type font to the lib/fonts subdirectory where Java is installed.

The simplest way to run DimSum on Linux is go to a command prompt, cd to the directory with the JAR file, make sure java is in your path, and type "java -jar DimSum.jar".

Running the Program

See the (currently out-of-date) DimSum Help page.

Version History

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