Padma Karpo Translation Committee
Digital Tibetan Library: How to Build Your Own
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This page shows how to use our offerings to make not only a digital Tibetan library but a digital Tibetan reference centre on your own computer.  It would be best to read the overview first.

Software to drive the Library:
You will need software to make your reference library.  For it, you can use either TibetDoc or the TibetD Reader software, which have been professionally programmed for working with the Tibetan language.  TibetDoc is available here for purchase and TibetD Reader is available here for free.

Content for the Library:
We provide six ways to add content to your library, which are explained on the overview page.  In sum: you can add titles for free by downloading any of the texts and reference works available on our free texts page.  If you have purchased or do purchase any of our dictionaries, reference works, or Tibetan texts, these are made into part of your library at installation time.  Alternatively, you could use TibetDoc to create your own texts and you could even publish them and make them available for others to use in the same way.  Furthermore, you could use TibetDoc to import texts from other sources, such as texts in Wylie format, Sambhota format, and Tibetan Unicode format and then use the new documents in your library.

Arranging the Content:
When you have some reference works for your library, they must be arranged in locations useful to searching them with the tools in the software.  As mentioned above, this is done automatically with anything you purchase from us.  Anything else you obtain will need to be installed in folders, probably within the documents folder of Windows, that will make them available in a useful way.  An extensive explanation of how to locate such files so that they are in a useful place can be found in the help that comes with TibetDoc and TibetD Reader, and especially in the help on the “Find in Files” dialogue box in the software.

One Searches Covers All:
Each of the files you have accumulated can be searched using the very powerful standard search feature of the software.  There is extensive information about the standard search that comes in the software’s general help.  More than that though, you can search your whole library at once using the “Find in Files” feature of the software.  With this feature you can search just one time through all your reference works to find something that interests you.  It is also possible to selectively remove and add specific locations to the search so that you can target your search in specific types of literature.  Again, this is fully described in the help associated with the “Find in Files” feature.

Doing a “Find in Files” search:
Next, you type or copy the text for which you want to search into the “Find in Files” box, then press the search button.  The search process is extremely fast; you can search over one-hundred standard Tibetan volumes in about 20 seconds on an everyday computer.

As the search proceeds, a list is made of the files containing your phrase and the number of times the phrase is found in each is also shown.

When the search is over (or you can cancel it at any time without losing the list of items already found) you can click on any file in the list and it will open into the software.

To make things even easier, you can elect to have a file open right at the first occurrence of the phrase for which you were looking.  Once the file is opened, you can either read the content around your phrase or you can use the full range of features in our software to look further through the file.  For example, to find further occurrences in the file you can simply press F3 (the Windows standard button for search again) and be take to the next instance of the phrase immediately.

Versatility:
You can search for any phrase using this feature!  You can search for non-Tibetan, Tibetan, and Sanskrit-containing diacriticals or any variation thereof.  You can even search for formatting features such as bold, and so on.  In short, you can search for anything, in any combination, that could be found in our software.

One of the remarkable features of the “Find in Files” search system is that the software takes on the face of the file that is loaded; the interface changes on the fly to the full set of features belonging to that file type.  For example, if you are in our wordprocessor, TibetDoc, and open a dictionary file, the TibetDoc interface goes away and the full-featured dictionary interface appears.  If you click on another file and it is a word-processing file, then the word-processing interface returns.

At the end of your session, you can return to the file you were working on originally simply by pressing a button provided for the purpose.  The “Find in Files” interface disappears and the file you were working on re-opens at the place where you left off working.  You can read more about these features in the explanation of TibetD Reader at our Tibetan Computer Company site.

Power of the “Find in Files” search:
This “Find in Files” search system is the heart of the reference library capabilities of the software.  The power of it tends to be lost in a dry explanation like this but most people, on actually seeing it, realize how valuable it is.  For example, recently we were translating a text of Jigmey Lingpa which had a partial quotation from an obscure source.  We searched for parts of the quotation until we found an explanation in Jamgon Kongtrul’s Encyclopaedia of the Knowable.  From the explanation we were able to determine where the quote was from and also obtained an explanation of the quote that made it possible to translate the quote correctly. It took five minutes to uncover something that would have entailed days of searching otherwise.

Specially selected support for the “Find in Files” search:
Note that we have spent years preparing the most important texts and reference works in Tibetan Buddhism so that a truly powerful digital library can be made from our offerings.  Have a careful look not only at the free texts but especially at the listings of dictionaries and reference works that are available for purchase; you will see that our selection gives enormous coverage of the Indian and Tibetan Buddhists worlds.

Another Feature: Direct Lookups in Dictionaries:
Another feature of the software is that you can open any Tibetan text in your digital Tibetan library then look up the meaning of Tibetan words simply by clicking on them and choosing a dictionary for the lookup.  For this feature to work, you must have purchased and installed one or more of our dictionaries.  Note that this feature and the “Find in Files” feature can be used together at the same time, making an exceptionally powerful system for students, translators, and scholars.

Windows and Macintosh:
We spend more time on developing our Windows products simply because most people doing Tibetan studies use Windows for their work.  At the moment, this feature is only available in the Windows versions of our software.