Mini Edition v1.0 Released!

By the time you read this announcement, I will have already emailed activation codes to all our existing customers—both Kickstarter backers and those who purchased later, via our website.

If you pre-ordered the dictionary, you should have an email in your inbox with the activation code and instructions for how to activate your copy.

Important! If you haven’t already, please install the (free!) Extended Chinese Font add-on in Pleco. Some rare characters and components won’t show up properly otherwise.

Note: As I mentioned before, this edition is only in English. If you ordered German, you’ll get access to the English version if you want it, and then we’ll switch you over to the German version when the time comes (we’ll make an announcement beforehand so you’re not caught by surprise).

Kickstarter Backers

If you backed the dictionary on Kickstarter but haven’t received your code, please check to make sure that you’ve filled out your Backer Survey. To check, log in to your Kickstarter account, go to our project page, and click the “View Pledge” button. You’ll be able to see exactly what you pledged for, and whether you’ve filled out the survey or not. If you haven’t filled in the Backer Survey, there should be a yellow notification bar at the top of the page; click that and you’ll be able to fill it out. If you have filled out the survey and you still haven’t received an activation code, send me a message either via Kickstarter or email ( and I’ll get back to you with your code ASAP.

Website Customers

If you pre-ordered the dictionary on our website and haven’t received your code, send me an email and let me know which edition you ordered and which language (English or German) you want, and I’ll get you sorted out.

Everyone Else

If you haven’t ordered the dictionary but want to, you have two options:

  1. If you know you want either the Essentials or Expert Edition, you can pre-order them on our website like always. As soon as I see your order come through, I’ll send you an email with your activation code for the Mini Edition, and you’ll receive monthly updates until your chosen version is complete.
  2. If you’d like to try the Mini Edition before deciding whether or not to upgrade to one of the full versions (more info about each edition is available here), you can buy the Mini Edition through Pleco’s Add-ons feature starting tomorrow (7 February US time). We’ll start selling it through our website as well, hopefully within a few days (as soon as we finish setting up automated activation code distribution).

Known Issues

There are a few known issues in this release:

  1. Links in popups don’t work. Explanations of key concepts (like “corruption” or “semantic component”) and Expert Info will show up in a popup window. Some of those popups have links to other explanations. For now, those links won’t work. Pleco doesn’t support it yet, but they’ll be adding support for it in an upcoming update.
  2. There are some rare characters and components which may not show up on your device. To fix this, you need to install the (free!) Extended Chinese Font add-on in Pleco.
  3. If you click “Browse Usage Notes” in Settings -> Manage Dictionaries on iOS, your phone may freeze. So don’t do that, for now. Pleco will be fixing this in an upcoming update.

If you find an issue not mentioned above, please send an email to and we’ll get on it for the next update.


A few miscellaneous questions we get asked frequently:

  1. When will the printed posters be sent out? We will send them out as soon as we’re able to do so without further delaying development on the dictionary. We’ll be sure to make an announcement beforehand, so you can change your shipping address if need be.
  2. What about the Workbook? The workbook is on hold right now, at least until things are more stable at Outlier. We’re still in contact with collaborators John Pasden and Olle Linge, but for now we don’t want to divert any effort away from the dictionary.
  3. When will the Mini/Essentials/Expert Edition be complete? Our track record for predicting these things hasn’t turned out to be very good, so I’m going to say “I don’t know yet.” But the further along we get in the process, the clearer we’ll be about how long things will take, so we’ll be sure to update you when we have better information.
  4. When will the first update be released? We’re planning on monthly updates. However! Before we start on the first update, we need to spend some time reviewing all of our processes, coming up with a plan for how to make these releases go more smoothly in the future, and planning out the first update cycle. So I’m going to go ahead and say that the first update will take longer than a month. I will post a progress update at least every two weeks to our Kickstarter page, blog, mailing list, and social media channels.

As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send me an email ( Thanks for your patience throughout this process, and for all your support!


4 comments on “Mini Edition v1.0 Released!”

  1. Jiayan Lin Reply

    I was successfully installing the Pleco add-on function today. I was a bit disappointed as there was no pictures to explain character stories, but on the other hand, I’m happy to see you guys having progress, and looking forward to next edition. Thanks for your efforts. Well done.

    • Outlier Linguistic Solutions Reply


      There are some entries with ancient character form images, and we’ll be adding more soon. For now, 人 and 木 have abbreviated Expert Info with an image of the oracle bone form, and all the entries from our demo (尚堂路各足美立黑土攴變監藍屮艸草造射謝春) have full detailed Expert Info. In the final version of the Mini Edition, there will be about 300 entries with abbreviated Expert Info like we currently have for 人 and 木. The Essentials Edition will have that for all 4000 characters, and the Expert Edition will have full Expert Info for all 4000 characters.

      So, there’s lots more to come!


  2. Anna Finke Reply

    Just a question for clarification: I ordered the experts version and downloaded the mini version. For some characters it is currently only giving me “this is a semantic component” or “this is a sound component” – am I correct to assume that information for those characters will be added in the future?

    Many thanks,

    • Outlier Linguistic Solutions Reply

      Yes, that’s correct. The current version isn’t even the full Mini Edition yet—the full Mini Edition will have more detail for each component. And the Expert Edition will of course be much more detailed and have many more entries (4000+).

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