Question1: Where are the other keys on the screen keyboard?

The screen keyboard does not distinguish between Sin and Shin but simply has the one letter. I note from looking at the font that it contains both Sin and Shin, and also note that there are spare keys on the screen keyboard. Is it possible to modify (me or you) the mapping between the font and these keys to allow both Sin and Shin to be used?


The screen keyboard gives you access to all the characters in the font. You need to click with the mouse on the "Shift" and "Option" keys to get them. Note that "Option" doesn't do anything until "Shift" has been clicked, and once they are both clicked, you must take them off in the reverse order - ie on: Shift, then Option off: Option then Shift.

Question2: How did you decide on the mapping of letters to the key screen keyboard?

How did you decide on the mapping of the letters to the keys? It seems an unusual and rather counter-intuitive mapping


Firstly, this could be said of the English QWERTY keyboard - it was designed to slow the typist down, so that keys on early mechanical typewriters had lest chances of banging into each other.

The keyboard is largely based on the standard Israeli keyboard. If you would like to learn to type in Hebrew, try this Hebrew Typing Tutor.

Where it was not clear where to put slightly different characters, such as Sin/Shin (which gets a single letter on the standard Hebrew keyboard), they have been added in an adhoc manner. If you have better ideas, or know of a Fully Specified Hebrew Keyboard Standard that gives guidance on this, please share your insights.

Question3: Why do some entries in fsf files in FoundationHebrew font look funny in Excel?

Using The Font Converter describes a process where you can use a spreadsheet to view your files. Sometimes the import of a few words is mysteriously mucked up. Why?


Yodh, in the FoundationHebrew font, is in the same place as "=" in an Latin font. This causes Excel to think it is a formula, and show the error #NAME?.

"4E8" can be interpreted as a number in scientific notation, ie 400000000. To prevent this, you need to tell Excel that the column in Hebrew is text.

Question4: How do I save fsf files back out from Excel?

Using The Font Converter describes a process where you can use a spreadsheet to input a wordlist in FoundationHebrew font. How do I get a fsf file back out?


Save as tab delimited text. Using a text editor, remove all " (ie double quotes). Spreadsheets often place double quotes around words. " does not map to anything in the FoundationHebrew font, so you won't be discarding any legitimate Hebrew characters by doing this.

Question5: How does the Lexicon Search Work?

I’ve explored the lexicon but can’t quite figure out how it works as I type in a word and either I get a Hebrew word that has more characters in it than the one I typed or (more often) don’t get any word (probably because the word I’m looking for is not in the wordlist).


A missing word is easy - it's not in the wordlist. You may like to add it to your own wordlist and send that list in. The master wordlist has all the other wordlists combined into it, and is the closest there is to a near dictionary quality list.

Now getting more words back - the Hebrew search will return any substring of the consonants you type. Technically, it is a Unicode primary search on the Hebrew range. This makes sense, as often you are searching based on the root, or are just lazy and don't want to type the vowels. For example, a search on אהב turns up -

התאהב ב

Question6: How does the Combine Wordlists function work?

How does this work?


The new worklist is copied to the start of the new updated wordlist. Then all the old words are processed one by one against what is there. It searches for every match, and tries to update the new updated word. If it can add something to it, it stops and goes onto the next old word. This process is called "fusing". If no match can be found, it adds the old word at the end of the new words already in the new updated wordlist.

In practical terms this means if you want to add words to the end of an existing list, then choose the existing list as the new wordlist.

Question7: How can I get more fields into/from Miniflash, the Palm application?

I Already use Miniflash for my Palm and have Seow's Grammar. I have converted it into FoundationStone, using the import utility. However, I wish to import MORE data into FoundationStone, specifically I want to import into the "Chapter / Page" field.

The website documentation shows how to import into the following fields:

word type.
word frequency.
the word.
the English translation.
gender (may be blank).
number (may be blank).
notes (leave this column blank, it is for the user's personal notes).
the Russian translation (important: place the word "Russian" in this column if no Russian translation is available).

I have tried to save the Palm Miniflash file as tab delimited, and import that into Foundation Stone, but to no avail. I've also tried to open Foundation Stone databases, save as tab delimited, and open back up - but the lines will not be read.

Is it possible to import the 'Chapter / Page' field?


Assumption: you have a Miniflash database, and are trying to get it into FoundationStone.

Let me answer this in two parts. Firstly, the Palm menu import and export process is mapped to produce a Miniflash file with user defined fields of Label 1: Frequency, Label 2: Gender. If, in your Miniflash database you have altered that, then weird things will occur in the import to FoundationStone for Frequency and/or Gender. The Palm menu import export is convenient, but not configurable for your purpose.

Now if you use FoundationStone's Utility->Import Wordlist on a tab delimited text file exported from the Windows Miniflash database helper application, then it can correctly translate the Miniflash font (ie use the Miniflash convert Hebrew from font option) - but you are limited to an "old" style simple Miniflash file with fields -

difficulty, word type, word frequency, easinessWithinDifficulty, the word, English translation, gender, number, notes, Russian translation

However, when you save this imported Wordlist in FoundationStone, it will be saved in the 10 language version. It's just a Unicode Tab Delimited File, and you can open it in Excel say. Cut and paste your 'Chapter / Page' column in there, save it, and that should be it.

Take care - Excel has a habit of adding fancy quotes (ie not these simple quotes "") to the file when it saves, so you may yet need to use Wordpad (not Notepad, it doesn't do Unicode) to remove them. See also Question3 above.

Bit horrible, but possible.

Question8: Why does Aleph only have audio?

...after the word list loads, and I hit 'next,', the first character, aleph, appears and a male voice says aleph. However, when I hit 'next' again, 'bet' appears, but there is no sound, and there is no sound for each successive letter.


Version 3.0.0 (August 2006) introduced the ability to store and play audio. Aleph is recorded to demonstrate the feature. Yes, that's me, I really am as good looking as I sound ;)

For the most part, FoundationStone content is user contributed. Maybe you'd like to lend a hand in the effort to add audio...

English/QuestionsAndAnswers (last edited 2011-05-04 01:18:05 by BenS)