Quick Start

For Study

Quiz Study
Quiz Scoring
Configuring Options

For Professionals

Time Chart
Multi-currency Calculator
File Converter
Character Map
Text Tricks

A-Z Index

Bitmap Font Builder
Character Map
Configuring Options
Creating you own language files
File Converter
Multi-currency Calculator
Quick Start
Quiz Study
Quiz Scoring
SayIt Text To Speech
Set up Speech Synthesis
Settings File
Text Tricks
Time Chart
Wordlist Editor


This is free software, I have done everything I can to make it work well and reliably, however please understand that I have limited time and resources to produce this program, and it may not be on the same level as commercial products.

The Romanji (English letters) Japanese dictionary is converted by a routine built into Benkyou Studio, it is still under development and may not be accurate also please be aware that there are variations in how people represent Japanese letters in English (e.g. Benkyou could also be written as benkiyou benky┼Ź) This also applies to the sample wordlist provided with the software.

Benkyou studio was designed for Japanese study, and is being extended to support other languages, please be aware that the Quiz functionality is best for English and Japanese, this is because these are the only languages I speak, and I cannot properly configure the "tricky" misspellings for languages I do not understand

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Quick Start

Dont want to read all this? do the following:
1. Extract all the files into a folder with write access (eg desktop)
2. run BenkyouStudio.exe
3. Select your language (Default: English)
4. Select your Study language
5. Click on MouseFlash on the main menu for mouse Flashcards
6. Click on Quiz on the main menu for word study
7. Click on Dictionary to lookup words

Want to reset the settings? delete StudyUsr.dat and reload the program

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Thank you for trying Benkyou Studio! I hope you find it useful in achieving your goals, whether they be Work, Study or Both!

The latest version of Benkyou Studio is available at

This software is free! So if you like this program, please share it, or tell others about it, you can follow the update and development on my twitter feed ( or Facebook page (, also feel free to email me at

Please notify me of any bugs via Email and I will do everything I can to fix them.
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Benkyou Studio is a Dot Net 3.5 based multi-language toolkit, it is designed for extreme flexibility, and can support study of a wordlist containing multiple languages - provided your files are in the correct format you can even make up your own fictional language, and Benkyou studio will support it!

For Study:
    Multiple choice Quiz - adapts to focus on the words you are finding hard
    Mouseflash - learn new words while using your computer
    Dictionary - Multi-language with symbol meaning, add words to your studylist
    Speech - hear the words your learning - export to your MP3 player

For Work:
    Unicode Lookup - see the character numbers of text, convert to safe HTML format
    Character map - view ranges of the character map, export to html format
    File converter - Convert between ansi, UTF-8, Shift-Jis and many many more.
    Bitmap font builder - for developers, export a range as as set of sprite tiles
    Currency Calculator - Convert and work with multiple currencies
    World Time chart - Clearly See the next 24 hrs of chosen countries

For Multiplatform:
    Onscreen Keyboard - Type foreign characters your computer does not have an IME for
    Text Editor with bitmap font - Edit files on your computer, even if your computer cannot show them

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Benkyou Studio is licensed on the Creative Commons "Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC" license.
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don't have to license their derivative works on the same terms. Please see the weblink for more details

"Non-Commercial" means you cannot sell copies of software based on Benkyou Studio. You are welcome to use it (or derivatives) at work, give them to your students etc.

Benkyou Studio uses icons provided by icons8 ( These icons were used with permission on the basis that this is a free open source program and that credit and a weblink to Icons8 are contained within this software.
These files are contained in the folder res\ico\icons8, please ensure that if you redistribute or modify this program you retain the appropriate credit and link, or remove these icons from your version.

Benkyou Studio uses Google's Noto Sans font:

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Bitmap Font Builder

This is a tool for programmers looking to provide font support to systems with limited or no text rendering ability

As this is a specialist tool, it does not have a button, so please load it from the Menu, in the Toolkit section

In this context, A Bitmap font is a grid of letters, the programmer can use Open GL sprite rendering or Bitmap Blitting to render the characters on-screen, As the characters are in a uniform layout, it is trivial to work out the position of a character from its Unicode number.

For an example of this in action, please see the
"Nehe" tutorials
Also,if you are interested please refer to the Benkyou Studio sourcecode, the "ufontblit" function in "clsCfunc.cs"
I have seen free tools for creating such bitmaps in the past which were great for standard 0-127 ascii but I felt they lacked the flexibility that was required for full or partial unicode ranges, where the range would need to be split into dozens or even hundreds of tiles, and where only parts of the unicode range may be required
Benkyou Studio can use these bitmap fonts for the Onscreen Keyboard, and Platform Independent Text Editor to ensure they can be used even if the fonts installed on the system are lacking in international support.
The Bitmap font builder has a large variety of options, most of which should be self explanatory.
The files are exported to the specified location with a four digit number appended in PNG format,
The number of files created depends on the number of letters specified by your "Data Range" and the number of Cells you specified the bitmaps should have
If PNG is not suitable for your needs, please use a batch converter to convert them as needed (I used Irfanview)

The Bmp Font Builder is a Developer tool,

Specify the number and size of the cells, the range of chars and font

The range is exported in PNG format in as many files as it takes - If you don't know what to do with these files, you don't need this tool!
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Character Map

The character map shows part or all of the Unicode range on-screen with each symbol labeled with its corresponding Unicode number. You can specify the range in decimal or Hexadecimal according to your requirements.

In the same way, you can choose to show the labels as Decimal, Hexidecimal, or have no labels.

By default the characters are formatted as text, however you can output in HTML table format if that suits your needs better.
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Configuring Options

The settings page allows you to configure how Benkyou Studio Works and looks:

    UiTheme - The colour scheme of the interface
    UiIcons - The icon set of the main menu
    Invert Icons - Swap the colors of the icons (has no function on default theme)
    UI Language pack - change the UI language
    Primary Language - your language, only works on some quiz configurations
    Study Language - language you are learning, only works on some quiz configurations
    Native languages - Languages you are fluent in, quiz does not alter (eg char swap) native languages
    Menu Layout - Menu Icon size options
    UI Opacity - make the software see through - good for studying while watching movies
    Speech - Speech can work during Quiz or Quiz and Mouseflash depending on your choice
    IME mode - the default IME setting in the Dictionary
    QuizScales - Size of the quiz, 1 is good for small screens, 1.75 for HD
    Quizlength - the number of questions in a quiz round
    Min zero words - when the number of words with a score of 0 or less gets below this, new words will "awaken", -1 disables zero words, all new words will be active
    AutoSet MinZW - set MinZeroWords to the square-root of the words on your wordlist,
this will allow minzerowords to increase as your wordlist gets bigger.
    Words to awaken - no of words to awaken once Min Zero words is reached

    Fontscale - the size of the mouse flashcard text
    Opacity - how see through the text is
    update - number of milliseconds between updates
    position - where the flashcard is relative to the mouse cursor

Developer options: Most users will not want these
    Extra features - enable Developer menu and debugging tools
    Auto add to langpack - adds untranslated parts of the UI to the langpack - used for UI translation
    Detailed scores - saves extra info on how often you answered questions
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Creating you own language files

Benkyou studio can support any language Unicode can, I will provide more documentation later, but to get started, start a new game, selecting English and German as the default languages, edit the StudyUsr.dat, and swap the "eng" and "deu" references for the languages you are interested in.

The ",DEF-V1,WL-multi-V1" line defines all the languages in the file, the file is basically CSV, the Score column is needed for scoring, all other (eng,jpn etc) are optional translations which are only needed if you are studying that language

Languages should be named according to 3 letter 639-2/T form, eg eng, deu, spa etc. if you need subforms (different char sets etc) these should be added after a - symbol eg jpn (jpn kanji) jpn-h (japanese hiragana) jpn-r (japanese romanji) the three letter form should be the base form.

If you are willing to help with setting up a foreign language, please contact me and I will provide all the support I can, and if possible, include it with the distribution of Benkyou Studio

Fictional and obscure languages that do not have a 3 letter code should be 4 letters starting with x, eg xfre could be fremen , or xkli could be klingon etc.

Unless they are included in the base release You are on your own supporting these, I will not do anything which will negatively affect unofficially supported languages, provided they are 3 letters and conform to 639-2/T or 4 letters and start with the letter x

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Benkyou studio has a dictionary which supports multiple languages
Select the dictionary you wish to use from the drop down and type in the word you want to search for and click "Search" Matching results will be shown in a list
click on a line to see it in more detail at the bottom, where available after a few seconds details such as a breakdown of the meanings of the symbols and usage examples will be shown

if you are studying with MouseFlash and the Quiz you can click the "Add to Wordlist" button to add this word to your studylist

if you have speech synthesis support, and you want to hear the word click on "SayIt"
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File Converter

A common problem I have dealing with text data in Japan is file format problems,
Many times you may find that one program can only export a certain format, but the program you need to import into cannot support that format.

Other times you may have a file you cannot read, or you do not know what file format it is to begin with

Even if you can read the file, it may have issues that need solving, such as Html encoded characters or characters that need removing

The file converter can help with all these issues

Select the Source file and format in the boxes at the top of the form
use the preview to check the source format is correct

Once you are happy the file is being read correctly select a destination format and file name
You can also perform "TextTricks" directly to the file, to allow more advanced manipulation.

the "Read whole file into memory" should be ticked for smaller files,
if this is ticked the file will be processed in one go, otherwise it will be read line by line.
TextTricks which must work on multiple lines (such as ReverseLines and RotateChars) will not work if this is not ticked.

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Mouseflash is a mini flashcard, which appears on-screen near your mouse cursor, It is designed to help you learn new words during your normal computer use.
The position and transparency are configurable within Benkyou Studios settings page
You can use Speech Synthesis to hear the words as you see them.
Mouse flash works with all languages supported by Benkyou Studio
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Multi-Currency Calculator

Benkyou Studio includes a Multi-currency calculator
All calculations are performed in the left panel in your preferred currency. The equivalent converted values are shown in the right hand panel.

Changing the "Foreign Currency" drop-down will reconvert the values, so you can switch between foreign currencies to see the values in different currencies.

Please note, Division and Multiplication operations are not converted, as these are assumed to not be currency values

For example, if you want to calculate buying 10 Five pound items in Yen:
Set Local to GBP, Set Foreign to JPY and Type 5 X 10
this will convert the 5 to yen, the 10 is a multiplier so is unchaged.

10 Five pound items in Yen

If you need to add different currencies together, you should use the conversion buttons on the bottom right of the calculator
First set your local currency, and select an foreign currency - Right clicking on the button will set it to the selected foreign currency (it will stay the same even if you change the dropdowns)

For example, if my home currency is GBP, and I want to know how much my holiday money is worth,
I have 10 dollars, 5 euros and 1000 yen.
To start I need to set the buttons to USD,EUR and JPY
Now I type 10 and press "USD" (10 dollars is converted to pounds)
Next I press + and type 5 then "EUR" (5 euros is converted to pounds)
Now I press + and type 1000 then "JPY" (1000 yen is converted to pounds)
Pressing = will give a grand total. note the conversions used are shown as comments in the results

If you need to update the exchange rates used use the "Set Rate" button, if your currency is not included use the xCST option... also note all currency info is held in the file "res/cfg/CurrencyConv.dat" you can change this file if you wish

The "+Extra" button will include other common conversions of weights and distances etc.

if you want to keep the calculation stages you can use the copy buttons
"Copy Tab" puts the results in the clipboard in Tab separated format, this should paste fine into Excel
"Copy ||" puts the results in the clipboard in two columns as they appear on-screen
"Copy =" puts the results in the clipboard in Local lines first, followed by foreign currency

10 dollars + 5 euros + 1000 yen = 17.20 pounds.

You can update the exchange rates, or add your own custom one
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Quiz Study

The Quiz helps you learn new words, and tests your ability.

You will be shown a word at the top of the screen, in either your native or study language, and a set of possible answers at the bottom, in the opposite language. You must click on the matching answer from the choices.

When the answers are not in your native language the answers will vary and may have just one letter missing, or be half right, also the system knows the mistakes you may make, and will put in common misspellings and with languages like Japanese, will show Kanji with similar meanings

When you click on the right answer you will progress to another word, if you click on the wrong answer, you will lose some time - the score of that word will change depending on how long it took you to get the answer right, and how often a word appears varies depending on its score. This way the quiz focuses on words you are weak at.

Quiz Scoring

All the words in your wordlist have a score between -20 and +20 words with low scores appear more often, words with high scores appear less.

Depending on how quickly you answer, and if you get the answer right, the words score will go up or down, over time, the words you are good at will have higher scores, words you are bad at will have lower scores. The intention of the quiz is to get you to the stage that you can quickly know a word, so even answering right will lower your score a bit if you took too long

A word you have just started learning starts with a score of 0
A word you have finished learning has a score of 21
A word you have not started learning has a score of 999

in the software "Zero Words" refers to words with a score of 0 or less, meaning you have not yet started learning them, or you have gotten them wrong.

When there are no "Zero Words" (or they reach your specified level) the software considers that you are coping ok with the current number of words you are learning, and you can start learning some new ones... the intention is that this keeps you in the "Sweet spot" where you are constantly learning more, but do not feel overwhelmed

Please note, the Average and ZeroWords shown in the title bar of the quiz are always one answer behind, BenkyouStudio is designed to work with study-lists of over ten of thousand words and multiple languages, and recalculating these every answer would take unnecessary time.

The quiz shows a number of possible answers, depending on well you are doing on that word.

If you cant get the word right, the quiz will give you

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"SayIt" is a simple interface to the Text to speech routine.
You can simply type any text you want in the box, and the Windows TTS engine will say it

Alternatively, You can use the "Save to Wav" option to export the speech to a wav file

If unspecified, the default system voice will be used, if you need a specific lanugage, you can select it from the dropdown, or by using "Text Command" Benkyou Studios TTS processor recognises "l>zzz`" as an instruction to change to a voice which can speak language zzz ... also it is possible to specify a voice by part of its name, eg "l>haruka`" will use "Microsoft Server Speech Text to Speech Voice (ja-JP, Haruka)"
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Settings File

The files contained in the Res folder are required for the software to work properly, however they are never changed by the software, all your settings are contained within the StudyUsr.dat file.

There are three places the program will look for a settings file.
1. on the command line, eg "BenkyouStudio.exe c:\myfile.txt" will load the settings from myfile.txt... please remember the working folder must still be the one with the res folder

2. StudyUsr.dat in the current working directory.

3. in the Appdata folder, eg %appdata%\BenkyouStudio\StudyUsr.dat

A backup of the settings file is made every day in the Bak folder *so long as this folder exits* if you delete the folder, the backups will not be created.

A note on upgrading:
the StudyUsr.dat file may malfunction with older versions of the software, however I will try to maintain compatibility so this settings file can migrate to newer versions of the software, however please understand there may be times this is not possible or where the software is unintentionally incompatible, please backup everything before upgrading, and remember that this software is being provided free of charge, and I am not able to provide the same level of maintenance and support as a commercial product.

Revisions of this software are marked by a letter of the Greek alphabet Major revisions of Benkyou studio will have a different letter, so if you are upgrading from the Gamma version 1.1 to the Gamma version 1.2 you should be ok. if you are upgrading from Gamma 1.1 to Delta 1.4 please make sure you have read the change notes and documentation, as there may be issues.

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Set up Speech Synthesis

Speech Synthesizers are 32 or 64 bit, so please ensure if your machine is 64 bit and your Speech synthesizer is 32 bit, you run the 32 bit version - else it will not work

Please be aware that speech will not play, or might be clipped during the quiz if your word-score is high, this is because the quiz speeds up on words you are strong at to save time for words that are harder.

Unfortunately this is tricky, you need to know what you are doing!

XP and Win 7

For Windows XP up to 7, you can get language packs from the site below:

You need to install the runtime from here:

You need to do a registry patch to get them to work, see the details here:

Win 10

For windows 10, I couldn't find how to download the packs, there maybe an option in the language Setting page but I couldn't find it when I tried, I installed a trial of the foreign Win10 OS, and copied the foreign speech files from that VM onto my real pc.

The files are in... C:\Windows\Speech\Engines\TTS
The RegKeys are in... HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SPEECH\Voices\Tokens\
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Text Tricks

Text Tricks are Text processing scripts, they are designed to assist you in manipulating text in files and the clipboard when working with data on your computer

If you need to do a few lines of text, use the "Text Tricks" button and cut paste the text into the textbox of the Text Tricks interface
If you need to process a whole file, use the File Converter - which can also use TextTricks.
Examples of simple Text Tricks are searching and replacing a character or word, or reversing all the characters in a line.
More advanced text-tricks include converting Japanese Hiragana to Katakana, or adding separators every few characters

Text Tricks can be chained, so you can do several operations in one go
If you are doing a job which need you to change lots of small chunks of text in the same way try the "Paste - Go - Copy" button, this will take the contents of the clipboard, run the text trick, and store the result in the clipboard

If you need to do the same job over and over, try enabling "Keep settings", for tasks such as search and replace, this will remember the last selected options, and just run the Text Trick with the same settings

Selecting a TextTrick will show a short description of what it does, the best way to learn what they can do for you is to try experimenting with them!

Many of the text tricks were created to fulfil requirements I had during the creation of Benkyou Studio, It was my intention that TextTricks should allow a user to easily perform every text processing requirement without needing to resort to C# programming

Text tricks are configured via scripts held in the res\cnv folder ... if you have special requirements, it may be worth you trying to create your own text trick to do the job, please take a look at the existing text tricks, and modify or combine them to meet your needs.

By default Text Tricks show an description of their use when selected

There are a wide variety of Text Tricks, with more being added all the time!
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Time Chart

The time-chart allows you to show multiple countries simultaneously. It is designed to allow you to plan your day considering multiple countries.

AM and PM are coloured Light and Dark blue to avoid confusion
Weekdays (Monday-Friday) are coloured Yellow
Weekends (Saturday & Sunday) are coloured Green

If the date is different in the time-zone, its title is coloured yellow, and the current date is shown.

Each time-zone has 4 editor buttons
"X" deletes the time-zone from the list
"Up" moves the time-zone up the list
"Down" moves the time-zone down the list
"E" allows you to change the name of the time-zone

The timezones are remembered so when you close the application they will still be there next time

The chart shows multiple timezones, colorcoding AM/PM and Workhours + Weekends

Each timezone has Edit buttons to change its position, name or remove it from the chart.
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Unicode Converter

The Unicode converter is designed for quickly looking up the character number of a symbol in a line of text or converting a line of symbols to a HTML safe equivalent or converting HTML code back to regular symbols

The operation can be selected from the "Data type" drop-down

If you require more complex conversions, please see the "Text Tricks" tool which provides more functionality>
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WordList Editor

The Wordlist editor allows for alteration of words already on your studylist
This can be used to make corrections to the words translation or to remove words from the wordlist

The screen will show a range of the words on your wordlist, by default it will show words 0-16,000.
Normally this will be your entire wordlist, however if your wordlist is very large, you may need to change this range and click "Refresh" to show a wider range

If you need to change a word, you can do a search by typing your criteria in the "Find" box and clicking on Search

The next match will be shown, and you can repeat the search by clicking find again

The list at the top is not editable it is for searching and selecting only,
The details of the item can be edited with the bottom pane

The bottom pane shows all the "attributes" of the word, this will include various translations and your current score

Please note, Benkyou Studio does not limit the attributes of a word on the list, so the attributes you see may vary depending on your study language, dictionary and studylist

To change an attribute click on it in the list, and if needed enter a new value in the bottom box
Click the "Update" button to update the attribute
Note, it is not possible to change the name of an attribute, as these are global to the wordlist and may break the functionality of Benykou Studio

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