03 May 2010

Basic Instructions For Using Langmaker Software

To create your language: *SAVE the spreadsheet after each step or three. The program will tell you that it wasn't able to save, so check to make sure it did, because it will regardless of what it says. It's always been that way.

1. Click the uppermost, leftmost box on the spreadsheet and format your font. Arial size 12 is a good size; using serifed fonts like Courier New takes up more room, so try to avoid them, especially since going smaller on the font's size makes the words more difficult to read.

2. Resize five or six columns; remeasuring for twice the original width is a good ballpark for four-syllable words in the above suggested font and size. Any wider than this, and you may not have all your columns on the page if you print out the words, which is a good idea; that way you won't have to open the Lexicon file every time you need a new word.

3. Select the first column by clicking on the header.

4. Select LEXICON, then select GENERATE.

5. Using letters of the alphabet, enter the patterns you wish to use. (I generally start with C and V--Consonant and Vowel, respectively and choose different letters for different consonant or vowel makeups).

TAKE CARE and USE CAPS in the PATTERNS box. If you use lowercase letters, you won't get words; you'll get only the patterns you entered into the pattern box (took me five minutes to figure this out). It's a good idea to work out your patterns on paper before you enter them into the patterns box. It's another good idea to copy-paste your PATTERNS to each pattern box for each column you're using.

An example. For Meeyaharan, I have three entries: C, V, and W. Consonant, Vowel 1, and Vowel 2 repspectively. These include the sounds b, ch, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, sh, t, th, v, w, y, z, zh in the Consonants section; the letters a, e, i, o in the Vowel 1 section; and my made-up letters aa, ee, ii, oo in the Vowels 2 section.

6. Enter the number of words you want generated in the column. I generally choose anywhere from 500 to 1,000.

7. Check the EXCLUDE DUPLICATES box. This means when you generate the column the words appear in will NOT have duplicates. Duplicates from column-to-column is another matter, however . . .

8. Click SAVE before exiting each Generate box; the box will then automatically close.

9. Once you have prepared your 5 or 6 columns' Lexicons, reopen each, and click the GENERATE button next to the SAVE button. This will generate whatever number of words you've chosen to have generated in that column. The box will automatically close again.

10. It's a good idea to ALPHABETIZE your columns. There is a little button above the spreadsheet that will do this. SAVE after each generation.

11. Once you have the number of words you want generated, print out the lexicon for ease of access.

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