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[New 3 Oct 2023] New lexicography article: "Generative AI and Lexicography: The Current State of the Art Using ChatGPT" [gmds]

The new 'Next-Generation' Version 2023 TLex, tlTerm, tlCorpus, tlDatabase, tlReader now with OpenAI GPT/ChatGPT integration! Augment and super-charge your lexicography, terminology and other work with new AI-augmented language work integration features!
All new licenses purchased now will get the new OpenAI integration functionality.
macOS & Windows downloads » | What's New | Watch tlTerm easily load millions of terms »
Want help setting up an AI-assisted workflow in TLex or tlTerm? Contact us for a quote ...

lexicographyTLex Suite: Dictionary Compilation Software

TLex (TshwaneLex) is a professional, feature-rich, fully internationalised, off-the-shelf software application suite for compiling dictionaries or terminology lists. It has been adopted by many major publishers, government organisations and individuals worldwide, as it delivers excellent ROI.

It runs on Windows and Mac, is highly customizable, and paid support/training are available.

Version 2023 (v15) brings integration with OpenAI GPT/ChatGPT! Augment your dictionary production work with AI. Watch this video presentation to see this in action, including automated generative-AI-driven lexicography (entry creation). (Getting Started with OpenAI AI integration in TLex How-To »). Start using it today to speed up your productivity.

Apple Chip logo Version 2022 added extra new versions specially optimized for Macs running on Apple chips, with more new features planned. Version 2020 also added leading features such as full 64-bit support (on both macOS and Windows), significantly improving TLex's ability to handle massive multi-gigabyte dictionaries (effectively unlimited maximum size) - we can handle from the smallest to the largest projects - watch »).

TLex Suite Lexicography Software
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EULA (End User License Agreement)

• TLex Suite includes TLex, tlTerm, tlCorpus and tlReader
• Free automatic upgrades included to latest version (until further notice)
Pay with credit card and get activation details immediately
• Three main license types: Academic/Endangered; Personal License; Commercial/Gov/Organizational License.
• Commercial paid support available for all license tiers.
• Licenses do not expire. License fee is once-off. No-risk trial version available.
• Volume discounts available
• Supports all languages (including 'right-to-left' languages, such as Arabic and Hebrew)
• Can be customized for any project (using built-in customizability features, and new features can be added at paid request - usually with short turnaround time)
• Have existing data you need brought in? Contact us if you need help with that.
• Remote training available (in addition to free online tutorial videos)
• Available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions
“Thank you ... without TLex, this project would never come to an end”
“I get more impressed every minute ... TLex is a great and valuable product”
“TLex helps me a lot in my work ... thanks for this amazing software”
[Diccionario integral del español de la Argentina Sample]

TLex contains many specialized features that allow you to dramatically reduce dictionary production time and costs and increase the quality and consistency of your dictionaries (from single-user projects to large teams). These include an integrated Corpus Query System, real-time preview, full customisability, advanced styles system, "smart cross-references" with tracking and auto-updating, automated lemma reversal, automated numbering and sorting, export to MS Word and typesetting systems (such as InDesign, Quark and XPP), multi-user support for managing teams, and much more. Publish to hardcopy, Web, or CD-ROM / software.

TLex can be used for all languages, for all kinds of dictionaries, and supports industry standards such as XML and Unicode.

Special pricing is available for small/endangered-language projects, and personal licenses.

“I’m working in TLex day in and day out, and I can’t tell you how impressed I am”
“TLex has become an indispensable working tool for me”

Screenshot of TLex 2020 with the WAT's dictionary data (a very large Afrikaans dictionary project containing some +/- 110,000 entries, as of 2020):

TLex with WAT (very large Afrikaans dictionary project)

Screenshot of TLex 2020 (64-bit with Enciclopedia Catalana customizations) showing the 'Gran enciclopèdia catalana' (GEC), a very large dictionary with over 320,000 entries:

TLex with the massive GEC (Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana)


Screenshot of TLex, with French user interface selected, showing the Dictionary of Louisiana French project:

[Français/French TshwaneLex]

More Compliments From Users

"I have been playing around with it for a while and it's not often you find such elegant software, that has everything you need at the tip of your fingers. Amazing work!"

"For the first time I’m working in TLex day in and day out, and I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the software that you’ve developed. It’s streets ahead of anything I’ve dealt with up to now, and we are heading for a dictionary database second to none. That I know for sure."

"I've been using TLex for several months now and am very happy with it."

"I have been using TshwaneLex for slightly more than a month now and I want to recommend this excellent software to others ... I have found that it does just about everything I have wanted dictionary-making software to do. Many apparent limitations have disappeared as I have become more familiar with it. It's also worth mentioning that working with TshwaneLex has helped clarify a number of analytic issues that I had earlier ignored while working with less structured software.

That this is expensive software is completely wrong as well. It cost me slightly less than $200 US and ... for one like myself whose intellectual life focuses on dictionary-making, this is a very small price to pay for a thoroughly useful piece of software. It is also a very small price pro-rated over the months and years that I expect to be using it."

"The Tshwanelex DPS is an invaluable tool for enabling the National Lexicography Units to produce dictionaries more easily"

"We are indeed happy with Tshwanelex. It has been a great tool that has helped us all along the project. We are also happy with your customer service. You have always answered our questions and tried to solve our troubles without any delay."

"The software you've created is extremely helpful!"

Who is TLex Intended For?

  • Dictionary publishing houses
  • Individual dictionary compilers
  • Dictionary development teams
  • Terminology managers and practitioners
  • Government and other organisations compiling dictionaries or terminology lists
  • Organisations with a need to produce, manage and distribute terminology internally (e.g. publish on intranet)
  • For the production of:
    • Monolingual, bilingual or multilingual dictionaries (paper, electronic, online/intranet)
    • Multilingual terminology lists
    • Other explanatory dictionaries (e.g. economic terms, mining terms etc.)
    • Large historical dictionaries
    • Many other kinds of reference works, e.g. thesauri

Benefits of TLex

Using dedicated dictionary compilation software rather than general-purpose tools such as word processors or generic XML tools provides significant benefits in terms of both dictionary development time and output quality for both individual lexicographers as well as lexicographic (or terminology compilation) teams:

  • Reduced project completion time, thanks to (amongst others) various levels of automation, such as automatic numbering, lemma reversal, cross-reference tracking/updating and error checking
  • Increased consistency in the treatment of articles, thanks to features such as the article filter
  • Leads to more consistent and balanced treatment of both languages in a bilingual dictionary
  • Improved teamwork and team communication
  • More easily scalable to larger team sizes

Primary Features of TLex

  • Fast
  • User-friendly: TLex and tlTerm do not require advanced computer literacy skills - if you can use Microsoft Word, you will be able to learn TLex/tlTerm
  • Automatic sense numbering
  • Automatic homonym numbering
  • Automatic cross-reference tracking and updating of homonym and sense numbers
  • Immediate WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) article preview
  • Immediate preview of cross-referenced articles and cross-referencing articles
  • Integrated corpus
  • Full Unicode support - supports virtually all of the world's languages
  • "Show Differences" feature allows you to quickly review your changes before saving
  • Easily enter any phonetic symbol (IPA ; phonetic extensions)
  • Fully customisable and highly flexible (create any fields and structures relevant to your dictionary)
  • Network and multi-user (team) lexicography support (supports all major database servers, e.g. MS SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL)
  • Management Tools: Assign tasks to users and monitor user or team progress
  • Export to:
        Microsoft Word format, RTF, HTML, XML, CSV
        Corel WordPerfect and OpenOffice (via RTF format)
        Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress
  • Import from:
        CSV (may also import corpus frequency counts)
        XML or word frequency counts from corpus query software
        CUSTOM: contact us for a quote for conversion of existing data in any format
  • Various features for generating 'multiple dictionaries from one database'
  • Customisable styles (font, colour etc.) for every field in the dictionary
  • Customisable language of the meta-language
  • Bilingual dictionaries: Automated lemma reversal
  • Bilingual dictionaries: Side-by-side bilingual editing and "linked view" mode
  • Bilingual dictionaries: "Translation Equivalent fanouts"
  • Multimedia: Allows sound (e.g. pronunciation) recordings to be linked to any field
  • Multimedia: Allows images to be added to entries
  • IME "Windows soft-keyboard" support
  • Right-to-left language support (Hebrew, Arabic etc.)
  • Fast full-dictionary text search
  • Filter: define criteria for viewing/exporting a subset of the dictionary based on specific characteristics
  • Dictionary compare/merge feature: Integrate work done by different team members
  • A unique Ruler Tool to ensure balanced treatment on multiple levels
  • Automatic checking for various dictionary errors
  • Electronic Dictionary (CD-ROM) software module available
  • Place dictionaries online. Examples:
        Online dictionary module:
        · Swahili - English dictionary
        · Northern Sotho - English dictionary
        Direct export to "static HTML":
        · James Randi Encyclopedia
  • Scripting language
  • Customisable DTD (dictionary grammar editor)
  • TEI-capable

TLex System Requirements

• Intel-based Mac OS X computer
• Windows PC (Windows 8 / Windows 10)
Note that while we do not officially support Linux, we do have users who report running TLex successfully on Linux using Wine (see this Knowledge Base article).

Note also some users have been able to use Wine on Linux to run TLex, tlTerm etc. - try use our no-installer portable .zip builds for this - just unzip and run.


TLex on Linux:

Screenshots of an 'internal build' of TLex running natively on Linux.

TLex and tlTerm Overview (single-page overview) (PDF)

TshwaneLex Overview (PDF)

Pronunciation of TshwaneLex:

TLex users include:

oxford Oxford University Press
pearson Pearson/Longman
Le Robert (France)
Van Dale Lexicografie (The Netherlands)
Institute for Dutch Lexicology (The Netherlands)
Royal Spanish Academy
Royal National Academy of Medicine
Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Malaysian Institute of Language and Literature (DBP)
Grupo Clarín (Argentina)
Royal Museum for Central Africa (Belgium)
Department of Justice (Canada)
Welsh Language Board
Institute of Croatian Languages and Linguistics
Slovak Academy of Sciences
The Czech Language Institute
South African Police Service
Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) and South African National Lexicography Units
Department of Arts and Culture (South Africa)
Pharos Dictionaries (South Africa)

Video: What's New in TLex Suite 2018

Video: What's New (version 2013)

• Have other questions not answered here? Ask »