User Guide

The Program Home Page

Below is the VocabularyShop program home page.  From here you can:

  • Configure the program using the setting menu on the menu bar
  • Use program functions by clicking one of the 6 function icons
  • Get help from the help menu on the menu bar
  • Find out the current user, and date and time of last program run at bottom of the page

Program home page


The Vocabulary Building Flow

The general steps of using VocabularyShop to build vocabulary are:

    1. Create a user account for you.
    2. Decide which words you want to study, create your study strategy and priorities.
    3. Configure online dictionary, study session length, and text to speech properties if you don’t want to use the default settings.
    4. Use Select function to add some new words to your word selection (database), maintain about 100 new words in your word selection.
    5. Using Study function to conduct your study. Your study is automated here.  The Study function will monitor and record your study progress in real time, and decide which words you should study or review at any moment and how much time you should spend on each word.
    6. Go to step 4 when all new words are consumed by the Study function.
    7. (Optional) Review your vocabulary or study words using the Browse function.
    8. (Optional) Practicing spelling with Spelling function
    9. (Optional) Exercise and enhance your memory with Game function
    10. (Optional) Check your progress with Report function
    11. (Optional) Change online dictionary, study session length, and text to speech properties whenever you want.

Study function is the only function which will manage your study and record your study progress on every word.  Other functions will not change the study progress status associated with each word.  Step 1 can be optional if you want to use the Default_User as your account.  But you need to replace the existing word selection with yours.

User’s Word Selection

A user’s word selection is a set of words a user put in his or her database using the Select function.  It is divided into 2 parts.  Words added to the database through the Study List will be scheduled for the user to study automatically according to the Spaced Repetition Algorithm.  Words added to the database through the Known List are words the user already familiar with.  They become records of the user’s existing vocabulary, and will not be scheduled for the user to study.  No duplicated word can appear in a user’s word selection.  See detailed information on the Select function description.


User’s Database

In VocabularyShop, each user is represented by a database.  The database is created when a new user account is added, and is removed when the represented user is removed.

The database is used to store information related to the user’s study and track the status of every word in the user’s word selection.  The information includes the user’s word selection, study history, progress and schedule information of each word in the user’s word selection, as well as possible notes, custom definitions, and images the user attached to some words.  The database is an integral part of the spaced repetition algorithm.  The intelligence of  the algorithm communicates with the database to manage, automate, and optimize the user’s study process.

We say “add words to a user’s word selection” and “add words to a user’s database” arbitrarily, because they mean the same thing


Word Group in Your Word Selection

In Browse function, Spelling function, and Game function, words in your selection are classified into 5 groups according their status with the Study function. You will be asked to select a word group when running these 3 functions.

  • New Words: words you have added to the Study List, but have not studied yet with the Study function.
  • Learning Words: words you are currently studying with the Study function. They have passed the first round of study but have not passed the last round of study.
  • Learned Words: words you have learned through the Study function. They have passed all round of studies and are defined to be learned.
  • Known Words: words you already knew and have added to the Known List. These words will not be scheduled for you to study in Study function.
  • All Words: your entire word selection.


Note: The User Guide on this web site is more frequently updated than the contents of the program Help menu.