Getting and running IPA Zounds


Version 3.1 source (tar.gz or zip for Windows users)

Files are about 400kB.

Version 3.1 Windows Installer

6.2M executable which will install everything required - no need to download Python, PyGTK, or GTK+. Please only use this if you have tried installing those packages and it hasn't worked.

The installer will create several executables: zounds.exe, ipa.exe, and ipa-zounds.exe. zounds.exe and ipa.exe must be run from the DOS prompt, since they take command-line parameters. ipa-zounds.exe can be double-clicked from Explorer to run.

View the changelog.


IPA Zounds requires Python 2.3 or later, PyGTK version 2.8 or later and the matching pycairo if you wish to use the GUI. Binaries are available for Windows and some GNU/Linux distributions.

PyGTK has a dependency on GTK+; Windows users can download the GTK+/Win32 Development Environment Installer from the Glade for Windows site - just follow the installation instructions on the PyGTK page. Users of other operating systems can get the source from the GTK+ site if there is no binary package available. Most GNU/Linux distributions will have a package, and handle the dependencies automatically. Users of Mac OS X need to have the X11 package installed (from the installation CD) and use DarwinPorts to get PyGTK (which will bring in all of its dependencies).

IPA Zounds does not include any Unicode IPA fonts. The International Phonetic Alphabet in Unicode page lists many downloadable Unicode fonts which cover the necessary characters. Not listed there is the monospace font FreeMono (part of a set of free TrueType fonts and useful for display of fully formatted rules).

IPA Zounds does not provide any mechanism for entering Unicode IPA characters. There is an excellent online 'keyboard' that can be used for this purpose.

Users of Windows 98 have reported encountering problems running the GUI, probably because of poor Unicode support on that OS. I recommend using a more modern system.


Having downloaded and unpacked the IPA Zounds distribution file, install the program by running python install from the top level directory (the one containing the file).

Running the programs

To run the GUI, run the script (which may involve double-clicking it or typing python on the command line). Try loading the example lexicon and rules (test.lex and respectively, in the examples directory), and running a transformation. If you see lots of empty squares or other mess, then it's most likely you don't have a Unicode font which covers the necessary IPA characters. See above for places to get one.

The scripts and may also be run from the command line, or called from other scripts. See the user manual for details.

Online demo

To try out IPA Zounds without needing to download anything (except perhaps a font), try the online demo.