A computer program written for use in Linguistics 120A, "Phonology I", in the Department of Linguistics at UCLA.

Please note:  I recommend that you not use FeaturePad. There is now an improved program that does the same thing (only better), Pheatures Spreadsheet.  You can visit the page for this improved program here.

Feature Pad is a program that lets you learn features through active practice.  It never tells you the answer to a question, but it checks your answer for accuracy, and it often points out problems with your answer that need to be fixed.

You may freely download and use this software.  However, it is copyrighted by the Regents of the University of California and may not be used for any commercial purpose.

You need Windows 95 or higher to run FeaturePad.  Unfortunately, there is no Mac version.


To get FeaturePad running, you need to do four things:

To download FeaturePad:

Click here to download the file FeaturePad.zip.  When you download it, tell your browser to put it in your Downloads folder.  (Click here if you need to learn how to make a Downloads folder.).  

To unzip FeaturePad:

Some computers are set up so that they automatically unzip anything that they download.  If yours is set up in this way, skip this step.

To unzip a file, you need an unzipping program.  Most computers come with one already installed.  If yours doesn't, you can easily find one on line; try Googling "free zip program".

Using your unzipping program probably works like this.  Click on My Computer, then search down until you're in your Downloads folder.   Once you're in Downloads, right-click on FeaturePad.zip, then select Unzip.  It may take a second for all the newly unpacked files to make their appearance in the Downloads folder; be patient.

To install FeaturePad:

Some computers are automatically set up to unzip and then install whatever is download.  If yours is set up this way, skip this step.

Look through all those files that just got unzipped, and find the file called setup.exe.  (This may appear simply as Setup; if you'd like to see the ".exe" as well, click here for instructions.)  Double-click on setup.exe, then follow the instructions to get a standard Windows installation. 

Once you've installed FeaturePad, you can delete everything that was in the Downloads folder if you wish.  On the other hand, sometimes it can be useful to keep your old downloaded program files in order to install them the next time you get a new computer.

To run FeaturePad:

Click on My Computer, then C:, then Program Files, then FeaturePad, then double click on FeaturePad.exe.  If all goes well, the program will start.

For convenience, you may create a shortcut.  Click on My Computer, then C:, then Program Files, then right-click on FeaturePad.exe, select Create Shortcut and drag the new shortcut to the desktop.  This new new icon will start FeaturePad whenever you click on it. 



FeaturePad needs a font which is distributed for free by the Summer Institute of Linguistics (it won't run without the font).  The name of the font is "SIL Doulos IPA93".  The actual file name is  Ipa93dr.ttf.  SIL permits UCLA to distribute this font, with the condition that no one who receives the font sell it or distribute it without their permission. 

SIL Doulos IPA 93 is now obsolete, and will be replaced in the next version of FeaturePad.  You can still download it from the SIL web site, at this page. However, their installation software seems to have trouble with more recent versions of Windows, and I suggest you instead simply download the font itself by clicking here.  On most Windows machines, you put the font into the folder C:\Windows\Fonts.


Learning to use Feature Pad

The program is very simple to use.  For a brief tutorial, download this pdf document.


Update of September 2004

The program has been slightly revised to help it to run on public computer facilities (the problem addressed : versions of Windows that block access to various folders on the hard disk).

Changes to the feature system:  there is now just one, traditional, version of the feature [continuant], sonorants are unspecified for [delayed release], [flap] is renamed [tap], palatalization (IPA [j]) is defined as [+dorsal, +front, -back, +high, -low], voiceless approximants are now [+sonorant].  An error in the feature specification of the voiced palatal approximant is fixed.


FeaturePad was funded by a grant from UCLA's Office of Instructional Development to Bruce Hayes, and was programmed by Kie Zuraw.


Bruce Hayes's Linguistics 120A Page

Bruce Hayes's Home Page

Last updated October 15, 2009