The Easy Lookup Radicals index is one of four Easy Lookup indexes included in the Easy Lookup Chinese English Dictionary.
The Radicals Index in the Easy Lookup Chinese Dictionary is designed to make Chinese character lookup via Radical a little bit easier.
Traditionally, radical indexes are organized in a fixed order with each radical placed according to its number. The position of a radical within an index is in part based on its stroke count so that radicals with the same stroke count are grouped together. However, to find a radical (and thus, the characters listed under that radical) you have to at the very least know its stroke count or waste time looking through the radical index to find your desired radical before you can even begin to look for the actual character you are looking for. The frustration of first finding a radical can be compounded if you guess the wrong radical that your character is classified under.
The Easy Lookup Radical reduces the problem of finding a radical by organizing radicals based on shape.
Radicals with the same initial shape are grouped together. The shapes are the same 12 basic shapes that are used in the Easy Lookup indexes. With radicals grouped according to shape you can spend less time actually finding the radical.
To make character lookup even easier, the index page for each radical is sorted so that characters with the radical in the left position are grouped together. Likewise characters with the radical element in the top position, right positon or bottom position.
For radicals with very large groups of characters, those characters may in turn be further subdivided by some shape characteristic so that it is easier to find the character you are looking ofr (assuming you have guessed the right radical.)
If you want to avoid the problem of guessing the wrong radical you can use the Easy Lookup Initials Index or the Easy Lookup Finals index to lookup Traditional Chinese characters based on the shape of either the initial element or final element.
Because these Easy Lookup indexes are based entirely on character shape, and not based on radical or character sound, it can be easier to lookup a Chinese character using these indexes.
If you are looking for a simplified Chinese character there is also a Simplified Character Easy Lookup index based on the initial elements of Simplified character.
Below you can see Radicals sorted into 12 categories based on their shape. Radicals 邑阜 and grouped according to their 阝 shape. The radical 辵 is sorted according to its 辶 variation. The 艸 radical is sorted according to its 艹 variation. Other radicals, if found in their "normal" shape as part of other characters are sorted according to those "normal" shapes (i.e. 示衣水手)