Tiger Tip #5: Using Tiger's Built-in, Use-it-Anywhere, Dictionary

by Chuck Toporek

Ever wish you could quickly lookup a word in a dictionary while you’re reading some online site or in an email you’ve received from your boss (who’s obviously received one of those Word-A-Day calendars as a gift)? Well, thanks to Tiger’s built-in dictionary and thesaurus, you can. All you need to do is:

  • Move your mouse over a word, and hold down Control-Command-D

  • A dictionary pop-up window appears, showing you a full dictionary-style definition for the word beneath the mouse pointer.

  • If you continue to hold down the Control and Command keys, you can move the mouse around within that window to scroll through the definition, or to change from using the Oxford Dictionary to the Oxford Thesaurus

  • Continue holding those keys down and try moving your mouse around the page to another word. As you move the mouse over other words, the dictionary window follows along, displaying the definition for whatever word is beneath the mouse pointer.


2005-04-30 17:18:11
Doesn't work in many applications
It's worth noting that this does not work in all applications. It works in Mail and Safari, but does not work in Thunderbird or Firefox. Word, Excel and Entourage also don't support it.

One assumes this is an API that application developers can add to their programs? It would be much more useful if it worked everywhere.


2005-05-01 23:46:06
Doesn't work in many applications
It only works in Cocoa applications. Or specifically, Cocoa apps that use NSTextView, afaik.
2005-05-03 13:53:47
Does it support the Queen's English?
Does anyone know if he dictionary can be set to UK english spellings rather than US ones. The panther spell checkers had to be trained in the proper spellings of such words as 'colour'.
2005-05-08 07:57:14
Does it support the Queen's English?
When you find a word that is marked as incorrectly spelt because of a difference between American and British English. Open a context menu (right click if you're on a two-button mouse) and select 'Spelling' from the menu. At the bottom left of the dialogue box you'll see a menu which has 'English' selected. This can be changed to a variation of English as required.