You can get the definition and synonyms for any word on a Mac with a single keystroke.

Hover your cursor over the word and press Command Control D.

The word is highlighted and a small popup box appears with the relevant dictionary and a thesaurus entry.

Apple Mac Popup Dictionary and Thesaurus

If you can’t remember the keystroke… hover the cursor over the word, right click and choose “Look Up” from the menu.

Since Lion, 10.7, Apple has updated their Dictionary App to include the New Oxford American English Dictionary and Thesaurus, the British Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus, Wikipedia and many more. By default, not all of these options are turned on.

To turn on more features in Dictionary:

  • Open the Dictionary App
  • In the Menu Bar select Dictionary, then choose Preferences.
  • Now check the options you’d like to turn on.

Apple Mac Dictionary Preferences

The instant popup dictionary shows entries from all of the reference books you’ve activated.

This nifty little feature works in Safari, Mail, PDFs, Notes, Pages and almost everywhere else. Sadly, it doesn’t work in Microsoft Word, because… they don’t want it to.

Happy reading.

If you have questions or need Mac, iPhone or iPad help call No Problem Mac at 310-621-5679.

John Carroll - No Problem Mac

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