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Summary:

A couple of months ago, a coworker of mine showed me Tiger’s really cool “mouse over” dictionary. Hold command control and hit d. Then mouse over just about any word in any Cocoa app, and a definition of the word pops-up below it. I can’t seem […]

Tiger Dictionary Service A couple of months ago, a coworker of mine showed me Tiger’s really cool “mouse over” dictionary. Hold command control and hit d. Then mouse over just about any word in any Cocoa app, and a definition of the word pops-up below it. I can’t seem to snag a screenshot of it. It keeps disappearing! Update: 11/25: Screenshot courtesy of Andy Smith

Dictionary Dashboard Widget

This feature is simply another view into Tiger’s “Dictionary Service”, also accessible from /Applications/Dictionary.app, and corresponding Dashboard Widget.

For years, many Cocoa applications have also surfaced Mac OS X’s built-in spellchecker, such as iChat, Colloquy, Mail, Safari, Keynote, Pages, Adium to name a microscopic few. It constantly bails me out of spelling errors.

Can’t quite get the family to switch to Mac? This very simple, yet effective pervasive educational value just might help tip the balance over.

  1. Yes, but does it actually help a person to be educated? Or to be lazy?

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  2. The mere effort of acting upon a desire to learn
    would seem to rule out laziness. Before Tiger, I read
    articles with a dictionary on my lap. On an average,
    I looked up 3 words per article. With Tiger, I look up 8 or more. My curiosity of etymology has been greatly
    stimulated by the ease of access. If anything, people will
    likely become more curious and less lazy with this vast resource available.

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  3. [...] Through The Eyes Tiger has lots of new features. Many I haven’t discovered yet, but The Apple Blog has recently discovered one. It intergrates the dic [...]

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  4. The key is that this dictionary service is only a “Tool”. With proper guidance and motivation, it ought to help us out. If we let the spelling suggestion do the work for us and not make any attempt to memorize the correct spelling, or further crystalize it in our minds by looking up its definition in the dictionary via a quick cmd-ctrl-d, then we’re indeed being lazy and not making the best use of it.

    So mileage will indeed vary, and I agree with both Josh’s and DMann’s arguments.

    But all in all, I find it a very nice tool to have on my computing platform of choice.

    Andy Smith: Cool, would you mind if I used your screenshot in the main story? Do you have a site I can credit you at?

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  5. It would be great to have this available in foreign languages too.

    I tried it under both the Japanese and French versions of the Finder, but it seems that the dictionary is only available in English.

    Pity because it would make a great educational tool.

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  6. check this out for even more functionality with the dictionary:

    http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20051105191409181

    it lets you toggle the dictionary service on and off with a keystroke

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  7. Ted B: check out Gareth’s past article on languages support. It seems to echo this shortcoming on the spoken-end of things. Have you also looked at Jisho?

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  8. Mike: cool tip :) thanks.

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  9. Hi Chris – no site, but feel free to use it.

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