New and improved in Mac OS X Lion: Dictionary app

“Mac OS X Lion adds polish to the bundled Dictionary app, with new dictionaries and an improved multi-pane interface. The system also improves overall dictionary functions with enhanced Spotlight integration and multitouch support for inline text lookups,” AppleInsider reports.

“The app itself now uses a two pane display, making it easy to reference a list of words, phrases, or Wikipedia entires in alphabetical order, rather than just one definition at a time,” AppleInsider reports. “Additionally, definition functions built into Spotlight now popup with a full definition preview, rather than just displaying the first few words.”

AppleInsider reports, “Double clicking with three fingers on a selected word in any standard app now brings up the inline dictionary, which formerly required selecting ‘Look Up In Dictionary’ from the contextual menu.”

More in the full article, including screenshots, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple defines simplicity – September 26, 2006
Secrets to using Mac OS X Tiger’s built-in Dictionary with Safari – August 10, 2005


  1. I’m all for more function and less eye candy.

    BTW- When are you going to fix image capture so that my Mac can consistently wake up my “supported” Canon scanner if it hasn’t been used for some time. Unplugging a reconnecting just to wake it up ( I use the USB power instead of external power ) is kinda Microsoftian.
    This problem happens to more than just my stuff and to more models/brands than mine.

    1. We’re off-topic here but I also wish they’d iron the bugs out of image capture (with my Epson and HP scanners). The problem ruins the user experience of this potentially excellent software.

      1. From what I’ve experience on a MacBook and the latest verison of Snow Leopard, scanning in from our Epson Perfection 1640SU scanner is now done from within Preview. Works the same way just not automatically opening the Image Capture application.

  2. I’ve always wished that OS X’s dictionary also included other languages like French, Spanish, and German. Or at least an API so that devs could plug-in other dictionaries.

  3. Very nice improvements.

    I wonder if they’ll include a dictionary in iOS. Or at least an OS wide dictionary service that dictionary apps can be assigned to. It’s kind of annoying now in iOS when I want to look up a word – I have to switch out of the App I’m in to load a dictionary App.

  4. The words are being held incommunicado in a small compound behind the Texas Education Agency’s office on North Congress Avenue. Certain words, such as Jefferson, are being reeducated before being released.

  5. How is it that when I go to this article is nowhere to be found but the link above does take you to the article?

    I’ve noticed this in the past with links to Appleinsider articles from MDN. The article does eventually show up on AI’s home page.

  6. Actually, right now you could press Control + Command + “D” to call up inline word lookups in certain aps like Safari. While holding down the key combination, roll the curser over a word. As long as you keep those keys pressed, any word you roll over will show a definition.

      1. I know. I miss this tremendously when on my Winblows POS at work. I use it all the time to check my spelling as Winblows thinks every word is spelled wrong (unless you type it over – then it’s OK with it). You also don’t even need to click on a word – just hover your cursor over it -> cmd-control-d and voila!

    1. news to me, too…and news to my hand too, which is now curled up in claw fashion after trying it out. must have been designed by a guy with three fingers or a very smart theropod, three-fingered birds evolved from the hand of dinosaurs (and you can check the theropod using said technique)

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