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10.4: Define partial words in the Dictionary pop-up Apps
Tiger only hintWe all know that you can look up a word in any Cocoa application on Mac OS X 10.4 by hitting the (slightly awkward) key combination of Control-Command-D when the cursor is hovered over the word you'd like to define.

However, sometimes the dictionary results are less-than-useful. For example, in a Cocoa browser (ie, Safari, Shiira, etc.) take your mouse and hover it over the word pedantic, then hit the keyboard combo. What you'll see is this definition: Of or like a pedant. Since you wanted the definition of the word, the result is not so useful.

But seeing that you'd probably want to look up pedant next, here's a timesaver. Just highlight that part of the word pedantic, hover the cursor over the highlighted portion of the word, and then enter the key combination. OS X will only look up the part of the word you highlighted, returning this much more useful definition:
A person who is excessively concerned with minor details and rules or with displaying academic learning.
[robg adds: This earlier hint explains how to make the 'browse dictionary' keyboard shortcut a more-useful on/off toggle -- and one that's easier to type.]
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10.4: Define partial words in the Dictionary pop-up | 11 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Define partial words in the Dictionary pop-up
Authored by: froodiantherapy on Apr 19, '06 09:07:30AM

"For example, in a Cocoa browser (ie, Safari, Shiira, etc.) take your mouse and hover it over the word pedantic, then hit the keyboard combo."

Well, while we're on the subject of pedanticism, I should mention that there are Cocoa browsers that don't have support for this yet, simply because the content area isn't cocoa. The browser still is, though (yes, I'm talking about Camino).



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10.4: Define partial words in the Dictionary pop-up
Authored by: Felix_the_Mac on Apr 19, '06 11:08:07AM

Whilst we are discuusing pedantry, I feel that it is only right to point out that "pedanticism" is not a real word.



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10.4: Define partial words in the Dictionary pop-up
Authored by: boredzo on Apr 19, '06 11:32:40AM

Indeed. It's pedantry.



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10.4: Define partial words in the Dictionary pop-up
Authored by: wootest on Apr 19, '06 11:03:26AM

I feel the description should have clarified that looking up a selection works for multi-word selections as well. For example, you could select "french fries" in this sentence and invoke the Dictionary overlay for the phrase's definition.



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10.4: Define partial words in the Dictionary pop-up
Authored by: solipsism on Apr 19, '06 11:09:50AM
I saw this posted on a Mac World forum yesterday but I don't think it's been pointed out here....

If you main concern is to use the Thesaurus, and not Dictionary, aspect of this hint, you can achieve it by accessing the dictionary.app preferences and moving Thesaurus to the top position over Dictionary in the menu box

I figure this may be especially helpful if you wanted to sound exceedingly pedantic. :-D

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10.4: Define partial words in the Dictionary pop-up
Authored by: ob1cannoli on Apr 19, '06 01:06:37PM

you can also switch from the dictionary in the pulldown that appear (while holding control-command-d).



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10.4: Define partial words in the Dictionary pop-up
Authored by: solipsism on Apr 19, '06 01:34:08PM

That is a one time change, not a constant change.



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10.4: Define partial words in the Dictionary pop-up
Authored by: michelle_eris on Apr 19, '06 11:30:21AM

Alternatively, once you get the definition, click the "more" button to launch the Dictionary application. "Pedantic" will appear in the search field, delete "ic" and you will get the definition of "Pedant."



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10.4: Define partial words in the Dictionary pop-up
Authored by: boredzo on Apr 19, '06 11:37:42AM

⌃⌘D? Pinky on ⌃, thumb on ⌘, index finger on D. What's so hard?



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10.4: Define partial words in the Dictionary pop-up
Authored by: regulus on Apr 20, '06 12:11:16AM

Why remember key combinations when the command "look up in dictionary" is just a right-click away? Just highlight the word (ie. by double clicking it) and then right click...

There's a bunch of useful commands in the pop-up menu like search in google too.



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10.4: Define partial words in the Dictionary pop-up
Authored by: jole on Apr 23, '06 10:20:07AM

Nice additional feature is is to keep control and command keys pressed down after dictionary lookup. While pressing the keys you can move the mouse and the dictionary looks up any words below the cursor.



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