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10.6: Force Dictionary to show definitions in one window Apps
The Dictionary app in Snow Leopard has a new feature that some people find quite annoying -- so annoying, in fact, that @luomat was compelled to Tweet about it: "I am ready to offer a bounty for a 'defaults write' to make 10.6's Dictionary stop opening new windows (@rgriff?) STAB STAB STABBITY STAB."

The new feature, if you haven't noticed, is that Dictionary will open a new window each time you use the Open in Dictionary service (in the Services menu, or by Control-clicking on a word in a Services-aware application). If you look up a lot of words, this gets old really fast. Based on seeing my name in the Tweet, I took the bait, and went looking for an answer. For the first time in Snow Leopard, that means I used the hard method of finding hidden preferences. It wasn't actually all that hard, and I managed to find the fix in only a couple of minutes (thanks, arcticmac, for that well-written how-to!).

If you'd prefer Dictionary not open a new window every time you look up a word using Services, quit Dictionary if it's running, open Terminal, and enter this command:
defaults write com.apple.Dictionary ProhibitNewWindowForRequest -bool TRUE
From now on, words looked up via Services will open in the same Dictionary window. Reverse this behavior by changing TRUE to FALSE in the above, or if you're a purist, with defaults delete com.apple.Dictionary ProhibitNewWindowForRequest. This works perfectly for me, and I'll be expecting that new Ferrari in the driveway by Friday, @luomat!
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10.6: Force Dictionary to show definitions in one window | 9 comments | Create New Account
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Command-control-d instead?
Authored by: LightYear on Sep 30, '09 08:45:14AM

Ah... doesn't everyone just "command-control-d" with their pointer hovered over the word? That pops up a dictionary entry for the word in a tool-tip like window (only much prettier) that disappears as soon as you click elsewhere.

I can't even remember where exactly this was setup, but it's an old services feature that had that key command assigned to it at one point.

I command-control-d like crazy when I'm reading online. It's tough to go without it!

---
* Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool *



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Command-control-d instead?
Authored by: gopes on Sep 30, '09 08:50:24AM

⌘–⌃–D doesn't show you the complete definition, and even excludes some words that actually are in the built-in Dictionary. It also doesn't let you look it up in any other dictionaries you may have installed (I have Bouvier's Law, English Etymology, Relevant Acronyms and more in Dictionary.app).



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10.6: Force Dictionary to show definitions in one window
Authored by: gopes on Sep 30, '09 08:47:22AM

FWIW, I love the new behavior and ability to open new windows (I prefer to view Wikipedia in Dictionary vs. Safari), but Dictionary also remembers all the open windows across relaunches. ⌘–click also opens any link in a new window, which is really nice. Now we just need a bookmark interface. (I think I submitted this stuff as a hint, but I'm sure it's lost in the bazillions of SL hints.)



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10.6: Force Dictionary to show definitions in one window
Authored by: schutt on Sep 30, '09 10:09:40AM

Most of the time I like the new new-window feature, but it is nice to know that I can turn it off.



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10.6: Force Dictionary to show definitions in one window
Authored by: adiascar on Sep 30, '09 11:59:49AM

For those nervous about Terminal commands, you can invoke Dictionary.app using your favorite way, go to preferences, and check "Contextual menu: Opens dictionary panel" to get the same result.



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10.6: Force Dictionary to show definitions in one window
Authored by: robg on Sep 30, '09 01:47:17PM

This isn't true -- the dicitonary panel is not the same as using the full-blown dictionary app. It's an alternative solution, but it's not the same solution.

-rob.



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10.6: Force Dictionary to show definitions in one window
Authored by: grandeabc on Sep 30, '09 07:31:04PM

Wow, nice, and easy way to setup. Thank you!
Also, I was looking for this way. It's more fast, indeed!



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10.6: Force Dictionary to show definitions in one window
Authored by: DarthMagnus on Oct 19, '09 09:59:26PM

Not sure how many people are even still looking at this hint, but this appears to have broken some behavior in Dictionary for me. When using the contextual menu to look up words when I already have the Dictionary open, the new word will not be looked up, Dictionary will merely become the frontmost application. Anyone else experiencing this?



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10.6: Force Dictionary to show definitions in one window
Authored by: mattmacedonia on Jan 09, '10 05:19:21AM

Absolutely.... and I have no idea how to fix this. Dragging and dropping words to the Dictionary icon was one of the greatest features. I'll let you know if I find a fix. I've tried reloading the dictionary app with Pacifist, fiddling with plists (deleting and replacing), etc. No luck so far.



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