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easier with Firefox
Authored by: sr105 on Feb 16, '05 11:20:40AM

I'll use Google for this example even though I prefer dictionary.com.
1. Lookup something.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=define%3Asomething
2. Bookmark this link. Firefox (by default) comes with a bookmark folder called "Quick Searches". Save the bookmark there for consistency.
3. Open "Manage Bookmarks..." under the "Bookmarks" menu
4. Find your new bookmark and edit its properties.
5. Change "something" in the url to "%s"
6. Add a keyword like "define" or "dict"
Done.

Go to the location box in the browser and type "define something". Firefox replaces the %s with whatever comes after the keyword.

There are other examples in that bookmark folder for stock quotes, etc.

I applaud the original author's desire to use applescript for this, but there was an easier way.



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easier with Firefox
Authored by: BulbVivid on Feb 16, '05 12:21:35PM

Your suggestion, though viable, requires you to switch to your browser to look up the word. With an applescript, you can look up a word regardless of your frontmost application, even if your browser isn't open.

Though switching to the browser isn't a major step, if you look up words often, the convenience of the applescript is most welcome.

In Safari, you can use this javascript (change the name and URL to whatever you like): javascript:x=escape(getSelection());if(!x)%7Bvoid(x=prompt('Merriam-Webster%20Dictionary%20search:',''))%7D;if(x!=null)window.location=window.location='http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?book=dictionary&va='+x;

I'm sure similar javascripts are available for Firefox, though I haven't really looked.



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easier with Firefox
Authored by: mark hunte on Feb 16, '05 12:56:29PM

In safari ( if you want to use a browser) you just have type in the google search box
define and your yourword/s. ie

define World Wide Web

and it will do a defined search. without the need to have bookmarks?


---
mh



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easier with Firefox
Authored by: BulbVivid on Feb 16, '05 01:08:01PM

It's more about being able to select your dictionary if you have specific needs (say a medical dictionary or Spanish dictionary). I use Merriam-Webster's Unabridged subscription dictionary, so I can specify that in the various code examples in this thread (including the bookmarklet).

I rarely use the bookmarklet in Safari. I mostly use my highlight & lookup script, as it's the fastest way I've found to get a definition. The script in the parent of this thread is good for looking up a word you are thinking of, as opposed to one that is already typed or displayed.

The applescripts work best if they are bound to a keyboard command using Spark or some other app (I use iKey).



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easier with Firefox
Authored by: sr105 on Feb 18, '05 10:57:46AM

Well, the original posted script was running using Safari so in either case, you'll be running a browser. I figured that most people usually keep their browser running in the background anyway. I have mine set to a blank start page for just this purpose: Cmd-Tab, Cmd-N, define word. I like the bookmarklet ideas, though. I may look into those further.

And in response to someone else's comment about just using the google field in the toolbar, I was actually trying to make others aware of firefox's bookmark substitution features. Also, there's no reason to even have a google field if you set a keyword of "g" or something short. Then, the location bar serves the same purpose and results in a cleaner interface.



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easier with Firefox
Authored by: sr105 on Feb 18, '05 11:00:56AM

upon further review, the original applescript has merit for using whatever browser you have set as default and can be hot keyed. eh, whatever you prefer I suppose.



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easier with Firefox
Authored by: BulbVivid on Feb 18, '05 01:24:59PM

I usually have my browser open and running, and yes, it's fairly easy to switch to the browser and use whatever way in the browser to look up a word.

However, if you look up a lot of words, any steps that can be removed only makes the process faster. I'm a book editor, and I keep my page layout open on one monitor, and my browser open on the other. Then I can just highlight a word, hit my mouse button to trigger the script (whether dictionary or Google search), and my browser displays the information. Two steps (highlight + mouse click) makes the process a lot easier. Not to mention that (using iKey) the script (the one I use anyway), is global. Any text that can be highlighted can be searched with a keystroke.

Also, the scripts allow you to specify your dictionary or search engine.

Your needs define what methods are best to use. For the occasional definition, the solutions offered by browsers are more than adequate. If you look up hundreds of words in a week, it's nice to have something that cuts out any extra steps that can be removed.

Jason



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