The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Thesaurus, Mac OS X Style

TMO Quick Tip - Thesaurus, Mac OS X Style

by , 7:30 AM EDT, September 12th, 2007

I've mentioned before how you can check a word's spelling or definition quickly with the dictionary that's part of Mac OS X. What I didn't mention is that you can use the same trick to get at the built in thesaurus -- after a quick settings change, that is.

By default, your Mac's Dictionary application shows spelling and definitions. Here's how to change that default to the thesaurus:

  • Launch Dictionary. It's in your Applications folder.
  • Choose Dictionary > Preferences.

  • The top listed option is always the default in Dictionary.
  • Now drag Oxford American Writers Thesaurus above New Oxford American Dictionary. The top most option is always the default.
  • Close the Preferences pane.

Now any time you use the Command-Control-D keyboard shortcut, you'll see a list of synonyms instead of spelling and definitions.

Thanks to TMO reader Edward Humes for asking.


Jeff Gamet is TMO's Morning Editor and Reviews Editor. He lectures, teaches and speaks on Mac OS X and design-related topics, and is the author of The Designer's Guide to Mac OS X from Peachpit Press.

if you have tips or tricks to share, or Mac-related questions you want answered.

Recent Headlines - Updated August 1st

Fri,10:00 PM
Apple Has Starring Role in New Crypto War
5:40 PM
How to Create Signatures in Mail.app in iOS and OS X
5:00 PM
The Reason Why No Company Can Duplicate Apple’s iPhone Appeal
3:40 PM
Wondershare PDFelement for Mac and OCR Plug-In: $39.99
1:49 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2015-07-31: New Apple TV Rumors, Google Defies France
10:42 AM
Google Stands Up to France, Refuses Global “Right to be Forgotten” Order
8:56 AM
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Turning Off Reachability
Thu,6:43 PM
New Apple TV Hardware Reportedly Coming in September
5:10 PM
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor Released for Mac and Linux
4:51 PM
Safari Offers Longer Battery Life than Chrome or Firefox
3:10 PM
How to Use Siri on Apple Watch to Create Immediate Countdown Timer
2:39 PM
Drive Genius 4 for Macs: $49.99
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!