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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.

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