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 June 26th

Mon,12:40 PM
Three Ways to Protect your Apple Watch (and One Way Not To)
Sun,12:18 PM
MGG 611: Troubleshoot & Resolve Your Mac & Apple Issues
Fri,7:00 PM
Apple Kills the Thunderbolt Display - Will the Mac Pro Be Next?
6:54 PM
6 Great Display Choices for Your MacBook Pro and Mac Pro
6:25 PM
Apple Drops 2.81% in Broad Brexit Selloff
5:01 PM
G Cloud Unlimited Backup for iPhone and Android: 5-Year Subscription for $29.99
1:46 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2016-06-24: Goodbye Thunderbolt Display, Spinning off the Mac
11:48 AM
Plex Media Server Turns 1.0!
9:05 AM
OS X: Using Policy Banner for Custom Login Screens
Thu,9:01 PM
Apple Discontinues Thunderbolt Display, Directs Customers to Unspecified 3rd Party Displays
8:55 PM
Apple Adds RAW Support for 15 DSLR Cameras from Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony
6:20 PM
How to Display Calories or kJ on your iPhone/Apple Watch Health Apps
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!