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TMO Quick Tip - Change Dictionary's Default View to Panel

by , 7:30 AM EDT, May 19th, 2008

I've mentioned Dictionary's panel view before, which is a handy tool for checking spelling and definitions in your documents. If you prefer Dictionary's panel view to its standard application window, it's an easy switch -- and you don't have to rely on the Command-Control-D keyboard shortcut.

You can change Dictionary's contextual menu view.

By default, Mac OS X launches the Dictionary application when you choose the Look Up in Dictionary contextual menu option. To change Dictionary's behavior so it displays the panel view instead, do this:

  • Launch Dictionary. It's in your Applications directory.

  • Select Open Dictionary panel from Dictionary's Contextual Menu option...
  • Choose Dictionary > Preferences.
  • Select the Open Dictionary panel radio button. change from app view... panel view.

Now Mac OS X will display the Dictionary panel instead of the Dictionary application window when you highlight a word in a document and select the Look Up in Dictionary contextual menu option. You don't have to switch applications to check definitions or spelling, and you don't have to wait for Dictionary to launch.

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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