The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

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.

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

Recent Headlines - Updated October 13th

Mon,9:12 PM
Batband Bone Conducting Headphones Top $555.000 on Kickstarter
8:05 PM
Apple News Runs Afoul of China’s Great Firewall
6:51 PM
Tag CEO: Selling 5 Million Apple Watches Is ‘Genius,’ but Smartwatches Over $2K Have a Problem
5:01 PM
Build 20 Apps through iOS 9 and Xcode 7 Guide: $19
3:49 PM
iPhone 6, 6 Plus get Bluetooth 4.2, Boost Apple’s Smarthome Plans
1:53 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2015-10-12: Elon Musk on Electric Cars, Dell Buys EMC
10:53 AM
MGG 574: For Wireless Networks, Time Is a Hero
10:23 AM
Dude. Dell is Buying EMC
9:36 AM
L16: 16 Cameras, 52 Megapixel, 1 Case
Sun,12:45 AM
Behold the ‘Michael Dell’ Bio Trailer
Fri,8:30 PM
Silicon Valley Sources Refute Elon Musk Claims about Apple
6:08 PM
Two Minute Clip from Steve Jobs Film where Woz Asks Steve What He Does (Video)
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!