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Leopard: Dictionary's Wikipedia Search

TMO Quick Tip - Leopard: Dictionary's Wikipedia Search

by , 7:30 AM EST, December 10th, 2007

Apple's Dictionary application is a handy resource, and a tool that I use on a regular basis. You can use it to check definitions and spelling on the fly, use it as a thesaurus, and in Leopard it can even search Wikipedia for you.

If you aren't familiar with Wikipedia, it's an online encyclopedia that's updated and maintained by the community that uses it. It's a great Web-based tool that's loaded to the gills with information on almost any topic you can imagine.

Accessing Wikipedia from Dictionary is easy. Here's what to do:

  • Launch Dictionary. It's hiding in your Applications directory.
  • Select Wikipedia from the source bar.
  • Enter a subject in the search field, and then press Return.

Dictionary can search Wikipedia.

Dictionary will dutifully track down and display the Wikipedia entry for your topic of choice, complete with active cross reference links and graphics. Cross references display in Dictionary when clicked, but clicking a graphic opens the full-size version in your default Web browser.

Dictionary isn't a replacement for a full-on Web browser, but it makes for a great research tool without the overhead -- and extra features -- that go along with a regular browser like Safari or OmniWeb.

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.

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