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Speed Up Contextual Menu Access to Apple’s Dictionary [Mac Tip]

dictionary-icon.png This is just a quick tip for anyone having trouble with Leopard’s Dictionary.app behaving slowly when accessing it from the contextual menu. One feature of Apple’s Dictionary I love is being able to right click on any word and select ‘Look Up in Dictionary’ from the menu. However, in Leopard this feature can be very slow. The Dictionary application opens quickly but then it may take over a minute to display the appropriate definition. This problem is most likely caused by the Wikipedia lookup feature. Read on to see a couple of tips for speeding up definition retrieval in Leopard.

Disable Wikipedia.com Look Up

Open Dictionary.app and go to Dictionary-Preferences in the menubar. Uncheck Apple dictionary and then scroll down to uncheck Wikipedia. I also chose to use the dictionary panel for the contextual menu option rather than having the entire application open. Your settings should look something like the following,
dictionary-prefs.png


Dictionary Panel

Now you can right click on any word and select ‘Look Up in Dictionary’ (see below).
dictionary-contextual-menu.png
You will then be presented with the dictionary panel which looks something like what is shown below. You can even access the thesaurus from this panel.
dictionary-panel.png
If you want more information simply click ‘More…’ and the full Apple Dictionary application will open.


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