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Even if you never make a typo and have perfect spelling, you may still get mileage out of Spell Catcher’s second persona: a writer’s reference book. In less time than it would take you to even find a traditional dictionary on your bookshelf, you can look up the definition of any word in Spell Catcher, consult one of Spell Catcher’s thesauri to find synonyms, antonyms and other related words, or access one of the many Dictionary (DICT) Servers that are available on the Internet.
Here’s how these features work.
Spell Catcher’s built-in U.S. English thesauri offer over a million responses for more than 120,000 words you can look up.
You can look up a word to find synonyms (words that mean the same thing) or antonyms (words that mean the opposite)-either before you’ve typed the word into your document or after.
Here’s how you might look up synonyms for a word you haven’t actually typed into any document.
If you’re only interested in results from the Thesaurus, make sure that Thesaurus is checked and that Dictionary Definitions and Online Dictionary Server is deselected (unless you want those results to appear as well).
Type the word you want synonyms for, and then press Return. Alternatively, you can click the Look Up button with your mouse. As shown below, Spell Catcher now displays a list of words that “match” the one you typed. See “How to use the Look Up window” in the next section.
Suppose you’re typing along in your document- all creatures great and tiny-and it occurs to you that tiny may not be exact word that suits the phrase.
From the Input menu, choose Look Up “tiny.” (When you’re typing, this command always displays the most recently typed word when Interactive Checking is turned on. See Interactive Checking for details on Interactive checking.)
You can also look up synonyms or antonyms for a word you’ve highlighted in any document. To do so, choose Look Up Selection from either the Input menu, the Spell Catcher menu in the application’s Services menu, or from Spell Catcher’s Dock menu.
Once again, the Look Up window appears, already showing the definition and synonyms for the highlighted word.
No matter how you got to the Look Up window, once it’s showing you synonyms, you can proceed in any of several ways.
Tip: You can change the order of the items in that display in the Look Up window. To have THESAURUS items display before DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS, simply drag the THESAURUS item to the top of the list.
If you are seeing definitions and Thesaurus entries from other languages and wish to see only Thesaurus entries for your language, you need to deselect Dictionary Definitions and any other language Thesauri in which you’re uninterested in the Look Up window’s References list.
Click on any word in the lists of synonyms and antonyms to view synonyms and antonyms for it. In fact, you can proceed on this way, looking up synonyms for synonyms, venturing farther away from your original search, until you find just the word you’ve been looking for.
At any time while the window is open, you can retrace your steps-use the Recent Words pop-up menu in the toolbar of the Look Up window to jump back to any prior word you looked up, or click the Back button to go backward through the list of looked up words one by one.
When you find a word you like, you can make a mental note of it and close the Look Up window (by clicking the close button or by pressing Command-W). Alternatively, you can let Spell Catcher paste the currently selected word (highlighted in the upper-left corner of the window) into your document. To do so, click Replace. If you had highlighted a word in your document before choosing the Look Up command, you return to your document, where the highlighted word is now replaced by the synonym you selected. (If no word was highlighted in your document, then Replace simply types the selected synonym at the location of your insertion point.)
If you’d like to hear the Look Up results read in the Mac’s computer voice, click Speak (the microphone button).
To view the dictionary definition of any word in the thesaurus lists, click the word and then make sure to check the Dictionary Definitions checkbox in the window’s References list.
If you’re writing an angry letter to the customer-service department of a company that’s done you wrong, remember that you can drag highlighted text from the Look Up window into your document. In seconds, you can write a sentence like: You had the gall, the effrontery, the cheek, the nerve, the presumption, the insolence, the audacity to overcharge me $25!
To return to your document without closing the Look Up window-when you plan to use the Look Up window again shortly, for example-press Command-Shift-Tab. The Look Up window remains on the screen, but your document window is the active one, ready to accept your typing. If you have multiple applications open, hold down the Command-Shift keys and click the Tab key until the application you want to go back to is the one shown in the Dock.
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