Dictionary Popup?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ArtOfWarfare, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I seem to recall Leopard (and Tiger?) having a customizable keyboard shortcut for having the definition of the word you're pointing at popup. It didn't actually launch the dictionary or show the dictionary widget or anything, it just had a little semi-transparent bubble pop up with the definition in it.

    I think it's like, shift control command D by default in Leopard, but I'd changed it to just Command D since that was easier to remember.

    In any event, I just tried invoking it on the word "apathetic", and it didn't do anything. So I thought you know, maybe having upgraded to Snow Leopard changed the keyboard command. I went into System Preferences => Keyboard => Keyboard Shortcuts. I looked through all the options, and the closest keyboard shortcut it seemed to offer was Services => Searching => Look Up in Dictionary.

    Seemed pretty good, so I changed it to Command D, and then tried using it in Safari 4. It seems they've assigned that shortcut to "Add Bookmark" (right, D is an awesome choice... because both Add and Bookmark have it as an intial letter... and the D totally symbolizes Adding Bookmarks... A or + wouldn't work better, no way... eh, enough of a rant on that.) So I changed it to option command D and tried using it again. Rather than the popup I'm fond of, it launched the dictionary application. It's great and all that the dictionary application launches so fast, but I'd really much rather have the unobtrusive popup that disappears instantly when you point or click off of it. (Not to mention the fact that in order to even get this to work, you need to highlight the word, simply pointing at it isn't good enough.)

    So, I can't imagine the definition popup has truly been removed in Snow Leopard, rather more than likely it's just been moved. How can I use it? (And even if it's not available anywhere in the GUI, I imagine there's some terminal command that will restore it... if I have to resort to that, can someone tell me the commands to enter? I can't use terminal on my own...)

    Edit: My friend is also running Snow Leopard and demonstrated that the same old shortcut worked on their computer still. So now I'm wondering, why isn't it working on mine? Is there an options somewhere that I accidentally turned off? If so, where is it?
  2. Eldrial macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    I am also experiencing this problem. When I use the shortcut to look up a word in any Cocoa program (Alt + Opt + D), it opens up the definition in the Dictionary.app instead of the contextual panel like it used to even though I have the preference selected to open in a panel. This issue started after upgrading to Snow Leopard.
  3. devburke Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    The shortcut is ctrl-cmd-d. Alternatively, just right-click the word and click “Look Up in Dictionary”.

    Screen shot 2009-09-24 at 1.03.55 AM.png

    To get the panel instead of opening Dictionary.app, go to Dictionary’s preferences and make sure you set the Context Menu option right.

    Screen shot 2009-09-24 at 12.59.26 AM.png

    Screen shot 2009-09-24 at 1.01.46 AM.png
  4. Eldrial macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    I've made sure many times that I have that setting selected. It still opens Dictionary.app when I use the shortcut (whether its Ctrl + Cmd + D, or Alt + Cmd + D, which I prefer to have it at).
  5. devburke Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    You don’t want to use either of these:

    Screen shot 2009-09-24 at 11.59.28 PM.png

    Screen shot 2009-09-25 at 12.00.25 AM.png

    The service will always open Dictionary. You don’t want the service, just the regular old context menu. Try erasing the keyboard shortcut you set in the services menu and then using the context menu or ctrl-cmd-d
  6. Eldrial macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    I took out the shortcut for the Services > Look Up in Dictionary, but Ctrl Cmd D still does not work. Nothing happens when I highlight a word and press it. Is there anywhere where this shortcut is defined?
  7. devburke Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    Actually, important question: what program are you doing this in? It doesn’t work in all. For example, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work in Firefox. I think they have to be Cocoa apps.
  8. Eldrial macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    I'm trying to do it in Safari and Pages. Neither works.
  9. ArtOfWarfare thread starter macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Thank you very much for your help devburke, especially for including the pictures.

    My issue was that the preference in Dictionary had somehow been set to open in the application rather than the panel.

    On a related note, I've realized I can clear up conflicts with keyboard short cuts that I don't like (IE, command D for "Add Bookmark..." in Safari) by adding a complex keyboard short cut for it. (IE, I made Add Bookmark be control command D so that I could use just command D to show definitions... I'm not a big fan of using more than one modifier for keyboard short cuts.)
  10. Eldrial macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    Yeah, thanks for all the help devburke. The problem is still occurring though.

    Did you work out your problem, ArtOfWarefare, of the Dictionary opening the application instead of the panel? As I understand it, the Dictionary shortcut in System Preferences will always be Services and therefore open the application.

    Edit: FINALLY solved it. Changing the Safari and Pages shortcuts that use Shift + Cmd + D worked. Now that shortcut looks up a word in the panel.
  11. sertini macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2010
    I used to assign Command+D shortcut in Leopard to show the dictionary pop-up menu without having to select the world but just moving my cursor on it and pressing this shortcut. It seems that I can't configure Snow Leopard to behave exactly the same way...

    My obstacles are:
    1. In new Finder this shortcut (Command+D) used for duplicate item and I can't find where can I change that.
    2. Also in other programs the reassigned shortcut will open dictionary app instead of pop-up menu and only if I select the word before hitting Command+D. In dictionary.app preferences I changed contextual menu to open Dictionary panel and it does it BUT not on the shortcut!

    Default Cntrl+Command+D command for it is frustrating if you have to hit it blindly and as often as I do.

    Called apple support today and the answer was - "sorry, but it is not possible in current version of Snow Leopard - write to apple.com/feedback..."

    Does anybody know any third part software to change this level of shortcuts in Snow Leopard?

    And if I'm not alone with this issue, please fill out feedback form too so that apple implements it in next update.
  12. CharlyAndy macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2011
    Dictionary widget in dashboard not connected

    I am running 10.6.6 on a MacBook Pro, 1.8 GHz. I just reinstalled the system and repaired the permissions with DiskUtility. I have a Dictionary icon in the Dock and it works. The Dictionary widget appears in the dashboard but does nothing. What can I do to fix it? :-§
  13. Bunny989 macrumors newbie


    Oct 9, 2011
    Small town on the Oregon Coast
    I have a similar problem with the dictionary.

    I did figure out how to get the short cut keys to work. I simple made up my own, I use shift + command + x. It's a little awkward some times, but it wasn't already assigned to something else so it's works.

    My actual question is more of a technical one. Sometimes but not all the time...I'll go to look up a word in the dictionary and nothing will come up and the dictionary is blank and kind freezes up the whole thing till I force quit. Any ideas what this is about, and how to fix it?
  14. king.shiawase macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2012
    Background:I have a black macbook that I bought in 2008. I have recently updated to the Lion system.

    When everyone seems to have their cmd+ctrl+d working in safari, I just can't! I have to right click and press "look up". That's ok I can deal with it.

    But in Preview, I will always have to open the dictionary window to check up any word... quick view just won't work in my Preview.

    So, I followed the post, went to preference in Dictionary, and it didn't show me the panel option! :mad:

    I'd really appreciate if you guys can help me on this one! I want the quick look dictionary feature!!!!!

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