Need to be able to integrate better dictionaries to scrivener than the actual very simple one, especially for writing purpose

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I believe there are still methods you can use to install alternate dictionaries on your Mac (I haven’t checked recently though). This wouldn’t have anything to do with Scrivener. Dictionary.app is a stock Mac application, just like Chess.app and iTunes.app.

Yes, for mac dictionary but when you write on scrivener, your content can’t access more sophisticated dictionaries than the simple one associated do scrivener. Insufficient to me.

I don’t know what you are referring to then. As I say, there are no dictionaries associated with Scrivener.

I’m not sitting at my Mac now, but I believe if you go to the preferences in the Mac Dictionary app, you can order the sources so that your preferred dictionary is at the top of the list. That dictionary should then be the one used to display definitions when you do the two-fingered tap or however you access the dictionary in Scrivener and other applications.

I wonder if the OP is actually referring to the spellchecker rather than the dictionary…

scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb … dictionary

epreuves, can you point us to an example of a better dictionary of the sort you wish you could use with Scrivener? That would make it clearer what is wanted.


Yes greg, In French it would be a reference dictionary, Le grand robert, in English it would the Oxford dictionary of English and the Merrriam Webster. But I write mostly in French and the actual available dictionary is way to simple.

That’s weird because on my Mac (running Mountain Lion) the Dictionary application has the Oxford Dictionary of English, Oxford Thesaurus of English, Apple Dictionary and WikiPedia active. When I request a definition of word in Scrivener it presents the result from one of those typically the first on the list being Oxford Dictionary of English. I don’t use Dictionary and have never fiddled with the choice or order of the dictionaries it uses but it seems that for some of us the feature you wish to be added already exists.

So, what you are looking for is not different functionality, but to have your preferred dictionaries available.

  1. The Oxford Dictionary of English (British English) is built into your Mac (as is the New Oxford American English). You just need to activate your choice of them in Dictionary.app > Preferences.

  2. The French dictionary that you want is not built-in. This is not surprising. Dictionaries are proprietary things and so not usually freely available. I see that Le Grand Robert has a stand-alone Mac app available for $170, as such I think it highly unlikely that it is freely available as a Dictionary extension. (That is also why you will not find the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) on your Mac, but only the ODE.) But perhaps Le Petit Robert is available? Do you know of a source for that?

  3. I take it that the dictionary look-up you get in Scrivener is accessing the very same Mac resources as the Dictionary app on your Mac. So, adding dictionary resources to Dictionary gives you additional resources system-wide.

  4. Here some information I found on how to activate or add external dictionaries to your Mac. (I have not tested any of it.):



You can buy Le Grand Robert for Mac. Once installed, you can access it from any application:

«possibilité d’ouvrir le dictionnaire depuis n’importe quell application»

lerobert.com/grands-dictionn … ise-2.html

Yosemite does include a French dictionary, but I think it is Canadian French (from memory).

Scrivener would be very expensive if it included such dictionaries as standard. :open_mouth:

So Scrivener and OS X do allow users to integrate better dictionaries. The best dictionaries come at a price. Others are free.