Love love LOVE Scrivener so much I have made a few converts. But I desperately need a right-click Thesaurus. The right-click that opens a window in my browser is helpful but not very graceful. If I’m not on-line, it doesn’t help at all. I hear that the MAC version has an onboard Thesaurus. Could we get that in our Windows version, too, please?
Mobysaurus is an excellent free (donation) thesaurus, downloaded from the net. It goes way beyond most. If it is installed on your PC the windows desktop shortcut to it can be dragged with left mouse down onto Scrivener binder. I stick it on most projects at start. Clicking on it in your binder brings up the Mobysaurus link to it on your PC so a very fast thesaurus is two clicks away even offline. It supports all the usual selection methods. Hope this may be of use.
WordWeb is another good (free) one, and it works with Scrivener. Just select the word and Ctrl-rightClick.
FYI: The Mac operating system comes with the dictionary/thesaurus (and spell-checker) built-in; Scrivener (and almost all other Mac programs) just hooks into that system-wide resource. Sadly, Windows doesn’t come with this kind of resource, and I gather that it’s pretty expensive to license that kind of thing for inclusion in Scrivener for Windows. If there’s a viable solution to this, I’m sure the Lee & Keith will find it one of these days.
Thanks for all the solutions and explanations! Very helpful!
It is nothing to be jealous of though. While the dictionary itself is good quality (New Oxford American), the thesaurus isn’t really terribly useful. You can only discover words by knowing a synonym of the word you want, and it doesn’t have any traversal options short of double-clicking on synonyms in a printed-page style display. Granted, neither does a simple synonym list in Word, but that’s why I’ve always preferred third-party software dedicated to the task anyway.
I haven’t had a lot of use for thesauruses since my college days, and that was a book where you looked up a word (or a not-quite-right synonym). The electronic version on Mac OS X is a vast improvement (eliminates time consuming page-flipping and lightens my bag considerably), but I don’t have any experience with anything better.
One of the things I like about the Mac solution is that it’s integrated right into practically every program; is there a good, viable Mac alternative, or do you eschew platform-specific solutions for web-based ones?
Well, I still use my paper dictionaries and thesaurus. I use the little pop-up thing on the Mac for quick checks, but I’m one of those weird people that actually has a full OED (other people buy cars) so when I want to really jump into a word, I’d rather crack open a huge volume and settle back in my chair for a spell; wander around a bit. As for thesaurus, Roget’s International is my usual go-to. Digital just doesn’t do it for me. It works on a premise that is too isolated. You look up a word and get a hermetically sealed entry of that word in a window. Maybe the software will list word entries around it alphabetically, but these do not invite you to explore in the same way that a dictionary page does. I’m not typically a stickler for “the old ways”. I own more e-books than paper books at this point in my life, but I think putting lots of words onto a large sheet of paper in front of you; lots of definitions in front of you, provides an experience that no program I’ve ever seen can replicate, even the ones with a whole lot of discovery features.
But, if I had to pick one digital thesaurus: Visual Thesaurus. Mainly because it does the one thing a book can never do, it makes exploring the language something akin to a Hollywood depicted hacking session.
I had the not-quite full OED. Lost it in a move.
But as for digital, yeah, it’s free and convenient, but I don’t know… same word:
A subscription is only $1/day; free if you’ve got institutional access (which many do through public libraries).
I should check out and see if the Boston Public Library’s got it. I miss having access to just about every journal and the like through UW.