Right click -> Synonyms

Hello Mr. Developer, :smiley:

Well, I think that is the only thing I’m missing right now to ditch both OpenOffice and Microsoft Word entirely.

Right click on a word, select Synonyms and have the program offer a few variants.

I’ve recently started using the program and I’m already loving it! Particularly the full screen option, don’t know why, but it motivates me.


If you are using Lion, it’s built in to the OS: double tap with 3-fingers triggers a pop-up dictionary and thesaurus. You can choose the language, the dictionary (or dictionaries) to use and in what order they appear. I’ve mine set mine for British thesaurus first, then dictionary.

S/he’s on Windows.


Thanks for the feedback nom, regretfully, as mbbntu said, I use Windows.

What’s that "double tap with 3-fingers "?! You Mac people seem skillful :open_mouth:

I’m Bruno, btw, which makes me a “he” 8)

Or they’ve been playing too much Tap Tap Revolution.

That’s what comes of upgrading to Lion.


Look! Over there! Something shiny!


All right, would you believe subtle product-placement marketing for Apple?


Where’s 99 when you need her? Chief? Hymie?

A double tap with three fingers. You got me there!

I agree, a writer needs a thesaurus. Having my big old Roget’s on my desk is fine but not so good for travelling.

No doubt even a pocket Roget is still more informative (and thus useful) than a 10 menu-entry synonym list. That approach always bothered me. It seems a proper piece of software like TheSage or VisualThesaurus is going to be far superior for writing than a blind list of words. No indication is given as to their shading, appropriate context, definitions, and so forth. Hardly any words are truly synonyms with one another, everyone knows that, and so without the extra information somehow describing how all of these words fit together on the grand gradient that is language, of what use is the tool? I suppose if one already knows every word in the list intimately, that is one thing.

Anyway, I guess I just don’t get the automatic leap toward wanting such a simplified word list in a contextual menu. It seems that taking the effort, either with paper or with a dedicated and richly detail program, will provide for a more rewarding writing tool. That’s just my opinion of course. I always thought alphabetic thesauruses were a bane, too. :slight_smile:

Wouldn’t that be “alphabetic thesauri were a bane, too”? :wink:

P.S. That three-fingered double-tap was news to me, but it works!

Or thesauruses, to be a bitter pill about it.

Actually, for me the benefit of the OS thesaurus (or “word list”) is as a prompt for the words I know but draw a blank when I write - which occurs far more frequently than I would like the (you know, the thing we live one, the planet, the globe, the earth) world to know. Usually I know the most of the words I see, and can choose wisely (well, appropriately at least). Sometimes the Mac offers a tasty word that is new, or I only “sort of” know, and so I switch to the Dictionary to get to know it better. Very occasionally I’ll even use that new word because it’s so much better than the ones I already knew.

With the omnipresent 3-finger tap, I look up words more often than I used to and I’d like to think my writing has improved. Of course, if I’m truly stuck, I still reach for my paper Macquarie Dictionary, my “reverse dictionary” or my Roget’s thesaurus.

I’m with Nom here. When my writing gets a bit too wordy, I like to look for a something more… short… plain… not-lots-of-words… direct… to-the-point… succinct. Days when I’m just not able to grab the right word that I’m sure I know already are the days I’m thankful for a quick list of so-called synonyms.

It’s always fun to read the papers that were written the other direction, though–running to the uninformative word list for a bigger, more exciting word! Without bothering to look it up and ensure the shades of meaning are appropriate for the context. Those catch the eye like an excruciating pollex.

I’m with Nom as well. This is a feature whose absence from Apple’s Pages bugged the crap out of me when I first switched to using it. And it also bugs me in Scrivener. When I’m in the groove of the muse and the words are flowing, the absolute LAST thing I want to do is pause, switch to my other desktop, launch the Apple Thesaurus (or whatever), and then pick a word and go back. No. I want — need — right-click synonyms, because I don’t care if the Roget’s Thesaurus is better, cooler, niftier, nicer, or way better. No . . . what I need at that moment is not another piece of software, another distraction, but instead just a quick and easy-to-choose-from list of alternate words that I can plug into the sentence in front of me. This really would be a fantastic little feature to add, one that I have missed since switching to Scrivener. No doubt that Scrivener is a far, far, FAR superior piece of writer-ware, but this is one feature I really feel the absence of.

As nom pointed out above, you can already have instant access to the built-in thesaurus and dictionary via the Apple shortcut–either the three-fingered tap (if your hardware supports that) or the Ctrl-Cmd-D shortcut. To have the thesaurus pop up as the default or first in the list (Lion gives you multiple listings at a glance; Snow Leopard I think just shows one unless you click “more”), just put it to the top of the list in the Dictionary app’s preferences. This works also for right-clicking a word and choosing “Look Up”.

[edit: sorry didn’t see Jen’s post above before I wrote mine. But at least you get the pretty picture … :wink:]

Apologies if I’ve misunderstood, but…

Highlight “distraction” (or just click in it)

Right-click > Lookup “distraction”

Screen Shot 2011-12-18 at 09.33.22.png

Doesn’t that do what you want?



No, not with me because this feature is in Scrivener. I love that I can access the thesaurus in Pages and Scrivener (and Safari and Mail and…) with a simple 3-finger tap. I have the (British) thesaurus first on the list, then British dictionary, then American thesaurus (surprisingly, not always the same the as the British one).

Even without 3-finger tap (if you have an older Mac) it is available from the right-click menu or with Ctrl-Cmd-D.

EDIT (as follow-up to David’s post): while you’re writing you don’t even need to highlight the word: a 3-finger tap or Ctrl-Cmd-D will automatically highlight the last word typed and show you the options. And, as MM noted, you can change the order so that the Thesaurus listings come before the dictionary.