tools drop down menu under writing tools

I suggest adding to or have the ability to insert the dictionary of our choice into this menu. Currently we have one dictionary and one thesaurus. Both do a okay job. Suggest, the free dictionary
by Fairfax. Merriam-Webster. Oxford dictionary of English. Perhaps Chambers dictionary and thesaurus. This suggestion is not to install only to have the drop down ability to easily click and go to dictionary.

We’d probably have to charge a couple of hundred dollars for Scrivener if we distributed all of those. :slight_smile: There is a reason you tend to find mainly old public domain dictionaries and group-sourced stuff like the Aspell dictionaries we use, in independent software. Even just bundling Oxford references would be very expensive—we did look into it.

Please - lets attempt this again. Misspell word red underline or just click on word it high lights in blue. Scrivener takes the writer to for correct spell and definition with sound. What I am asking for is more options to click on a word with different providers for instance, the free dictionary by Farlex, Merriam-Webster, Chambers dictionary and thesaurus. NOT asking for built in dictionary’s with spell correction on the fly. Simple click and go to the proper web page. The dictionary companies will PAY Literature and Latte money to advertise with Scrivener software.

Ah, sorry for the misunderstanding. It has been requested before to make it possible to edit this list, so you can add your own searches, even replace the others. I’m not sure if that is something that will be implemented, but we do have it on the list.

I need this. Please, L&L, implement it, not only for on-line dictionaries but for ones on one’s individual machine. I paid a fair chunk of money for the OED and I’d like to be able to use it in Scrivener.

In the meanwhile you might want to look around for utilities that make searching easy from any program. I’m not familiar enough with Windows to make any suggestions, but I have a utility on my Mac (LaunchBar) where I can select text anywhere at all, hit the Fn key twice to have this utility grab the text, then I type in an abbreviation for which site I’d like to search with that text and off it goes. Dictionaries, wikies, general search tools, research databases—I can freely add my own to this system and access any of them in under a second. I don’t even use my browser to initiate a search these days, let alone other software.

Sounds a little bit like Launchy for Windows, but I could be wrong. I don’t think Launchy’s been updated for a while but it works fine on my Windows 10 'puter.

My main problem here is not with launching an external dictionary, it’s with using external dictionaries within Scrivener. I can launch them just fine on their own.

First of all, I found a limited solution of sorts to part of the dictionary problem. If you have the desktop OED open (I keep it open on a second monitor) and double click a word in Scrivener, the OED looks up that word. Unfortunately, there’s no way to get it to do replacements.

When I try the hotkey I use for Wordweb Pro (Alt-Ctrl-w) in Scrivener, the dictionary window opens but the word the cursor is on in Scrivener (highlighted or not) does not transfer, nor does the final word you choose after using the program transfer back to scrivener. When I try the hotkey for the Collins & Robert French-English dictionary (Alt-right click), a window opens but it says it’s unable to detect the word under the cursor. Both of these applications are supposed to work in any text application, and work in pretty much everything else, but neither recognizes or transfers the word from Scrivener. Other hotkeys that I’ve tried so far don’t work at all, though I haven’t exhausted all the possibilities.

So something that would allow other applications to pluck a word (highlighted or otherwise) from Scrivener and replace it would be great.

Would some sort of precursor keyboard/toolbar shortcut (say Ctrl-Alt-Z) that would then allow you to activate an external hotkey be possible?

This is an acute problem for me, because I like to work with desktop versions the Petit Robert, the Robert & Collins French-English, the Collins, Miriam Webster, the OED, the Oxford-Hachette French-English, the Random House, and other dictionaries, encyclopedias and thesauri in various combinations. (Not to mention online references) This is the one important thing that worked well in Word but not in Scrivener, and I miss it dearly.

Are these dictionary apps expecting the word to be on the system clipboard? What happens if you select the word, hit the command for copy, and then invoke one of these dictionary things. Does it find the word then? If so, a key macro might be your best bet for the nonce – one that hits copy and then invokes the external app.


I’m not sure about Launchy, but the tool I was describing lets you select text in any program and within a few keystrokes have a search result in your browser using that text. The program also does launch applications, and get the weather, and lets you grab a file and attach it to an e-mail sent to someone on your contact list, move a file to a different folder, copy the text of a file without opening it, perform as a calculator… you get the idea. It’s a bit of a Swiss Army Knife. If there is something like that it will make all programs better, that’s what I was driving at.

As to the rest, we were mainly talking about adjusting the Writing Tools menu with the online search look-ups, as I understand it, not integrating with third-party dictionary software.

To that though, there are challenges there, which you describe, in that Scrivener is a Qt 4 application. It’s a different framework than what you’ll typically see software written in on Windows, and not every utility will be programmed to work with it—and that is really what needs to happen in order for it to work.

Thanks, Amber. I tried copy with Wordweb and it doesn’t fix the problem. I can open Wordweb with the hotkey from within Scrivener and then copy and paste back and forth, but I could do the same thing with any external program.

I’ve seen some comments on the web saying that Wordweb works great with Scrivener, so there is probably be some way to do it. For the moment, though, I won’t hold my breath.