MacMost Now 644: Using the Dictionary App To Learn About Your Mac

The Dictionary app in your Applications folder can not only tell you the definitions of regular words, but it also contains a special Apple dictionary to help you understand your Mac. You can look up Mac-related terms and get quick definitions. You can also use its Wikipedia function to get even more detailed information about technology.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 644: Using the Dictionary App To Learn About Your Mac.

Hi, this is Gary with 'MacMost Now.' On today's episode let's take a look at how the Dictionary can help you better understand your Mac. So by Dictionary of course I mean the dictionary app that comes with your Mac.
In Lion and in Snow Leopard it has a special feature where it has some Apple documentation built into it. Let me show you.
So the Dictionary app looks like this and you can look up words in it as you would a normal dictionary. But notice that in addition to Dictionary, Thesaurus and Wikipedia, you also have a special Apple Dictionary.
Switch to that and you're only going to find words that Apple has added that help you understand your computer.
For instance, suppose we wanted to look up Thunderbolt. You can see here, there's a definition for Thunderbolt right there in the Apple Dictionary.
If you don't see the Apple Dictionary right there then you can go to Dictionary, Preferences and under there make sure you've checked off the Apple Dictionary. Now you can look up all sorts of things like names of applications, anything specific to Apple or your Mac.
For instance you can even look up names of computers, find the difference between the MacBook, the MacBook Air for instance. You can look up different types of connections like FireWire.
And if you want to see a list of all sorts of terms, or just kind of browse through them, you could just start with a letter. So let's say, A, and then you can see all of the words that start with A that are in the Apple Dictionary.
Now sometimes you'll come across a term that you may think is in the Apple Dictionary and it's not. Like for instance, USB, 'No entries found.'
Well, it turns out Apple Dictionary doesn't duplicate what's already in the regular dictionary. So if you want to do a term like that switch to the regular dictionary and you'll find that USB is well represented in there.
Now you also have access to Wikipedia from inside of Dictionary. You can use that inside of the Web as normal.
But if you're looking up something here, say FireWire and you also want to see what Wikipedia has to say about it you can quickly switch to it and you can get all sorts of information about that particular technology.
So if you're looking to know more about Macs, say you want to become the king Mac geek of your home or workplace, you could simply go through the Apple Dictionary, read all the definitions and then also switch to Wikipedia to get more information on each of them.
Now for more detailed information about a specific application and how to use it and what the terms mean inside of it, you can go to the Help menu when you're running that application. And usually there's full documentation there. See Episode 425.
So I hope you found this useful. Next time you have a question about a Macintosh related term, try looking it up in the Dictionary. Till the next time this is Gary with, 'MacMost Now.'

Comments: 4 Responses to “MacMost Now 644: Using the Dictionary App To Learn About Your Mac”

    7 years ago

    Hi Gary, I’ve just watched 644 and tried it out on my iMac which runs on 10.6.8
    My preferences only gives me Apple and Wikipedia not Thesaurus or Dictionary.
    Any ideas?. Love your videos and learn lots from them


      7 years ago

      So you don’t have any regular dictionary at all? Or is it just there by default? Not easy for me to check out something with Snow Leopard.

        7 years ago

        No regular dictionary. Tried it on my MacBook Pro which also runs on 10.6.8
        and all options are there! Dictionary, thesaurus, Apple etc.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    7 years ago

    I have the Snow Leopard iMac 10.6.8 and it has them all. To tell you the truth i have not even used it, because i have Answer`s in the Widgets. I find it better than the Dictionary because you can type in Borgia,and it comes up with the spelling,plus the history of the Borgia`s. I just came off the internet to have a look at the Dictionary. Thats how i can say it`s better than the Dictionary, and it`s in a handy place.

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