Use this trick to quickly find words on your Mac | Jobs Vox


Look Up is a macOS feature that lets you quickly find definitions of words and phrases in Apple’s dictionary (or other configured sources) on your Mac. Depending on what version of macOS you’re using on your Mac, there are a few different ways to use Look Up on macOS.

Look up words on mac with macos' Look up feature

Including a keyboard shortcut method that requires you to select a word and press a key Command + Control + D Keys are the most common. However, it’s not very intuitive, and the keyboard shortcut can sometimes interfere with certain apps that use the same shortcut for any of their actions.

An alternative way is to invoke the Look Up function using a trackpad gesture. We’ll show you how to set this up to quickly and efficiently search for words on your Mac.

How to configure Look Up to use Trackpad gestures

First, you need to enable Look Up on your Mac. It’s available as part of the Look Up and Data Detectors feature in macOS, and you can enable it using these steps:

  1. launch System parameters (on macOS Ventura) or System Preferences (on older macOS versions) on your Mac.
  2. Select Trackpad To access Trackpad settings.
  3. Turn on the switch for this Forced click and haptic feedback.
    Enable force click and haptic feedback on Mac
  4. Click the drop-down button next to it Search and data detectors and select Force click with one finger (If your Mac supports Force Touch. Otherwise, select Tap with three fingers from the menu.
    Set up a search gesture on a Mac

How to search for a word on a Mac using Mac Trackpad gestures

After you’ve set up Look Up to use a trackpad gesture, you can now use the gesture you’ve assigned to Look Up to use the definition of any word or phrase on your Mac.

When you come across a word/phrase, do either:

  • Tap the word with three fingers: If you set the Look Up gesture to use Tap with three fingers gesture
  • Force click on a word, i.e. click and hold on a word: If you set the Look Up gesture to use Force click with one finger gesture

Look Up will now show you a card with lots of information about the word or phrase you just looked up. On this card, you will see tabs at the bottom where you can read Dictionary, Wikipedia, App Store, etc. Click on any of them to find the corresponding results.

Perform trackpad gestures to search for a word on Mac

On the other hand, if you just want to see the meaning of a word or phrase, you can do that Dictionary tab. Here you will find many definitions from different sources.

If you want to know more, click Open it in the dictionary button at the bottom of the page. This will open a new window where you can find all the definitions of the word, including other information such as adjectives, origin, derivatives and usage, in various sources.

Look for the definition window

Dictionary sources can be configured on macOS. Click to view/delete them Configure dictionaries button at the bottom of the page. Ზe parameters In the window, check the check box next to the source you want to add and check the one you want to remove.

Configure dictionary sources for searching on Mac

Once done, you can also drag sources into the list to change the order in which they appear in the Look Up result card.

Search words on Mac: No more old-fashioned word searches

Apple provides several gestures in macOS that help you perform various operations on your Mac quickly and easily. One-finger force-click and three-finger tap are two gestures you can assign to Look Up to easily search for a word or phrase anywhere on your Mac, as discussed above.

And the best part is that they both work on the MacBook and the Magic Trackpad, which means you can use these gestures on almost any Mac. So the next time you come across a word or phrase you want to know more about, perform one of the trackpad gestures on it to see it.

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