WordWeb 6 free desktop dictionary and thesaurus: Review

WordWeb 6 free desktop dictionary and thesaurus: Review

A fast and smart English-language thesaurus and dictionary, WordWeb can be used to look up words from almost any program, swiftly serving up definitions, synonyms and related words like a resident egghead lurking in your system tray.

Now up to version 6 and as essential as ever, the dictionary runs on Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7.

After installing the free 18MB download of WordWeb 6, words can be checked in most word processing applications, web browsers and email clients just by holding down your keyboard’s control key and right-clicking over a word.

This brings up a definition in WordWeb’s compact interface – there’s no need to even select the word first, making it very fast and very neat.

WordWeb 6 free desktop dictionary and thesaurus: Review

A large choice of synonyms and antonyms are offered for selected words, and you can easily replace a selected word with a synonym by hitting the ‘replace’ button.

Online definitions
The main WordWeb database sits on your hard drive (so you don’t have to go online to look up words) but a new feature lets you speedily check web references on the Wikipedia, Wiktionary and WordWeb Online websites in the same program window.

There’s also a new Bookmark menu for bookmarking words (if that’s your thing), and a ‘Basic English’ option simplifies the results screen by presenting the most common definitions in bold.

WordWeb 6 free desktop dictionary and thesaurus: ReviewHyper-bowls are us
If you’re unsure how to pronounce a displayed word, clicking on the loudspeaker icon will play back an audio pronunciation guide.

Although it can sound a bit ‘Sparky the Magic Piano’ (it uses Windows’ less than stellar Speech Engine) it should be enough to avoid committing a crushing social faux like pronouncing ‘hyperbole’ as ‘hyper-bowl’ at a posh dinner party.

Like we did once. And it still smarts.

In a novel and rather laudable twist, the author specifies that the dictionary comes free for train travellers, but you#ll have to fork out if you’re the jetsetting type.

All users may use WordWeb for 30 days for evaluation purposes. After 30 days you may use it only if you take fewer than three flights in any 12-month period (i.e. at most one return flight per year). If you fly more than this you must purchase WordWeb Pro to continue using the software after 30 days.

If you’re looking for a free, fully featured thesaurus and dictionary, you’ll be unlikely to find anything better than WordWeb 6 – it certainly knocks spots off what’s built into Word, for example.

The ability to instantly call up a definition by right clicking on any word onscreen considerably improves usability, and the new web tools are a nice touch.

We should point out that there is also an enhanced commercial version available, offering custom web references, 5,000 more definitions, custom glossaries, wildcard word search and other features.



Ease of use – five stars: review
Features – four stars
Interface – four stars
Value for money – five stars
Overall – 4 starshalf star


About mike s

Editor, wirefresh.com

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