The Secret Dictionary

Kimo Johnson

01 May 2006

One of the features I use quite often in OS X is the secret dictionary. I call it "secret" because it is accessed by an obscure keystroke, and I would bet that most Mac users are not aware of it. In any Cocoa application, type ctrl-apple-d while positioning the mouse over a word, you can try it now if you're viewing this page in Safari. A small dictionary window will pop up over the word. This feature works in Apple's apps: Safari, Mail, Stickies, etc., as well as some third party apps: TextWrangler, MacJournal, and OmniOutliner. I think it works in any application that uses Cocoa's built-in text editing tools. This makes me wonder how many other secret features are in the OS.