Lookup in Dictionary Service

So on this week’s episode of MPU, I was intrigued by Stephen’s use of the “Look up in Dictionary” service. I could also see myself using it all the time, but I could not get it to work. I tried it in Word and Drafts and it doesn’t show up. Services are contextual, correct? I can’t figure out for the life of me why I can’t get it to show up as an option. I feel like I am missing something really basic here and am hoping someone can help me out.

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Sys Pref → Keyboards → Shortcuts → Services

It doesn’t show up in the menu, but the keyboard shortcut works.

macOS has a feature like this built-in. You don’t even have to enable anything.

  1. Select a word with your mouse. ¹

  2. Press Control+Command+D ²

You will get a quick pop-up like this:

Click “Open in Dictionary” to see more.

¹ sometimes just hovering over the word with your mouse will do, but sometimes it doesn’t. Selecting always works. Unless the app is not using standard Mac windowing/text fields, i.e. Electron apps.

² Not to be confused with Option+Command+D which is show/hide the dock. I confuse those two shortcuts on a regular basis.


On laptops if you “long press” on a word (everywhere in macOS I guess, apart form electron apps) it shows up the dictionary lookup

I know, the screenshot is pointless for this specific matter :stuck_out_tongue:

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Or you can tap the trackpad with three fingers to look up words

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You can also press a word (until it pops) on the trackpad for Look Up. For mouse action, I use an app called PopClip.