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I constantly feel the need for a simple dictionary widget configured to a keyboard shortcut which lets me find the meanings/spellings of words independent of the application that I am currently using. What is the best dictionary desktop widget available currently for Windows XP/7 ? There are a few Yahoo widgets available but I suppose that requires me to install the Yahoo Widget framework.

Has anyone used Wordweb ?

EDIT: The available Widget frameworks I know of are

  • Google Desktop
  • Yahoo Widgets
  • Opera Widgets

If indeed I have to install a widget framework, which among these is the most lightweight and fastest ?

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I've used Wordweb for a few years and find it to be the best I've found. The free iPhone app is very good too. – paradroid Sep 6 '10 at 13:39
Wordweb is awesome. – Stormshadow Sep 8 '10 at 12:34
It's 2012 and there's Rainmeter :) :) – HackToHell Jun 23 '12 at 11:37

If you use Google Chrome, the Dictionary Extension is beneficial... or you can simply enter "define:someword" in the URL bar and have Chrome automagically find the results for you.

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Why don't you use one of the dozen of dictionary gadgets available natively for Windows? I use the following gadgets:



Don't forget that you could launch multiple instances of the same gadget, so I use 3 instances of Multisearchit one for a DRAE dictionary (Spanish Real Academia Dictionary), other with "" and one for Wikipedia. For translation i use 2 instances of AutoTranslator, one setted to translate English-Spanish and other with Spanish to English.

How to use it: well download, install and then when you need a definition or translation just press WIN+G and use the gadget that you want, then click in your application and continue your work.

Here is a cropped screenshot of my desktop with the gadgets that I mention:

enter image description here

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Try Google Desktop, it has a lot of applications that you can used, including the ones you need, like a simple dictionary.

Google Desktop has been discontinued

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I do not want the indexing and search which comes with Google Desktop. Is it possible to install just the Gadget framework ? – Stormshadow Sep 6 '10 at 13:02
@Stormshadow - A good question. May I suggest that you ask it separately? I would vote +1 since I'd be interested in the answer – Nifle Sep 6 '10 at 13:09
@Nifle I just installed Google Desktop and the default search is installed. The user has no choice to exclude it. Only the advanced search is optional (searching and indexing email). – Stormshadow Sep 6 '10 at 16:53
@all you can turn off the indexing on the google desktop – RedKing Sep 7 '10 at 5:23

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