I'm French studying in Germany (so in German) and lots of the docs of the university are written in German. Unfortunately, I'm not native speaker so I was wondering, is there a way to have the translation of a selected word directly in Preview (as Chrome does with some extension)? As an alternative, do you know a (offline) native software to Preview which could do that (I know that I can open the PDF with Chrome and use, for example, the Google Translate extension but I won't be able to get the translation offline)?

If someone from Apple is looking at this question, it would be cool to include that because the option "Look up in dictionary" doesn't work for foreign languages.

BTW, I guess I could build one by creating a Quick Look Project with Xcode but it seems to be a bit overkill. Is there a simpler solution?

Thanks for help!


You can already do this in OS X. Highlight a word in Preview, e.g. Klimawandel, right click, and select

Lookup Klimawandel

This should bring up a german definition. At the bottom of the definition, click on the link,

Open in Dictionary

Now the Dictionary app should open, with a German-German definition of Klimawandel.

You may already have other dictionaries installed, if so, you will see them in a row above the definition. If not, go to Dictionary->Preferences, and add in any dictionaries that may be useful to you.

It is also possible to add third-party dictionaries, go to google, and search for Apple Dictionary Plugin

For example, for German -> English there is the BeoLingus German-English Dictionary Plugin

Install this plugin. Now back to our original example, in Preview highlight Klimawandel , right click on it, and the German-English definition appears beneath the German-German definition :-

enter image description here

  • Wow, ok didn't know that but I'll have a look. Thanks – Laurent Meyer May 29 '15 at 12:51
  • I validate your answer as soon as I test that – Laurent Meyer May 29 '15 at 12:51

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