Why translators might like to go on Safari with Lion

Coinciding with the release of their latest OS (Lion), Apple have made some huge improvements to Safari – too many to mention really… for a full list check out the ‘Safari‘ section of Apple’s ‘OS X Lion: 250+ New Features‘ page. But we’re not about to get bogged down by going through all of those here (especially since we’ve already mentioned a few of the reasons why translators should be using Lion in a previous post), instead, we’d like to focus on just one – a system-wide feature that can make looking up the meaning of words (something that translators probably do more than most) in Safari altogether easier: ‘Lookup‘.

Lookup‘ isn’t mentioned under ‘Safari’ in Lion’s official list of 250+ new features, instead it’s mentioned under ‘System‘ (which is shocking really, since, although it’s a feature that’s relevant to the whole system, it’s something that will surely be most used in Safari!). Anyway, moving on, what is ‘Lookup‘? Well, it’s an extremely handy feature that lets you select a word and then double-tap with three fingers on the trackpad to instantly bring up a smart little tooltip-like window that displays info from the built-in dictionary and thesaurus. In short, it gives you an incredibly quick and convenient way of looking up the meaning of words whilst browsing/translating things on the internet – without having to switch applications!

Turning it on

To turn on ‘Lookup‘ go to ‘System Preferences‘ then ‘Trackpad‘ and, ensuring that you’re looking at the options under the ‘Point & Click‘ tab, tick ‘Look up‘ (shown below). You should now be good to go!

Using it

Now switch to Safari and find a word on the internet to look up. Select the text that you’re interested in and, as soon as you’ve selected it (with the pointer still hovering over the selected text), double-tap with three fingers. You should then be presented with a window displaying info straight from your dictionary – just like the one shown in the below example:

Note: You’ll need to configure the built-in dictionary accordingly to get multilingual results.

Are you a Lion user? Does Lookup give Safari enough of an edge to make you use it instead of, say, Firefox or Chrome?

Published by Food for Translators

Food for Translators is a collaboration between professional translators from around the globe, who each contribute a wealth of knowledge and expertise on various translation-related topics.