Windows Vista Tutorial

Find a dictionary definition in Microsoft Word 2007

Using the dictionary for definitions in Word 2007 Microsoft Word 2007 comes with a dictionary built-in, so you can look up word definitions without having to leave Word for another application. A separate tutorial is devoted to finding synonyms in Word 2007 and the built-in spell-checker.

This tutorial will show you how to access the research and dictionary commands in Word 2007, and how to get one-click word definitions with the built-in dictionary.


Find word definitions in the dictionary in Word 2007

Click on the word to define in Microsoft Word 2007 To lookup the definition of a word or proper noun in Word 2007, click on the word to place your blinking insertion point inside the word, as shown on the screenshot.

Click review for Word 2007 research tools Once the insertion point is inside the word to define, click on the Review tab of the Ribbon. The Review section of the Ribbon provides access to the research tools built into Word 2007. The leftmost block of command is labeled "Proofing"; click on Research, and Microsoft Word opens a side panel with a dictionary definition of the word needed:

Dictionary definitions in Word 2007

Resize the research panel to view more of the word's dictionary definitions Word 2007's Research pane contains a scrollable list of dictionary definitions for the word you wanted to define. You can refine your search by typing another word to define in the Search for field, which has been automatically populated with the word whose definition you last looked up. The Research pane can be resized, and made wider or narrower to give more room to the definition text (drag the left edge of the panel as shown on the screenshot).

Close the dictionary

Close the dictionary in Word 2007 Once you are done with your dictionary definition, you can either leave the Research pane opened, or close it to regain full width for your document page. You can re-open the dictionary when you need it, as we explained above: select the word, click on the Review tab, and click Research.

One-click dictionary definitions in Word 2007

Tip: Now that you now where Word 2007 hides its research tools, here is an even faster way to lookup a word definition: hold down the Alt key on your keyboard, and click on the word whose definition you need. If Microsoft Word detects that you are holding down the Alt key when clicking on a word, it will automatically search for the definition of this word, and open the result in the Research pane!

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