For Mac users, tapping on a word is a familiar way of accessing its definition. To activate the word’s dictionary panel, you need to perform a three-finger tap on the trackpad. But presently, for many users, things have changed, and users have access to numerous new informative panels. The progress has been a result of both recent OS improvements (like High Sierra updates) and new apps versions like Siri upgrades. To access the expanded dictionary features, try a three finger gesture on a word or phrase and you will get much more than just a dictionary panel. Now for your services is not only the word’s definitions, but also news, Siri Knowledge items, and more.
Dictionary Panel and More…
As was mentioned above, the popover dictionary itself is well known to the users. While the new info panels are much less so. Let us get you more acquainted with the subject. The basic situation is as follows: a three finger tap on a word (be it within Safari, email or elsewhere), and you will be provided with its definition, translations, thesaurus variants, and more items depending on your current settings in the Mac’s Dictionary.
But presently you are given much more beyond the definitions. If you are holding a proper device just now, you can try it immediately. Simply tap with three fingers on a word in the article you are reading and you will get a new extended popover. First, it only shows the old standard dictionary panel, but if you swipe left, you will access a whole bunch of new panels. Each of them is devoted to a different information aspect related to the word you just entered.
This place is known as Look Up, which is accessible on the iPhone and iPad as well. From here, you can retrieve and display various kind of info depending on what you click. The panels include the default Dictionary panel, the Wikipedia panel, and panels for Apple Music, News, Maps, movies and others.
Interacting with Panels within Look Up
Many panels in the Look Up are interactive. Alternatively (that is, with those not interactive), you are always provided with a proper link to open a suggested info source. For example, it may lead you to open Safari to read the detailed Wikipedia article about the subject or you will be welcome to a movie trailer.
And with those panels that are interactive, you can investigate to a much more profound level of knowledge. If you type on a date, you will obtain your calendar for that date, and a facility to create an appointment. Try to look up a location and the Maps panel will open with all kind of directional options and so on.
The panels don’t open all at once. The first to open is the dictionary, and the remaining ones become accessible as soon as you submit a corresponding query. And naturally, the panels vary in weight, so some heavy information sources may take a few seconds to open. Just be quiet and wait. Anyway, the Look Up search is much quicker than the googling business.
How Do I Evoke the One-Tap Look Up on My Mac?
The three finger gesture to summon the Look Up engine usually works, but, if it does not, you need to visit the Trackpad Pane in the System Preferences. You’ll see this:
Here too you can activate your Look Up. With the same three finger tapping (no option to select another gesture) you can switch the feature on an off. Why is it only and exactly this pretty gesture that can toggle the feature? Perhaps nobody knows…