Why is WordWeb Pro
My Favorite Word Finder?
Let Me Count Thy Ways...
WordWeb Pro is a kind of 'umbrella word finder' containing dictionaries, word lists, thesauruses, and word search tools, all nicely bundled up into a single application. In fact its name, which was lost on me at first, is very apt, because when you're using it regularly it does start to feel like a sort of mini-Web devoted to words!
Here's what it looks like on my laptop...
The thing is, if you're anything like me and spend a lot of time browsing the dictionary or playing with words, you've probably got a bunch of handy word finders on your computer, and a long list of wordsmith favorites bookmarked in your Web browser. The problem is, it can be very tedious going from one to the other to the other trying to find...
- the meaning of an obscure word you've stumbled across
- a synonym for a word you've used too many times already
- the pronunciation of a word that looks impossible to say
- an anagram of a friend's name, for a playful text message
- a word pattern solution for an almost-finished crossword puzzle
Now I don't care what anybody says, there simply isn't a single word finder or website that solves all of these problems consistently, for the huge variety of words and phrases encountered by the more... shall we say... zealous... word-buff. BUT...
What we have in WordWeb Pro is a way of bundling up all these tasks into one really easy-to-use integrated environment containing virtually all the resources you'll need.
WordWeb Pro ships with a huge internal database of words and lists, but you're not lumbered with one person's opinion about the best dictionary or the best word finder. Instead, you get to add to the existing library your own favorite dictionaries, lists, and even websites, so that you hardly ever have to skip from one application or website to another.
Here are the first few of dozens of word lists I've installed so far...
As you can see, I bought the Chambers English Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionary of English add-ons, as well as a bunch of other very handy and interesting word lists. I just wanted to be sure I had everything I was likely to need, whether I'm playing Scrabble, solving a crossword puzzle, working on my spelling, or (heaven forbid) reading a book!
And by the way, when I say that all the functionality is 'bundled up', I don't just mean 'cobbled together', I mean seamlessly integrated. Suppose you're typing away in a Word document, reading a web page, or editing a clue in Crossword Compiler, for example. You just select the word (or phrase) you want to know more about and click a short-cut key to open up WordWeb Pro. Your word's definition, synonyms, and so on, are all automatically displayed on the screen.
(I use that feature so much I find myself unconsciously 'control-clicking' at work several times a day before realizing I don't have the program installed there. Doh!)
Although I've got tonnes of handy wordsmith gadgets on my laptop at home, I don't have many configured to start up when my computer starts. That would mean waiting half an hour each time I turn my computer on each day! But WordWeb Pro has made it on to that privileged shortlist.
P.S. If you decide to take a closer look at this one, you'll see they follow the tradition of offering a free 'Lite' version, which is just called WordWeb (without the 'Pro'). Now there are some tools around, where the free version is all you're ever going to need - I've got several on my desktop right now. But this isn't one of them...
You see, the trial version has a tiny fraction of the word-base, audio pronunciations, and word-finder functionality. So I found that about 60% of the time I went to use WordWeb, I ended up disappointed and had to go elsewhere - which is very frustrating, and defeats the whole purpose of an 'all-in-one' package. It was only when I got around to getting the Pro version that it became my constant companion ;-)
Visit the Word Finder Library from WordWeb Pro
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