Blog Post

Dictionary on the desktop

I have been using an application for years now and it has become one that I cannot live without. The application is KDict, the KDE client for the DICT protocol. It allows you to search through dictionary databases for a single word or a phrase, and then provides you with a list of definitions.

Another nice thing about KDict is that it also has a super sweet Kicker applet that will allow you to enter a word or phrase right into your Kicker, and then press enter for the output. Take a look at the following screenshots, I have searched for the word Linux, go figure 🙂

KDict Kicker Applet
This is the Kicker applet for KDict

KDict main window - Linux search
This is the main window with definition for Linux

So if you are interested, install the KDict package using either Adept, Synaptic, apt-get, aptitude, or whatever way you want. Once you have it installed you can access it via KMenu through the Internet submenu and then under the “More Applications” submenu. It is called the Online Dictionary which is KDict. To setup the Kicker applet, right click on your Kicker and select “Add Applet to Panel…” The click on Dictionary. Type in a word, and then press enter, you should be good to go.

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  • Is there a Gnome based alternative to KDict? I prefer Gnome to KDE, but I do run a few K apps that are clearly superior to their Gnome counterparts (KDirStat, for example). If there aren’t, there will be one more KDict user then. I’m tired of occasionally opening a browser to hit M-W, this is a *much* better solution.

    oh, and thanks for all your tips!

  • me again…

    Well, to answer my own question, there are a few Gnome alternatives. I tried out both gnome-dict and stardict, and neither are as polished looking as KDict. It’s great that the Gnome ones used my icon theme and all, but beyond that I found them somewhat disappointing. If you don’t mind mixing KDE and Gnome apps, KDict is definately the way to go.

  • hey GoatTuber, I appologize, I never seen your post here. Ya I am unsure of what GNOME has, but I would almost think that they would have a cool widget or something that is similar. I am addicted to KDict and having the option to add other servers is great as well. And getting words added to some dictionaries is fairly easy as well. Good stuff. There you go, make porting KDict to gDict your next project 🙂

  • Heh. This sort of “but I like these two cool apps” is why KDE and GNOME converging as best can be negotiated – i.e., freedesktop.org rather than mashing them together like BlueCurve – is such a good idea. The user should never have to *care* which DE they’re running – they just want to run their apps.

  • Carlindo Hugueney
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